July Habit #29 A Revelation

Dear FlyLady,

Since this month’s habit is the Swish and Swipe, I see at the end of each Swish & Swipe testimonial your request for our stories and tips. So I thought I would impart to you a cute story about my daily Swish and Swipe, and a revelation I had about it this month…

I always see how your followers are called “FlyBabies”, but did you know that you have “FlyKitties”? We are a US Navy Family, stationed in Japan. Because my husband is underway rather often, and works long hours when he is home, I spend a lot of time alone with our Furry Children (currently 3 cats).

Early this past January, my husband brought home a 3-month old Maine Coon kitten as a play mate for our 5-year old cat, Calamity, who was becoming obese due to lack of activity. I found your wonderful site at the first of February, and began my early attempts at fluttering. The kitten, who we had named Luna Grace, developed an affinity for the bathroom, especially the toilet. Calamity would always ask for “fountain drinks” (running water from the tub faucet) when we would go into the bathroom for any reason. So now I would find myself tripping over two kitties racing me to the bathroom!

Well, when I began the BabyStep of Swishing and Swiping, I had extra “help”!! Calamity would demand her “fountain drinks” while Luna Grace would wrap herself around the toilet bowl and “point out” the spots I missed (hadn’t swiped yet) with her paw! It didn’t take long that she recognized the sound of the toilet brush being taken out of it’s container and would come running to “help” Swish & Swipe!! Even if I was just shifting it because it had gotten moved, she’d come barreling through the house from wherever she was!! Fast forward to about mid May…

We became blessed by a delicate new life…a tiny kitten, barely two-weeks old, had been found by the workers on our housing base, starved, and no mother. When attempts to contact Vet and Animal Services were unsuccessful, a friend working in the main office, who knew I had a lot of experience with animals, called me to ask for help. So I took the kitten in and began to feed her a milk-substitute with a syringe (she was too small for a bottle). Our attempts to get Veterinary, or Animal Services to take the kitten were also unsuccessful, as were our efforts to find her a home when she was trained and old enough to be adopted. So that’s how we came to have Maneki Neko (Lucky Cat or Fortune Cat in Japanese). I’ll admit, that I wasn’t always per@#%^ about doing my Swish and Swipe every day.

But since it was the habit for July, I made an extra effort. But I quickly discovered part of the problem was that Swishing & Swiping first thing in the morning, like you tell us, doesn’t work for us. I am so glad your system allows for flexibility, because our family dynamic doesn’t always flow with the FlyLady System. Only being able to adjust the system to our family and household allows us to Fly!!

So instead of giving up, I tweaked it, playing with options until I found one that worked! First, I tried doing it while my husband was in the shower, then cooked his breakfast while he dressed. Well, after he left for work and I returned upstairs, I discovered the bathroom was a mess! You really couldn’t tell I had Swished & Swiped at all! But instead of giving up or martyring myself, I tried another option. Take two had me doing it after he left. But that didn’t work, because of my morning routine. When I get up, I get dressed to lace up shoes by putting on my workout gear. Then as soon as he leaves, I do my workout. Then I clean up, dress, fix my face and hair. And realized, the sink and mirror needed swiping again.

Hmmm….this had me doing it twice within an hour… So now, I do it after I get cleaned up and ready for my day AFTER my workout! This works great, my bathroom is clean and company ready and makes me smile all day every time I go in! Of course, I’ve had lots of “help” from Calamity, Luna Grace and Maneki Neko in figuring out a Swish and Swipe schedule that fits our routines! Now, Maneki Neko “helps” Luna Grace make sure I don’t miss any spots while Swishing and Swiping the toilet as well as the floor around it and the bathroom scale beside it!

And then came the revelation one day… If nothing blesses you than having a clean toilet when you need it, then why can’t the same be for my girls’ litter box? Normally, we’d only need to clean the litter box twice a week, on trash days. So now, we have the daily “Scoop, Swish and Swipe”!! And my FlyKitties “help” with that too!! After I’m done with my hair and make-up, I shake out the bathroom rugs and do a quick sweep. Then I pull out their litter box and scoop out all the clumps and put them in the trash. During which, I have all three of them milling around, “investigating” the litter box lid and the cubbie where the box lives. When I’m done, I put the lid back on and slide the box back into the cubbie. While I sweep up, wash my hands and begin to Swipe the sink and counter, the girls take turns “christening” the clean new box!! