I have decades of evidence I’m not much of a housekeeper but it doesn’t mean I don’t use workarounds. The kitchen absolutely sparkles with cobwebs and dust when the sun hits it right, but that only lasts a couple hours and people don’t drop by then. I often notice the shower could use cleaning but by the time I’m in it I don’t have my glasses on. I don’t buy white shirts anymore because the neck gets stained turmeric yellow for no reason I can think of. I hope it’s not a medical issue. What with one thing and another I tend not to get around to cleaning things in a timely manner, and then forgetfulness kicks in.

Until the cat took up hobby-vomiting. I don’t even know why she does it, really. She had no interest in it for the first twelve years of her life and now it’s this whole thing. Anyway I do clean it up if I see it, since the alternative would be to acquire a dog, and we’re cat puke people, not dog puke people.

At least she doesn’t do it on the bed. She self-burritoes under the blankies and I guess it doesn’t occur to her to hork once she’s wrapped up in there. Instead she is rather partial to our fancy rugs, and they’ve got a lot of pattern and color, so sometimes the barf stays camouflaged until it’s peelable.

I love our rugs. But they were a design challenge. This isn’t one of those expansive open-flooring houses where the fancy area rugs float like continents in a sea of hardwood: where you can stand in the room and shade your eyes and point and say “Land, Ho!” and sure enough there’s the shoreline of your rug, way over there. A house like that, you can forget what’s in one corner by the time you walk to another corner. Here nothing is very far from anything else and my rugs are more like flotsam.

I can recognize a decorating job done well. I think I have a good eye for it. I just don’t always know how to make it happen on my own. And it added a degree of difficulty when I got this jones for Tibetan area rugs. One Tibetan rug is a statement. Three of them is a bunch of people yelling over each other. And in our limited floor space, these rugs will only be about a foot apart.

I bought one to go under the piano a long time ago and it’s splendid. Much later I got one to go under the dining room table and I like it a lot too. They have nothing in common except personal vivaciousness, and they’re both opinionated, but they’re not the same colors. This is an L-shaped area with aggressive rugs on either end and what would have to be a demilitarized zone in the middle. I needed another transition rug but I had no idea how to pull it off. I was stumped.

But I kept looking, and finally found a Tibetan rug much plainer, with a plain field and border and the tiniest bit of jazz in the corners, and it even looked like it might go with both of my competing rugs at the same time, but I couldn’t be sure, and I had to order it from across the country.

And to my utter amazement, it showed up, and it all came together. With the curtains and the upholstery and everything. It totally looks like adults live here. I’m astonished every time I see it; I get impostor syndrome over it.

So this middle rug, this little Switzerland of a carpet, why, that’s the one our cat Tater decided to decorate the other day. Lavishly. Right in the center. And I am telling you: I almost missed it. If it wasn’t for a little kibble topography, I might not have seen it at all. It was exactly the same color as the rug. You could almost get away with leaving it, except that’s my adult zone. And I’m proud of that adult zone.

This does mean my adult zone has a carpet the color of cat puke, but I can live with that.