Monday, July 9, 2018

portable carpet cleaner

Now that we are living in an apartment with carpet everywhere it made sense to get a carpet cleaner, especially now that we've been feeding the cats wet food. (Wet food hork is a completely different deal than dry food hork! Yikes!!) We were going through bottles of the spray carpet stain remover and rolls of paper towels. I decided to go with a portable one rather than an upright, because it seemed more versatile, like being able to clean the cat trees, human furniture, etc. I also wanted something that I could easily grab and go at the sound of hork.

I did a little research and decided on the Bissell SpotClean™ Pro Portable Carpet Cleaner 3624. I bought it directly from Bissell.com for $109.00 and free shipping (the list price is $129 and I took advantage of a sale of $20 off). On Amazon.com, it's also $129 and free shipping with Prime.


It's a relatively small unit when all closed up.

It has the clean water tank up front and the dirty tank in the back. In the clean tank you put in a capful of the cleaner mix with the clean hot water. (It comes with a small bottle of cleaner). There are some carpet cleaners that will heat the cleaning solution for you, that seemed silly to me (another part to break or wear out), why not just use hot water to start with?! On this unit, I like that the clean water tank is designed to sit flat on a surface when upside down and being filled - the human factor engineer  who designed that gets a gold star. 


It's not very heavy too, which is nice.

I used it to spot clean some work-stains on the rug in Oliver's room and to clean the cat tree, that has been in desperate need for a cleaning for some time. But, before you can use the carpet cleaner, you have to use the traditional suck-monster to get all the furs and other stuff up first.


Many reviewers complain that the debris gets caught in the clear plastic piece on the cleaning tools and there is no way to really clean it without using something to fish out the yuck. Those reviewers are very much correct, as well engineered as this device is, this bit is just plain stupid. If you are not going to make it cleanable, then why have it clear plastic so we can see how gross it is in there?! (Design engineer just lost their gold star.) 


The cleaner did a fantastic job on cleaning the carpet stains and the cat tree. 

Some reviewers complained about the noise of this machine. I didn't experience it to be any louder than a regular vacuum. The cats didn't get scared of it like they do a real life suck-monster.
Top of the dirty tank.
Another annoying design shortcoming is cleaning the debris from the top of the dirty water tank. There is a small filter on there to help separate out the chunks (cat fur), which makes sense. What doesn't make sense is that they didn't make it easy to get the debris out of there. Again, needing to poke with a tool - it's not a huge deal, just annoying. Once that stuff was out, it's pretty easy to dump the dirty water and rinse out the top and bottom parts. 

In the picture above, you'll notice on the top left, the nasty gray dirty water. All that nasty was on the rug and the cat tree - yuck! 

Oliver enjoying the freshly cleaned cat tree!
I had one problem when using it, the sprayer part leaked quite a bit when I wasn't activating the sprayer. It only did so for maybe half the job and then stopped, not sure what that was about, definitely something I'll keep an eye on. Many reviewers mention that the hose eventually breaks just on the base of the tool handle. Seeing how this is designed, I can easily see how this will happen, especially as the unit ages and the hose gets more brittle. Even knowing that in advance, I thought this was still the device to get. It comes with a 2-year limited warranty, so I can see how Bissell responds to the hose breaking and/or engineer my own fix when that time comes.

I am very, very pleased with how this device gets the carpets clean. It has a lot of amazing suck-power, so it gets up a lot of the water after cleaning. The cat tree is just like new and the ancient nasty carpet stains are no more thanks to the Bissell SpotClean™ Pro!  I'll keep using it and will post an updated review if my opinion changes - for now, it's a winner!  Yah for clean carpets and clean kitty furniture!!!

Gotta try out all the clean kitty tree perches

Camped out in it's sleeping spot (closet).
One more little thing to note - the unit comes with two tools, a Stain Tool and a 6" Stair Tool. I only used the smaller stain tool. One little annoying thing is that there is no on-board storage for the extra tool. I decided to play it safe and banished the stair tool to live in a different part of the closet for fear it would cavort with the stain tool and come after me in the night. 

