Gus Does Things

May I remind you
That you don’t live in poverty


You didn’t see that coming, did you?

Well, I was just as blindsided by getting SICK again, a mere two days after fully recovering from what seemed like a year-long cold. So the blog posts? They are not exactly pouring forth.*

Thank God for Gus.

But let me backtrack a bit.

I recently hired a cleaning service. Why? you ask. Why would a usually healthy, physically fit, capable, independent, liberated, “can-do” woman like JD need help with ANYthing?

Well, first, let’s examine the research:

Top 5 Reasons People Hire a Cleaning Service
  1. I am too busy.
  2. I am physically incapacitated.
  3. I have small children, which makes it difficult.
  4. I could never get my house as clean as a professional service.
  5. I am selling my home and need it to look perfect.

Aaaand! Reason number 6, courtesy of JD:

I . . . just . . . don’t . . . wanna.

There. I said it. What everyone else has been wanting to say for years. I just don’t wanna clean my house. It’s gross. Cleaning is hard. I suck at it. Our vacuum cleaner is heavy and unwieldy. Those dustrags never seem to really pick up all the dust. Pledge makes me sneeze. It just gets dirty again anyway. Cleanliness is NOT next to godliness—isn’t goodliness next to godliness? Anyway, I realize no one likes to clean, but I really, REALLY don’t like it, to the point that I just . . . don’t.

But finally something had to be done. And not by me. So, I Googled and Epinion’d and found The Maids, a fairly pricey but seemingly reputable company that promised a crew of four cleaners that would clean my house in about an hour and a half for roughly the price of two 90-minute massages. YES!

Now, our house is pretty neat (don’t look in the closets!) but there are some problem areas. And you know how important it is to win the approval of four total strangers who are accustomed to all manner of dirt and mess and possibly even biohazardous spills but who nevertheless may judge me for having a 2-inch-thick layer of dust on my dining room table.

Cue Gus.

I told you those dustrags never get all the dust. And I couldn’t bear the thought of those nice cleaning ladies laughing and sneezling (typo, but it stays) because of my horrifying table. So, what do I do when I need a quick but thorough dusting job?

Click below to watch:

Gus Dusts the Dining Room Table

(Please turn down the volume. Gus does his job in total silence, but the construction workers next door do not.)

Thanks to Gus, I was able to get the table in tip-top condition for these very pleasant and professional cleaning ladies who obviously could’ve cared less whether or not my stupid table was dusty. One look at my grime-encrusted stove was enough to convince them to put on their heavy-duty gloves and face masks. No amount of Gus could help with that.

After a little over an hour and a half, our house was a sparkling gem. You could eat off the floors, which Gus promptly did when I fed him numerous treats for his stellar performance. Because, you see, in addition to dusting my table, Gus kept me company as I cowered in the basement, listening to the cleaning ladies laugh and sneezle.


*Thanks also to Kathy for getting me out of my slump!

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50 Responses to “Gus Does Things”

  1. 1 Daisy the Curly Cat

    I like to eat the crumbs off the floor. Does that count as helping with the cleaning?

    Daisy the Curly Cat’s last blog post..My Halloween Costume!

  2. 2 Jaffer

    Nothing like kitty fur to pick up the dust and kitty oil to bring out that shine !

    Jaffer’s last blog post..Backyards by the track…

  3. 3 Kelly

    Oh, fabo!! My cleaning lady doesn’t care about the dust on the table, but if she did, I’ll be I could convince Tiger to help me. I’ll just show him the video of Gus helping you, and he’ll be delighted with the opportunity to be on the table without being yelled at. :)

    Kelly’s last blog post..Emerald Isle

  4. 4 The Incredible Woody

    I’m glad I’m not the only one that doesn’t like to clean and therefore, does not. My stepmother and mother in law love to clean – I can’t quite figure out what is wrong with either of them!

    The Incredible Woody’s last blog post..My (Incomplete) Life List

  5. 5 Tricia

    I hired a cleaning lady in April. She comes once a week – she cleans it all. I never have to do anything and it is fantastic. :) I don’t have a lot of extra time and I’d rather send my Saturday on the couch watching my DVR backlog than scrubbing floors so I did. It was pretty bad when I hired her – now it’s nice – but with a big dog and 3 cats it’s dirty again every week when she comes back.


    Tricia’s last blog post..Dreams, Goals, Ambitions, Reality

  6. 6 Tiggy

    Cat dusters – a great idea! You should be able to buy handle attachments for cleaning those hard-to-reach areas.

