5 Ways My Cat Makes Housekeeping Fun


Some people claim to find joy in housekeeping. I’m not one of those people, and honestly, I kind of doubt that anyone who isn’t a character in a TV commercial can really find satisfaction in sanitizing their space. I would much rather be playing with my cats than scrubbing or sweeping, but when you live with pets who leave a trail of hair on every surface they touch, not tidying up is just not an option. Luckily for me, my girl Ghost Cat does her best to bring a little fun to my housekeeping tasks.

Let’s look at five games she plays to cheer me up on cleaning day.

1. Swiffer hunting

My Swiffer is now less of a cleaning tool and more of a cat toy.
My Swiffer is now less of a cleaning tool and more of a cat toy.

I wish the marketing folks at Swiffer would send a delivery guy to my door with a box of free cleaning supplies like they do in the commercials, but I’m afraid they wouldn’t want to show the world what happens to their product in my house. My long-suffering Swiffer is constantly attacked, pounced on, bit, and scratched, and it’s got the scars to prove it. I used to get frustrated with Ghost Cat when she would fight the Swiffer while I was cleaning, but I came to realize that although it technically takes longer to clean the floor when she’s shredding the Swiffer pad, her antics make the task feel less like work. I feel like I’m multitasking: giving Ghosty a work out while also dealing with all her dead hairs.

2. Laundry service

Just when I need to put my fold pile in the basket...
Just when I need to put my fold pile in the basket …

Speaking of Ghost Cat’s hairs — laundry is another job that I should probably be doing without her. If I didn’t let Ghost Cat “help” me with the laundry, the clean clothes would probably stay fur-free a lot longer and I’d be done a lot faster. If she’s not loafing on the clean pile, she’s scattering the dirty stuff, and somehow, whenever I need to use the basket, she’s managed to get to it first, and good luck getting her out before she’s good and ready.

3. Dishwasher surprise

Caught doing something bad, Ghost Cat yawns and makes a graceful exit.
Caught doing something bad, Ghost Cat yawns and makes a graceful exit.

Doing dishes by hand is one of my least favorite things in the world, so I was pretty stoked when we got a dishwasher — and, apparently, so was Ghost Cat. She likes to sneak in there and inspect it (or perhaps sniff around for a bit of wayward food) when my back is turned. Ghost Cat knows she’s not allowed to do this (hence the sneaking), but when she’s caught in the act she pretends like it’s no big deal. I’ll be putting the mugs away in the cupboard and turn around to find her peeking out from the lower dishwasher rack. I know I should be mad, but when she looks at me with an expression that conveys her total lack of concern, I can’t help but smile, even as I shoo her dirty paws away from my clean plates.

4. Junk drawer diving

Somebody's gotta organize the junk drawer.
Somebody’s gotta organize the junk drawer.

Everybody has a junk drawer in her kitchen (or so I tell myself). Mine contains all manner of things that really should be put away in other places: cat toys, dog treats, spools of string, old receipts, plastic bags. It’s like a drawer of Ghost Cat’s favorite things, basically. And when it gets too full she lets me know, prying it open and jumping inside like a scuba diver searching for buried treasure. When I walk into the kitchen and see bits of assorted junk all over the floor, I know she’s been trying to organize. It would be annoying if it wasn’t so darn cute.

5. Bed making with a buddy

Ghosty would prefer we stay in the bed instead of making it.
Ghosty would prefer we stay in the bed instead of making it.

Every morning, Ghost Cat tries to keep me in bed for as long as possible, taking up residence on my chest or my legs and purring in that sweet way that persuades me to hit snooze a few more times. Eventually, though, we must get up and make the bed — a task that is made infinitely more difficult by Ghost Cat’s refusal to actually get off the bed. Instead, she likes to stay on top of — or even underneath — the covers. Sometimes she scuttles around and looks like she’s trying to help me as I tug and tuck the blankets, but most of the time she seems like she’s trying to stop me altogether. I really don’t care if Ghost Cat is helping or hindering my bed-making efforts, because having her with me makes this thankless task a little less dull.

How do your cats help you clean, or do they make it harder?

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