A cleaning solution: Bunny and Tom just move

Tom’s nose and whiskers twitched at the smell from the kitchen, encrusted with a new layer of unwashed dishes. Truly terrifying.

Bunny’s house was really, really cluttered. “I’ve had such a day,” she said when her husband, Tom Cat came home. “I’ve not had a moment to clean.”

Tom sighed and surveyed the piles of laundry and the layers of books and junk mail. Bunny was using the floor as a shelf, that much was clear, but she never had time to pick up. Bunny, who once did all the cleaning for her parents and 20 brothers and sisters, really hated housework. Tom’s nose and whiskers twitched at the smell from the kitchen encrusted with a new layer of unwashed dishes. Truly terrifying. He loved Bunny and he understood, but he’d been chasing mice all day at his job at the farm and the bus, bringing him back to their tiny apartment, had been hot and crowded. He licked his paw slowly and rubbed it against his whiskers, just trying to get clean. It seemed to him that the walls were closing in. He swayed where he stood in the doorway.

“Its fine, dear,” he lied, then clutched his head and fell. He missed the apartment floor — it would have been hard to actually land on it, it was so covered with debris — and fell out the door into the hallway.

“Tom!” Bunny shrieked, her cute little cotton tail twitching. She hopped over him, slamming the apartment door and locking them both out. “Are you alright?”

Tom groaned. Blood trickled from his ears. Somehow, a gunshot wound appeared on his shoulder. Confusing, for there are no guns in this story, but it made him look manly and heroic without him having to be too seriously injured.

Bunny threw herself across his chest, sobbing, “what can I do?” Tom’s eyes were slits on his face. He breathed frightening, shallow breaths. “I’ll do anything,” Bunny said. “I’ll give you a child. I’ll get a job. We’ll even move.”

Tom’s eyes flew open. “Move?” he whispered.

“Yes,” Bunny said. “Anywhere you want. We’re locked out anyway.”

“I’d like that,” Tom said, and, lying back on the carpet, closed his eyes.

Because they didn’t want a little clutter to come between them and their perfect love, they moved that very day.

Of course, Bunny still did not have the time to clean, so when things got too bad they moved again. And again. They never fought any more. All their friends admired them for their relationship. Soon they were being asked to speak at Bunny’s scrapbook club. Tom gave the keynote address at the farm’s Christmas party. Their solution to cleaning had become a kind of movement. Nobody cleaned anymore. They just moved. There was a Podcast followed by a Facebook page followed by an e-book.

One day, after they had been offered a reality show, Bunny was packing her white furry hand muff and Tom’s toy mouse, getting ready for their 100th move when she noticed something strange. She was finished. There wasn’t any more to pack because there was nothing on the floor. They hadn’t lived there long enough to mess anything up.

“What am I doing?” Bunny said to the uncluttered apartment. She looked outside at the line of moving vans that circled the block. Everyone was moving. That’s just what people did these days. But she was doing it under false pretenses. Her home was completely clean. If the media found out… “all would be lost,” Her words echoed off the empty walls.

Something unique and shocking had gripped the nation’s housewives. Bunny had changed the world, had changed how people approached housecleaning. But was it good?

Dispiritedly, she tossed her muff and Tom’s squeaky mouse in the moving van and climbed into her place in the passenger seat beside Tom. As they drove, the items rattled in the emptiness of the van, a lonesome sound.

Tom, sensing her mood, gripped the steering wheel grimly; bunnys were moody, he accepted that, but he had troubles of his own. Yesterday he’d made a mistake at work. He’d caught and eaten just half a mouse, carelessly leaving it’s forequarters on the back step where the boss’s wife had found it. She’d shrieked and thrown a frying pan at his head. Things were gong great for Bunny with her speaking engagements and web pages, but they were still struggling to keep up. Moving all the time was expensive. He stopped the van at a red light.

“I’m not happy, Tom,” Bunny said. “I want to move.”

“We are moving,” Tom said, rubbing his eyes. “As soon as the light turns green.”

Bunny stammered. “I want to move back. I think I’m pregnant.”

Tom would have slammed on the breaks, but the van was already stopped.

“But what about the clutter?” he asked.

“There is no clutter,” Bunny whispered.

“No clutter? How long..”

“I don’t know,” Bunny wailed. “I feel nauseous and dizzy. I feel like I’m about to give birth to 8 kittens. They’re kicking around inside me. I want to go home.”

“Eight?” Tom couldn’t believe it. It seemed they hadn’t had sex in ages, and gestation for a bunny was only 30 days… “I don’t know if I’m ready for this.”

“You had better be because you’re going to be a daddy.” Bunny voice trembled. She stared out the window. “And I’m not getting an abortion.”

“Maybe we should think about this,” Tom said. “Things aren’t going well at work.”

Tom slammed on the breaks, climbed out of the driver’s seat and threw the keys in the woods so no one would know what a bad driver he was.

“Think?” Bunny eyes filled with tears. She’d thought she knew him. She thought he loved her. There was no way she could continue under this oppression. “I know what I’m going to do,” she said quietly. She rolled down the window and jumped out. Powered by her strong hind legs, she disappeared in the brush in a matter of seconds.

“Bunny, noooo!” Tom hissed. But just then he hit a rock on the road and the van jackknifed, rolled, burst into flames — and righted itself with Tom still at the wheel. He slammed on the breaks, climbed out of the driver’s seat and threw the keys in the woods so no one would know what a bad driver he was. “Bunny!” he yelled, but with no real force. She didn’t answer.

One month later, Bunny was a single mother

Bunny dug herself into a large hole, and, along with her twelve children, thrives on a diet of organic vegetables and the occasional mouse. Being of mixed heritage the kittens look a little strange, some with long, stripped tails, long bunny ears, and short bunny noses, but she loves each of them dearly.

As for Tom, he baches it in a condo in the city. Still, he likes to talk about Bunny, in that one-who-got-away, way. He never blames her for anything, he just says, “I think the secret to happiness isn’t a clean home or doing everything perfectly at work, or starting an anti-cleaning movement. I don’t know what it is. The only thing I know for sure is that I’m not going to find it by moving. I wish I knew what I did wrong.” As is his habit, Tom pauses to clean his whiskers, then lays back to lick his butt, a look of singular concentration on his face. You get the feeling he’s forgotten you, and that this forgetting might have happened to somebody else in his life before. When he’s finished, the bliss is undeniable. His conscience might not be clean but his ass, at least, is spotless.

 

Author: Jane A. Lone

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