Theo could care less about carpet cleaners
* There is no disclaimer regarding this review because I purchased it with my hard earned money with no assistance from anyone associated with the manufacturer, their agents, family, friends, or non-friends.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Pierre

I've been amazed at Pierre. He keeps his distance from the humans, yet he feels so relaxed with the other cats. It's just a matter of time before he's playing like crazy with Nahum.


We installed these cushy window perches in all the apartment windows and he's really taken to them.

Pierre and Theo enjoying the view together
He has no fear of sharing space with the other cats. I've seen him affectionately brush up against Rose and Theo, just like he does with Oliver. Rose and Theo weren't quite sure what to do with it but they accepted it just fine.
Nahum up top, Theo and Pierre in the window

Thursday, July 5, 2018

improvements

I took Oliver in to the vet a few weeks ago to discuss getting him started on Prozac to try to curb the spraying. At the vet's office, he just purred and purred and was super lovey. The vet said he is the most perfect cat ever. Ok, maybe that's not a direct quote, but it was something like that.


The vet agreed to try him on Prozac, so he's now happily medicated. I think it's working, as I don't think he's sprayed outside the litter box since. (Spraying in the litter box feels like a good compromise to me.)

Around that same time, we made a few other changes too that might be contributing to the success. We installed some window fans up high so we could keep the lower windows closed, that way he could see the community cats but not smell them and hear them as easily.


We also installed these K&H Thermo Kitty Sill (cushy window perches) in each window. It seemed Oliver was always in the window that Theo wanted, which caused Theo to act out against Oliver - so we hoped by creating more desirable spots, they would be more options and less tension. I still believe that Theo never forgot that years ago when Oliver showed up, Theo lost his back porch access, because it became Oliver's space.


These window perches are awesome! They come with a heating pad, which will be amazing for winter time, for now we just slipped those out and set them aside for future use.


The frame is plastic and three screws into the window sill keep it in place. 


Then comes the cushy layer and finally the fleece cover.


With the medication and these improvements, we've been experiencing more kitty harmony and no spraying from Oliver. Yah!!! May the peace continue.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

happy 4th!

It's the 4th of July!!!

For most of the 7 years I've known Oliver and his family, they have been outdoor cats. That made the 4th a very stressful evening. I would worry and stress about them getting scared by the fireworks and something horrible happening (like darting across a busy road in fear). It eventually did happen to MK and he disappeared for a week one 4th.

Each year I would work to get them corralled on the back porch, so I could at least secure them in a safe space. But then they would be so scared by all the crazy sounds.  I had taken to bringing Oliver into the mudroom and throwing down a sleeping bag on the floor so I could keep him company during the long night. He would cuddle in when he got scared by the sounds. Pierre had to just endure on the back porch.

Today things are so different! Amazing the difference a year makes! Oliver and Pierre are inside cats!  So for the first time since knowing them, no stress this night!

Here is the scene this evening:


Oliver, looks quite relaxed!


Oliver!!!

Pierre zonked out on the window perch.
Indoor kitty life is really agreeing with these boys. Later as the fireworks started going off more, Oliver was actually in the window, curiously watching.



Earlier, we celebrated the day with a good cuddle on the bed.


We've been in the middle of a forever long hot spell. We've tried to manage it with fans, but it's been so blazing hot in this upstairs apartment. The poor kitties have been miserable, especially fluffy Nahum.


 There have been lots of melted, stretched out cats all over. They particularly like the cooler vinyl flooring in the kitchen and bathroom.



You know it's hot when Mr. Havanna stretches out. He most always curls up in a tiny ball, but he's taken to laying more like a normal cat lately. I did have to unplug the heating pads because even though it's been in the 90's in the apartment he still wanted to sleep on his heating pads. Crazy Marvin!


Uncle! Enough! We went out today and bought a used portable air conditioner. It immediately made a huge difference and it's actually comfortable in here now.  Yah!!


The cats (and humans) will sleep better tonight!

photo courtesy of Laura

Happy 4th!