    Tiggy’s last blog post..10 Things You Didn’t Know About… Greenland

  7. 7 Bucky

    Good work Gus!

    Bucky’s last blog post..When Was The Last Time You Fell Down?

  8. 8 chat blanc

    1. I don’t wanna is a legit excuse for ANYTHING :D
    2. Gus is the best duster EVAR :)

    btw, Maxx also dusts for me and eats his own fur off the floor. But the results aren’t so great actually.

    chat blanc’s last blog post..Of mice and their man parts

  9. 9 Babs - beetle

    Oh great work Gus! Hmmm… I wonder if Sukie will allow me to use her. Knowing Sukie, she’ll complain that dust shows up more on a black cat!

    Babs – beetle’s last blog post..Diamonds. A girls best friend? – Part 1

  10. 10 Tom @ Badger Hair Shaving Brush

    Hello but I believe I have read between the lines on this deal: JD doesn’t wanna clean the house (that’s not the part I dispute) because she took that fortune cookie of a few weeks ago to heart, what with all the perfection-achievement falling hard outta the sky and all….

    Not that anyone has a problem with you not cleaning JD; every speck of dust that you attend to is an utter waste of like 9 trillion years of evolution or whatever it is; your DNA did not come this far to work a feather duster (I can’t speak for the maids from The Maids, but I’m thinking their DNA lags yours considerably; hard to say about ol’ Gus, no offense, some of these cats are pretty sharp..)

    Tom @ Badger Hair Shaving Brush’s last blog post..The Badger Hair Shaving Brush: Is It For You?

  11. 11 Regan

    Yay Gus! Now only is Gus could take care of everything like cooking and getting things for you so you don’t have to get up. Do they train cats to do anything like that??? They should. Seriously.

  12. 12 JD

    Daisy the Curly Cat: Yes, that definitely counts! Prudence is also an excellent vacuum-cat. She even eats non-edible stuff off the floor. What a helper!

    Jaffer: I think Gus might be a bit offended at your suggestion that he’s oily. But the table certainly does shine when he’s done, so he must have some kind of secret in his fur.

    Kelly: It sounds like Tiger is eager to help! It’s surprising how much Gus enjoys this. He’ll sit on the table, in “dusting position,” just waiting for me to sweep him across the table.

    The Incredible Woody: I do NOT understand loving to clean. I kind of understand not hating it too much, but . . . loving it? And I know people like that, too. It’s a mystery.

    Tricia: Hooray! You and I are definitely on the same wavelength. You don’t live in the Chicagoland area, I’m guessing? If you do, PLEASE e-mail me the name of your cleaning lady! This service was great for a one-time-only cleaning, but I can’t afford them on a regular basis.

    Tiggy: I wonder if Gus would object having a handle attached to him so I can get the chandelier? Hmmm. Only one way to find out!

    Bucky: Gus is very proud of his dusting abilities! He appreciates your support!

    chat blanc: 1. I’m slowly learning that is true. 2. Thank you! Gus is pleased with your assessment. As for Maxx eating his fur, I can see how the results might be less than desirable if that fur comes back up again.

    Babs – beetle: I don’t recommend using a black cat. Gus is perfect because he’s gray and black and caramel and speckled and striped. He can hide a lot of dust!

    Tom @ Badger Hair Shaving Brush: You are wise beyond your years. From now on, whenever my husband questions my “I don’t wanna” stance on ANYthing, I will simply repeat to him: “My DNA did not come this far to (fill in the blank).” I’m not sure he’ll buy it, but it has that ring of truth to it, for sure.

    Regan: I’m wondering right now if Gus could preheat the oven and then slide in the frozen pizza when the oven is ready. That doesn’t seem like too much to ask. Kind of like a helper monkey, only in cat form.

  13. 13 Natural

    OKAY I’m a little weird (but you knew this alread), but i don’t mind cleaning (as long as i’m not in pain).

    have you tried it with music on? while dancing and air guitaring. yes? still don’t like it? oh, then a cleaning service is the way to go then.

    But finally something had to be done. And not by me. LOL!! you did do something. you called for back up.

    okay this conversation is getting me too happy. i gotta go.

    Natural’s last blog post..breaking up is hard to do

  14. 14 Jaffer

    Sorry Gus ! I thought it’d make a good marketing tag-line !

    If Gus could make Pizza I can only imagine that he’d act like Tom and sing like Sylvester.

