June 20, 2007

We have decided to put carpeting in the new addition, thinking that would help make it a warm, cozy area for watching movies and the like (we have wood floors everywhere else). The pets are in cahoots to convince me otherwise, though. I’ve swabbed up three separate Barf Incidents in the last few weeks, and as utterly disgusting as the experience was each time (let me just warn you that when a household pet devours a toddler’s leftover string cheese, then horks it back up less than an hour later, the cheese will have transformed into a whitish, slimy, oblong Object of Horror, and I just threw up a little typing that) I was so thankful the barf was deposited on a wipeable floor, because DOG, for one, produced such a Lake of Nastiness (at 3 AM OH MY GOD) that if it were on carpet the only solution would have been to soak the house in gasoline and let ‘er rip, because I am telling you there would not have been enough Spot Magic in the whole world.

Dog, being a dog and therefore a marginally superior pet (although admittedly sporting a brain the approximate size and shape [and . . . flavor?] of a Flintstones vitamin), mostly keeps the contents of her stomach where they should be instead of stealthily depositing them in such areas as the exact middle of our white bedroom comforter; while Cat is a creature whose favorite Jeopardy topics would be Small Helpless Animals I Enjoy Slowly Killing, Best Times of the Evening for Howling Outside the Child’s Door (Anytime After Bedtime is the Right Time!), and Bolting My Food and Hurling It Back Up: Can I Aim Entire Undigested Kibble Pieces Inside a Nearby Shoe?

So the carpet, I’m not so sure it’s a good idea, but on the other hand as much as I love our wood floors I am so goddamned sick of sweeping up dog hair (every. five. minutes) I’ll be glad to have one room that camouflages the ever-present tumbleweeds, even if it’s spotted with barf stains. And in related news, my house is going to be featured in Apartment Therapy AND Martha Stewart Living this month! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaaaaaaaaaa.

Tomorrow I’m flying to San Francisco again for a short, work-related trip. We get in, do some kind of software-related shuck-and-jive, then we bail back home on Friday morning, which is just enough time to suffer through lots of airport security and uncomfortable plane rides and city traffic, but not enough time to do anything remotely cool. I’ll be staying at the Marriott, though, and if I remember correctly there’s some kind of amazing cream puff place just around the corner, or there’s always room service pie ordered at midnight and devoured in front of the TV, so I guess as long as there are available desserts it’s not so bad. I have my priorities, you know.

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Rumblelizard
Rumblelizard
16 years ago

Sundry, if you do not own a Bissel Spot Lifter yet (dubbed by my 3-large-dog-owning sister as the “Shit-Sucker 3,000” after one horrific night of doggy lower-intestinal disorder) you MUST GET ONE NOW. It’s a little, cordless, hand-held wet-vac that’s sent straight from heaven. It’s perfect for pet barfs and accidents. I recommend the Bissell 1719 Spot Lifter 2X model highly. You can get it at Target or on Amazon. Seriously, as a pet owner, you will wonder how you lived without it.

warcrygirl
16 years ago

Two words: scotch guard.

Miz Robyn
16 years ago

We have hardwoods throughout our house and dealt with the cat hair by buying fairly inexpensive area rugs to put in each room. We didn’t spend too much on the rugs, because we know they probably won’t last more than a couple of years.

Area rugs on hardwood leads to the exciting new game “Can I get to the cat and push him off the rug onto the floor before he barfs up that stomach full of food? Or will it be a puddle of liquid with a piece of grass in the middle?” Especially fun when you’re running from the other end of the house and accidentally boot an innocent bystanding cat on your wild race through the house.

Miz Robyn
16 years ago

PS: I still have to vacuum every other day, area rugs or no.

Becky
Becky
16 years ago

My only warning on the carpet…berber is the stuff with loops right? If so, we have a Yellow Lab as well…we keep his nails trimmed so they don’t click on the hardwood floors…but they get stuck in the loops….and then rip out lines of carpet….. If you want to do carpet..consider something that is non-looped…..

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
16 years ago

Oh god, I know all about the vomit thing. I have 2 dogs, a pitbull mix and a 180 lb. Neapolitan mastiff and both dogs vomit A LOT! If they don’t eat their 2 meals at the exact same time everyday I am cleaning up barf.

Our carpet is pretty thick and I think we would have made out better with a berber.

