Monday, June 15, 2009

If It’s Better Than It Has To Be, It’s A Shark

A warm welcome to Kim H. Striker, who is kind enough to join us as a guest blogger today. Kim resides in far northern Maine (so far north that if Canada ever invades, she'll be speaking French), with her husband, five cats, and the odd visiting moose and deer. Kim has had many short stories published, including romances in the Trues magazines and anthologies, the most recent A Cup of Comfort for Cat Lovers, and is currently hard at work on a mystery, Zoned for Murder, the story of a small town with big secrets, greed, lust, adultery, extortion, murder and the foreclosure crisis in a tropical paradise.

I’m a Guppie, and proud of it, but I have a confession to make. I’m in love with a Shark, several Sharks actually. Why? Well, I have cats, and anyone who has cats needs to know and love Sharks. No, not those sharks, not the swim in the ocean man-eating kind. Although as a SCUBA diver, I like them too. The sharks I love are the cleaning Sharks!

It started casually, the way most love affairs start. I’d used a cleaning product on my floor that my vet thinks resulted in one of my cats going into kidney failure. After weeks of reading labels, finding nothing that would guarantee it wouldn’t hurt my cats and living with kitchens and bathrooms smelling like salads because vinegar and water were the only items I trusted, I saw an infomercial. A man directed a woman to zip over floors of tile, linoleum and sealed wood with, get this, a steam cleaner. Ah ha, I thought, steam, nothing to hurt the critters. Steam, nature’s own sanitary cleaning system. My second thought was, infomercial, modern man’s half-hour definition for we will suck your wallet dry, send us money, we will send you cheap Chinese junk that won’t hold together long enough to leave the box. But, I have cats, and my floors smell like vinaigrette, and my whole house smells like a salad shooter spit up. At least steam doesn’t stink and maybe, just maybe, I could enjoy a salad again without thinking of dirty floors.

My Shark arrived confirming my worst fears. The assembly directions were none too clear. By following the illustration on the box, I got it together only once having to assume a yoga pose to keep the parts in line. Not bad for me, I have the reputation of putting things together backwards and not being able to get them apart, or stripping screws. Fortunately, Shark assembly has no screws. I vacuumed my kitchen, filled the little water reservoir, pumped the handle a few times, listened to the satisfying hiss of steam which sent my cats to the far corners of the house and cleaned my floors. Really cleaned my floors, scuff marks came off like magic, stuff that I thought was part of the linoleum pattern turned out to be stains left from prior owners and that lifted off, easy stuff like coffee stains lifted off. At the end of the event, I ripped off the handy dandy microfiber cleaning cloth, tossed it in the washer and voila, I was ready to clean again.

That led to my second Shark purchase. I figured my floors were spotless and sanitary, but cats use litter boxes. Cats track littler from littler boxes and I don’t even want to think about what’s on their little paws from what was in the litter. Little paws that are now walking on my sanitary Shark cleaned floors. The problem with vacuums and litter, even my turbo charged wind tunnel variety, is litter is light, and more blows away than gets sucked up. So, I saw an infomercial for a Shark sweeper…and I ordered. On television it picks up nails, tacks and spaghetti without any of it flying away, it cleans edges with the edge cleaner and plain old dust and dirt. In my house, it has cleaned up spilled baby pasta shells (note to self – do not leave open boxes of pasta on top of the fridge ever again), dust, cat hair and, drum roll please, litter, all without causing it to fly away. Best of all, it cleans flat surfaces and carpets, without a cord, and it’s got a flat head and a bendy bar on the handle so I can actually get all the way under most of the stuff in my house.

When my hand vacuum died, I looked for and bought a Shark, when my iron died, I looked for a bought a Shark. When it comes time to replace my car…Oh Shark engineers, are you listening? Here’s a new product line for you. Yes, I confess, I’m a Shark-a-holic and I owe it all to my cats!


Lorna Barrett said...

Oh dear. I think I see a Shark in my future. (I have four cats. Nuff said.)

Vicki said...

Hi Kim,

I'd never heard of a Shark (other than the toothy variety). I'm going to check into them. Thanks.

Kim said...

Hi Lorna and Vicki,
Once you've been bitten by the Shark you will never go back again! I'm one cat ahead of you Lorna (no way I could get five in one photo)and it's the only way I can keep up with the fur and litter. I bought my last one from Bed Bath and Beyond, but I've seen some at Walmart too (after I bought, natch).

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