    C’e la luna mezz’o mare
    Mamma mia me maritari …
    Sing along with Dean Martin


    Jaffer’s last blog post..Backyards by the track…

  15. 15 dcr

    I’d be in the basement too. It’s scary when strangers sneezle. ;-)

    dcr’s last blog post..I’d Like to Introduce You to My Schoolhouse?

  16. 16 Lux

    Gus, you are so talented – how praise-worthy of you to dust the table! But – more important than that – the treats! Oh yes!

    Lux’s last blog post..Always love you …

  17. 17 Kathy

    Cleaning is for suckers. I only clean when company is coming and I hardly ever have company. Oh, wait. Maybe that’s a cause/effect thing? Hmmm.

    I cannot get enough of Gus dusting your dining table! I watched it three times today and countless others when you first put it up. I love how he sticks his head up after the first go around, like “Dude. Why’d you stop? Hurry up, woman. And then make me dinner.”

    Gotta luv Gus!

    Kathy’s last blog post..What’s That? Wednesday Winner

  18. 18 Broadway Matron

    First, poor Gus. Second, I’m still sick and it’s all your fault; Third – we now have bi-weekly cleaning service, I could do a better job but I just don’t wanna

    Broadway Matron’s last blog post..Forgiveness

  19. 19 Preston

    Send those cleaning ladies my way. Most of my friends don’t even want to walk on my floors least eat off of them. Do you know any services that are free? You know, someone addicted to cleaning that likes really BIG challanges. I’m a lousy cleaner but I am very good at washing dishes and doing laundry. And don’t laugh. I don’t have a dishwasher. I use the sink. And Dawn. That stuff really does cut through grease. Anyway, it’s the rest of the cleaning I hate. Oh well!

    Preston’s last blog post..Why I Hate Public Bathrooms – Part 2 (The Funny Stuff)

  20. 20 feefifoto

    Well done Gus! You completed your task expeditiously and without complaint, unlike SOME people we know.

    feefifoto’s last blog post..What Are You Eating For Breakfast?

  21. 21 Fancy

    oh, good lord, how do you get your cats to do that? Mine are only more work for me, with maybe an extra chunk of vomit on one of the rugs, in addition to cleaning the litter boxes. More likely than not, I’m also trying to get them off my feet while I am sleeping. What is your secret?

    Fancy’s last blog post..My kid is pretty cool, sometimes

  22. 22 Singular Girl

    What a great idea! Now if only I had enough uncluttered space on my coffee table to rub the cat over to get the dust off… Unfortunately, most of my problem is little mounds of cat hair. I have not figured out how to adequately get all of the white cat hair off of the red chair which, of course, the cat LOVES.

    Singular Girl’s last blog post..Baptists: The new Catholics

  23. 23 absepa

    Reading this post was a great way to start my housecleaning day! I hate cleaning, but we can’t afford a cleaning service, so I must endure it. I just try to get it over with as quickly as possible and enjoy the rest of the day.

    Gus seems to really enjoy his role as kitty-swiffer. I have long thought that my three dogs needed to be doing some work around the house, you know, earning their keep, but I can’t seem to get them to pick up after themselves or anything. And they attack the Roomba whenever I try to use it instead of the heavy and unwieldy vacuum cleaner. BTW, I learned not to watch “Prudence Wants Lunch NOW” with two dogs (and the laptop) on my lap. They were MOST interested in Prudence’s little teeny meows.

    absepa’s last blog post..More Things About Me

  24. 24 Tim

    “It’s quite simple, really. People that “love” to clean feel that if they can get some control over their living space, then the world will be okay and they feel in control of themselves. All their worries and troubles melt away under the steady onslaught of spray on cleaners. It’s a control freak thing :)
    Unfortunately, I feel in full control of myself and therefore I suck at cleaning. I think this might be your condition as well.

    Tim’s last blog post..Quiting Smoking, Second Hand Gum and Non-Chewing Sections

  25. 25 flit

    I used to have a cleaning lady… geez, I miss her!

    flit’s last blog post..Saying NO

  26. 26 JD

    Natural: Oh, YEAH! Music is a must if I do clean, but this was past the point of no return. And you’re right: I did do something! Calling for backup is not always easy.

    Jaffer: Gus has had some time to think it over, and he’s cool with it.

    dcr: Yeah—it IS scary! You don’t know what they’re sneezling at! My dusty dresser? My dusty bookshelves? Or maybe they’re sick . . . EWWWW!!!

    Lux: Yes, Gus really earned his treats. And he appreciates your praise!