One thing about wood floors, the vomit will stain them if is stomach acid. We have hardwoods in one of our rooms and there are little vomit stains all over the floor.

Mrs. Breedorf
16 years ago

We have carpet in our family room and the cleaning pros and cons are just as you stated: it does hide pet hair fairly well but sucks for barf and fluid things. I think if I were to redo the flooring, though, that I would go with hardwoods with a large area rug. If something too horrific happened, we could just replace the rug. Also ditto on what Rumblelizard says about the Bissel Spot Lifter.

Erica
16 years ago

We have hardwood in the whole house except for the master bedroom. Alas, the carpet does not really help with the tumbleweeds of animal fluff. The fur just lies there on top of the carpet like mowed grass and is ever so much harder to get up. And the stains! UGH!

On the hardwood, I have found that turning loose this (http://www.amazon.com/AsSeenOnTv-RoboMaid/dp/B00032XK34/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-8297644-3266500?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1182354807&sr=8-1) sad, unfortunate looking , but amazingly effective little faux-roomba (which I picked up at a local overstock warehouse for a paltry $5) on a daily basis is my only salvation.

Marie Green
16 years ago

The carpet is worth the barf stains! We also have hardwood almost everywhere, which I love, but it’s so nice to have carpet in one of our living spaces. We spend so much time on the floor when little kids are in the house, and carpet is warmer and softer and DOES hide those hairballs. Funny, we’re going to be in Living next month too- they are featuring homes that have camping gear and sand strewn through out, with a special feature of muddy laundry left by the basement stairs for DAYS ON END. =)

Stacey
16 years ago

Beard Papa cream puffs! They are the very best. Enjoy S.F. (it’s a little gloomy here right now, so bring a sweater).

mcgee
16 years ago

the cream puffs? beard papa’s oh my god. and it’s so hard to choose a flavor. no idea why it’s called beard papa’s as i’ve never seen a white-bearded man with a pipe behind the counter, but who cares. they’re delish. enjoy your stay in san francisco!

p.s. hi! new reader =)

Alyce
Alyce
16 years ago

I vote for tile or slate floors. Then hardwood. Then carpet, but not berber.

Berber and cats who puke for fun/still have their claws, did not make a good match.

And I second the recommendation on the Bissel device from comment #1, but with Berber and its ridges and valleys, the stains – they are hard to get out.

Can’t wait to see your house in MSL and AT. Will you provide links?

Heather
Heather
16 years ago

beard papa’s. don’t be fooled by the fancy flavors they offer; get the original vanilla, and fall in love. for reals. (it is DANGEROUS that it is so close to my office).

stephanie brown
stephanie brown
16 years ago

I read this while eating Egg Foo Young…..barf. lol

My cousin is moving to Austin, (is that the right spelling? I only talk to her by phone) Washington later on this summer and I am hoping to come visit her in Sept for her 21st birthday. I am totally looking forward to seeing some of the beautiful landscape that I see in your pictures! Of course, the round trip in itself would set me back about 580 bucks so I’m still debating ;)

stephanie brown
stephanie brown
16 years ago

So I meant Auburn. Google is my friend :)

Swistle
16 years ago

“size and shape [and . . . flavor?] of a Flintstones vitamin”–HA HA HA HA HA HA!

laughing mommy
16 years ago

I laughed until I cried while reading this. Thanks for the good laugh.

Brooke
16 years ago

I have hardwood everywhere and wouldn’t give it up for anything. Dog pee, dog barf, kid pee, kid barf, mud, what have you…wipes right up. I recommend furniture against the walls. That’s where our hairballs hide. ‘Course we have short-haired dogs and no cats, so our problem is minimal. We also have a Berber rug that I hate. I’ve had it for 5 years or so, and it looks like dredlocks. It’s uncleanable and I wish to burn it. We are tearing up our whole living/dining room wood floor and replacing it with a wood floor. Plus, I love to laugh at the carpet-cleaning companies when they come to the door. The say, “We’ll do one…room…free?” as they peer around me at the expanse of wood and tile.

laughing mommy
16 years ago

I have friends who have Berber in their house. Like Brooke said, it looks like “dredlocks” after about 2 years. (It was very pretty when it was new.)

Jean
Jean
16 years ago

Another vote on skipping the berber. Go for a carpet that is not looped. With stain guard.