    Kathy: I love your attitude. And I think there is definitely a cause-and-effect thing going on for both of us—we rarely have company either. Gus appreciates your adoration.

    Broadway Matron: Oh, no! to the second one. Poor Gus? No! He loves it! He waits and waits on the table for his chance to dust. And third: yay. I’m happy to see I’m not the only one who just doesn’t wanna.

    Preston: I’m afraid I don’t know of any free cleaning services but I will pay YOU to come over and wash my dishes! Sounds like you have found your cleaning niche. As for your friends not wanting to eat off your floors, that’s just plain rude.

    feefifoto: Hmmm. I’m going to have to think for a while and see if I can figure out who you’re referring to. Prudence? It’s Prudence, isn’t it?

    Fancy: Gus just likes to be productive. Which isn’t to say he doesn’t also make extra work (vomit, litterbox, etc). And, one of his most important jobs is as foot warmer. He does that job very well!

    Singular Girl: Of COURSE your cat loves the red chair. He/she knows how beautiful the red sets off white fur. Prudence, my kitten, specializes in knocking stuff off the table. So between the two of them, I’m all set!

    absepa:This cleaning service was a one-time only treat, thanks to some money I picked up for taking part in a focus group. I’m either going to have to go back to cleaning or find more focus groups. I want a Roomba! I think Gus and Prudence would be scared of it. Prudence doesn’t recognize herself when she hears that video. She gets all attack-y.

    Tim: You are absolutely right. I have no desire to exert any control over my environment. My filthy, dirty world is just fine as it is, thank you.

    flit: I want a cleaning lady SO BAD.

  27. 27 Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor

    Our cat mostly just makes dust with her fluffy little belly fur! But the thought of her helping out is a lovely one!

    Loved the reminder that I don’t live in poverty!

    Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor’s last blog post..Jewelry Techniques for Getting a Uniform Polymer Clay Bead Size

  28. 28 Lord Likely

    I used to have a maid, but alas she did not get the chance to do much in the way of actual housework.

    She did do her fair share of polishing, however.

    Lord Likely’s last blog post..In Which Lord Likely Makes A Fist Of It

  29. 29 Jay

    I wish my greyhounds were as helpful with the housework! Their contribution is usually to lick interesting splodges of food from the kitchen tile and drop biscuit crumbs.

    If I tried to use one to dust the dining table I’d a) end up in hospital and b) probably have gouges in the walls, table, chairs (and me) from The Pirate’s efforts to escape the task.

    However, they weigh 60-plus pounds each, so I’d never lift them to start with, not with this ancient bod.

    Jay’s last blog post..Something special in the cheese department

  30. 30 Stephanie Barr

    So, is that how we get all those dust bunnies? From when the dusted cats cough up a dust encrusted hairball?

    Stephanie Barr’s last blog post..Silent but deadly

  31. 31 Piera

    We have a system. My chocolate lab who stands by my son’s highchair to “pick up” all the food he inevitably “drops” or throws at her. The dog sheds a lot, but my son “cleans” the floors by crawling and dragging his body on the floor ; )

    BTW- Tag! You’re it! Come to my blog and see : )

    Piera’s last blog post..I’m It!

  32. 32 Wayne John

    damn. I need a maid too.

    That’s one snappy looking kitty you got there too!

  33. 33 JD

    Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor: Oh, fluffy belly fur! Is there a better kind? I’m glad you appreciate the reminder—sometimes we all need to hear it!

    Lord Likely: I would imagine she became quite good at polishing large and unwieldy objects. What a lucky maid!

    Jay: I don’t think greyhounds were bred for dusting, as Gus so obviously was. They have other talents, tho. Maybe I should include a “Please Don’t Try This With Your Pet Unless He or She Is Less Than 15 Pounds”?

    Stephanie Barr: I think there may indeed be a cycle here. I do try to give Gus a good brushing after he dusts, which, of course, results in more fur-dust, which he must then dust up. Do you ever really get rid of dust or do you just move it around?

    Piera: That sounds like the perfect arrangement. Everyone’s happy! And thanks for the tag—I left you a comment.

    Wayne John: Thank you! Gus feels pretty snappy. I wish I had a regular maid, someone who didn’t charge an arm and a leg. At least I have Gus for the table.

  34. 34 Musing

    I knew there was a reason I needed a cat!