Laurie
Laurie
16 years ago

Berber is evil evil evil with pets and children. The dirt gets under the loops and does not come out, even when Dog snags it and makes a long divot in the floor. Save your marriage: don’t buy berber!! I agree that some carpet is nice on the feet. After the berber hell (it lasted only FIVE years, and it was high quality stuff), we installed a chocolate brown pile carpet. Hides stains like a champ. I was hesitant to put in something so dark, but it is quite fine. Also, do you have a Swiffer for your hard floors?? If not, get thee one with the wet cloths at Costco.

Laurie
16 years ago

Have you checked out FLOR tiles? I am in love with them and it seems like an easy way to replace stained pieces of carpet. I am trying to convince hubby this is what we need when dealing with our stain producing pets! (www.flor.com). Speaking of 3 am puking…our dog did the same damn thing last night…something in the air??

Eliza
Eliza
16 years ago

Like some of the other commenters, I am vehemently anti-Berber. I have 2 dogs and 2 cats, and the Berber was a horrific nightmare for both barf stain reasons and the fact that the little loops got pulled and basically ripped to smithereens. Room by room, I had it ripped out and replaced with ceramic tile, and it was the best house-related decision I ever made. There’s still plenty of fur and plenty of vacuuming of the tile (and area rugs) with the trusty Dyson, but for as long as I have pets, I will never have carpet again, mainly because of the barf factor. I don’t have kids, though, so I imagine some soft, squishy quality to the flooring is desirable with a little one rolling around and falling down a lot.

Keaton
Keaton
16 years ago

Well, our house is mostly carpet, and we have a small, near-blind, all-deaf mutt whose sole purpose in life is to follow my dad around and spit things up. Our other dog is a Kommondor puppy (best dogs in the world, by the way – and they’re really smart!), and he has moved on from peeing and pooping on the floor all day to bringing in dead birds and then whining at us to make them better. Who does he think I am, Jesus? Anyway, even after all of this spit/vomit/pee/poop, our beige carpet has stood up through it all. If it were white, it’d be a different story, but you’d be surprised what some Spot Magic and some vinegar in water can do. Plus, Riley and all of his friends will spill soda and food all over it throughout the rest of your life, so that’s a factor too! Enjoy!

Becky
Becky
16 years ago

OOHHH I forgot to mention to barf stains in berber…plus if the barf is “chunky” or “sticky” it is a bitch to clean up…I actually did a happy dance when we ripped that crap out of the house….it was less than 5 years old…and like others it did look like dreadlocks….

Amy M.
Amy M.
16 years ago

I’m eating lunch, thanks. Great diet tool – maybe I’ll read the beginning part again at snack time!

Another vote against Berber. My black lab has snagged rows out of it. I don’t understand why he can’t barf on the wood or tile & must do so on the only carpeted room on the 1st floor!

angela
16 years ago

You need a Black and Decker ScumBuster, complete with carpet attachment. It saved my apartment when I was potty training the dog and when he barfs right in the middle of the livingroom carpet.

Emily
16 years ago

I have no advice. However, I will remember next time to scan your first paragraph for Elements of Barf before reading it while eating. Let’s just be glad it was Oreos this time and not, say, pudding.

Jennifer
Jennifer
16 years ago

My house is full of wood and tile floors, except for the TV/family room which is carpet. We love having carpet in there; it is nice and cozy, and very comfortable when you want to sit on the floor (get the THICKEST carpet pad they make). We also have projectile-vomiting cats, and our solution is to get a big throw-rug to go on TOP of the carpet. Get some cheapo rug; ours is one of those southwestern-style rugs that is just a bit thicker/stiffer than a wool blanket. So you still get the soft/comfy/padded/warm floor, and when the throw-rug gets soiled, it’s easier to get a new one rather than to re-carpet the room.

We’ve also had good luck with “Resolve” spot-spray to get the cat-vomit stains out.

Jennifer
Jennifer
16 years ago

P.S. the descriptions of barfed-up string cheese don’t even faze me. One time, my sweet little 5-lb cat devoured 70 of those tiny white wax birthday candles that she fished out of the trash (it was my MIL’s 70th birthday and we had “candled” the cake). A day later, the cat horked up weirdly-transformed candle wax in the middle of the living room floor… right in front of 6 dinner guests. Great stuff.

Moose
16 years ago

Dangerous dessert options, because there is nothing I like better than sharing my hard-won downtown SF dessert knowledge. I even googled them for actual addresses, because I’m nice like that (where nice = not doing the job that keeps me in dessert).

Beard Papa: 99 Yerba Buena Lane – The cream puffs are lovely. I tend to drop the filling onto my shirt front, this might just be me, but I’m letting you know just in case you’re wearing a nice suit when visiting said cream puffs.

Cafe Madeleine: 43 O’Farrell Street – My favorite dessert spot. They have chocolate whipped cream. Enough said.

Crepe place right down the block from Madeleine: (my google skills just broke down) – Lovely French crepes with a lovely French woman. Also nice treats/coffee/etc.

Enjoy!

Fay
Fay
16 years ago

I have berber and 2 cats and have never had a problem, if that makes you feel any better. :) Maybe make sure it’s really tightly looped? Dunno.

Kait
16 years ago

We have a cat that doesn’t seem to be able to keep ANYTHING down. Hair, food, you name it – it comes back up. So annoying.

As for the berber, just make sure it’s a really good quality one and not a Home Depot Special, and you won’t have too much of a problem (plus, you can always yell at the cat if (s)he tries to scratch it).

Pete
Pete
16 years ago

THe problem with carpet is the pad. Once the puke/piss/shit/whatever makes it to the pad your pretty much screwed. A milk spill on carpet will sour in the pad and with kids you will have a milk spill. You would not believe what the pad looked and smelled like after nine years when I tore up our old carpet and put down oak. If you do the work yourself the cost of an oak floor is about the same as carpet (decent carpet anyway). Don’t know what to tell ya about the hair, I haven’t figured out that one myself.

Melissa H
16 years ago

The Marriott on 4th St? Just got back from a business trip there and be forewarned, internet is $12 extra (although they forgot to add it to my bill so maybe it’s free). Too bad I didn’t know about the cream puff place!

As for the carpet idea, go with a rug over wood. Cozy and replaceable.

Josh
Josh
16 years ago

I would have to disagree with you on the whole dogs being slightly superior to cats deal. Cats are far far far more superior. They are so awesome that they routinely get away with blatant evil, and frequent attenmpts at ownercide. In fact they display most of the seven deadly sins. (lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, and pride. I don’t think they envy much) And yet we still keep them around. They are low maintenance. They clean themselves. They act as exterminators, both with insects and small animals. Plus, they don’t bark or drool. And I’ve never stepped in cat poo.

I for one wouldn’t go with carpet. Get stone or tile or hardwood or whatever you fancy. Apparently you have incredible magazine worthy home decor taste. I’m sure you’ll make the right decision. Seriously, congradulations on the featured home. I’ve got a pirate flag over my bed, and equally high piles of beer bottles and dirty/cleanish laundry everywhere else. I’m still waiting to hear from Bachelors Weekly.

jonniker
16 years ago

Oh the Marriott! I’ve been to so many stupid conferences there, it makes me want to weep.

Also, not that you’ll have time, but Blowfish is my favorite sushi place in SF, and they have fabulous virgin mojitos, and seriously, they are FANTASTIC. Seltzer! Mint! Sugar! Yes, yes, there’s supposed to be rum, but I don’t get it, and they always look at me weird when I order it, but they are so good, especially with sushi. They use plenty of mint, and it’s always just sweet enough that it complements the sushi perfectly.

Is there an actual drink for a virgin mojito, like a Shirley Temple? I wonder this, as it would be helpful for future reference the next time I’m there, which will likely be the twelfth day of never.

Anyway. The real reason I’m writing is that Nature’s Miracle saved my life. It removes ALL the odor and evidence of pet stains, and I have–wait for it–cream carpet. And it’s stain- and pet-odor-free, despite the fact that my cat is a mega-puker like yours.

Lisa
Lisa
16 years ago

Carpet tile!!!!!! Will solve all your problems. Check out FLOR they sell it at target, made by interface.

nonsoccermom
16 years ago

Hate to give another dire berber warning, but cleaning cat barf out of it really is a bitch. We had berber in our last apartment and I hated it. It was fine the first month or so, but my son was about Riley’s age when we moved in and in addition to the cat barf all of the toddler grunge just made it look…nasty. The occasional spilled drink, trailed granola and cheerio crumbs and sticky hands just all conspired to make it positively disgusting. Really. Vaccuuming did no good (crumbs stick to it like velcro) and it always looked filthy.