    Musing’s last blog post..I hate to shop for clothes

  35. 35 carol at A Second Cup

    Can I borrow Gus? Are you feeling better?

    carol at A Second Cup’s last blog post..Blogs Worth A Click: I Love Your Blog Award Addition

  36. 36 Carol

    Hope you’re feeling lots better, I know I am after seeing what a good helper you have in Gus.

  37. 37 G-Unit

    This is so funny! I have never thought about pets with fur being able to dust a table!!! I’m glad that is one less thing that you have to do.

    G-Unit’s last blog post..Want To Become A Model?

  38. 38 Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry"

    I’m with you, I HATE cleaning too and when I lived alone, I hired someone to do it for me. Now I have my Mr. Wonderful husband who does it all.

    Karen, author of “My Funny Dad, Harry”‘s last blog post..Church’s Fall Festival Brings Back Memories of Dad

  39. 39 JD

    Musing: As if anyone needs a reason to go out and get themselves a cat!

    carol at A Second Cup: Gus is currently unavailable for off-site jobs, but I’ll let you know if that ever changes. And thanks for asking: yes, I’m much better!

    Carol: Thank you—I am. I got a cold immediately after recovering from aNOTHER cold. Gus has the power to make anyone feel good.

    G-Unit: Oh, it’s SUCH a relief not to have to dust it myself. Of course, I have to “guide” Gus along, but that’s hardly any work at all.

    Karen, author of “My Funny Dad, Harry”: Oh, my gosh. There are such things as husbands who will clean??? Where do I get me one?

  40. 40 Maureen

    Ha! That is so me… I would be cleaning BEFORE the cleaning staff got there.

    The only time I clean is when company is coming for dinner… whenever I drag out the vacuum, the dog and cats KNOW someone is coming over.

    Maureen’s last blog post..Back From The Big City

  41. 41 JD

    Maureen: I really restrained myself from doing anything other than the table (which, of course, Gus did) and picking up a few things. I was truly mortified by the condition of my stove, but my laziness trumped my embarrassment.

  42. 42 Florida Girl In Sydney

    That video is crazy amounts of funny!

    Florida Girl In Sydney’s last blog post..A Turning Point

  43. 43 cardiogirl

    That. Was. Awesome!

    I thought he was going to somehow shake and jive on top of a dust rag on the table. And I love how he just trusts completely, taking the ride around the table.

    Lifts his head to ask, “We done yet? No? Alright, start the ride again.”

    I truly love Gus. Oh the love.

  44. 44 JD

    Floriday Girl in Sydney: I didn’t even think the video was that good, until Kathy from The Junk Drawer (who saw it on my YouTube page) said I should post it. The more I watch it, the funnier it is.

    cardiogirl: Gus doesn’t need to do much to thoroughly dust the table. He is just . . . Gus. I’ve performed much longer dusting sessions, where we just keeping around and around. He seems to find it calming. I always lift my hand to see if he wants to get up, but he never does.

    Gus loves you, too.

  45. 45 Mulled Vine

    After much guilty consideration we have just taken on a cleaner. Many good reasons, including my wife’s illness, but your reason 6 “I don’t wanna” is the main one. I mean, cleaning toilets??


    Mulled Vine’s last blog post..Ever had one of those days?

  46. 46 JD

    Mulled Vine: I’m sorry about your wife’s illness, but, yeah: cleaning toilets under even the best of circumstances is to be avoided. I hope you’re happy with your cleaning person. If you can afford it and get over the guilt, it is THE BEST!

  47. 47 Corrina

    That video was soooo funny!! I subscribed to you! :-)

    I always straighten up before my gay boyfriend comes to clean too… I don’t want him giving me that stank eye that he’s so good at giving. ‘Cause when things get really dirty around here, he’ll let me know! LOL

    Corrina’s last blog post..Happy Halloween!

  48. 48 Karen & Gerard Zemek

    Poor Gus! I would never use my cats like that, not that they’d even let me! Fortunately for me, my husband likes to clean and does it all!
    .-= Karen & Gerard Zemek´s last blog ..A Thanksgiving Day Poem (Writer’s Workshop) =-.

  49. 49 JD

    Corrina: Thanks for subscribing and for leaving the comment! Gus is purring his approval right now. Oh, you’re lucky to have a gay boyfriend, especially one who will clean for you. It’s worth the stank eye!

    Karen & Gerard Zemek: I promise: I would NEVER use my beloved beasties as household products unless they enjoyed it. Gus sits on the table and howls until I start swirling him around. I think he finds it relaxing. If MY husband did all the cleaning? Well, I guess Gus would be out of a job!

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