I’m sorry, I really hate to say it because prior to that apartment I loved the way berber looked but it really is a pain in the ass if you have pets or kids…

breckgirl
breckgirl
16 years ago

My cat just barfed the other night right next to our bed – at like, 4AM. It was gross – isn’t the sound revolting? Anyway – a hot tip for all pets-that-barf owners… Nature’s Miracle. It is a product we have been buying at Petco for years and it is excellent for all kinds of pet vs. carpet or furniture drama. It eliminates the smell and so far, I’ve never met a barf stain I can’t remove. Also works well on baby barf and spit up, baby poop and once, on human pee.

Go for the carpet – a nice mid-brown is always a good choice. Watch the pile, though. If you keep it short, most liquid will just sit on top of the carpet long enough for you to grab the Nature’s Miracle and a rag!

Ashley
16 years ago

Maybe all pets have their preferences? The only time I come across an upchucked blob on the hardwood floor is when said pet could not reach something soft and hard to clean, fast enough. It was a lovely time a few monts ago, I woke to the scritch of nails on the hardwood floor at 3am, I got myself out of bed realized the dog was not in hers, stepped out of the bedroom into a death cloud and a dog with ears slunk back in anticipation of a scolding, walked downstairs and she had left many a diarhea puddle on our persian rug, good times. That is, of course, a worst case scenario. It only cost $200 to have it sanitized. I can think of nothing more I wanted to spend $200 on. With that said, I think you should have it scotch guarded.

K
K
16 years ago

I had no idea that berber was so undesirable! We got a texture carpet in a brownish hue (three different colors – cream, tan, brown – in each twist). After bringing home the sample chunks, we waited to see which disguised the yellow lab hair better. I still vacuum every few days, but it’s not so obvious to the untrained eye that you could knit a sweater with all the hair that has accumulated.

We do have the little green Bissell carpet cleaner handy all the time, though. The dogs get crazy praise for puking on the tile or outside, but sometimes they can’t make it off the carpet fast enough.

I would have loved to do hardwood (instead of tile) in the main living areas. But doesn’t it get scratched up from dog toenails?

Liz
Liz
16 years ago

Heed the Berber warnings! It will look like crap in no time flat.

We use Resolve for all of our dog/baby barf/poo cleanups . We have a pretty good system that works well: seltzer, blot, Resolve, blot. Works every time on our regular, light green, pile carpet.

Nancy
16 years ago

I have two cats, white carpet (what was I thinking?) and I swear by Folex. Amazingly awesome in every way, my carpet is still white, even despite way too many attempts at creative discoloring by the felines.

Melanie
16 years ago

I’m cracking up at Cat’s Jeopardy topics. Our cat, who should be named Sir Pukes A Lot, might rival her there. We should get Jeopardy to have them compete sometime.

Alyson
16 years ago

We have wood flooring throughout, AND three black labs…….sweeping is my life! But my new Roomba Robot vaccuum should arrive any day. I am hoping this will bring me some relief! Pray for me. I will let you know how it goes. All the reviews on Amazon said the Roomba was the way to go. One happy user had two golden retrievers! Goldens produce way more hair than my hairy black babies!

Jennifer
16 years ago

tired of dog and car hair tumbleweeds? get thee a FURMINATOR, STAT:

http://www.furminator.com/

we have wood floors and i was sweeping up mountains of fur EVERY.DAY. something about the brush grabs excess hair from the animal’s undercoat and i swear it’s made a huge difference in the amount of shedding! the pictures on the website of just how much hair you can grab is no exaggeration.

lisa
16 years ago

Are you a sushi person? I can’t remember….but you should definitely find Blowfish Sushi while in SF – its in the Mission if I remember correctly. Totally cool atmosphere (complete with anime on tv screens and techno music and the best sushi I’ve ever had. Hands down. And ya have to love a place called Blowfish: Sushi to Die For. :) Enjoy your time away!!

Erin
Erin
16 years ago

We had wood floors with rugs and my dog actually preferred to puke, etc. on the rug. When we would hear his stomach start up (sensitive stomach, you could hear the rumbling from the next room when it was time to bail) we’d try to run and shoo him outside before the inevitable. If he was lying on the wood, he’d actually get up and walk to the rug to make his deposit.

GI issues at the other end had the same result. That’s why IKEA was our best friend for rugs for so long. I thought perhaps since I went with shaggier rugs that it might have reminded him of grass and maybe felt more natural but who knows.

Good luck!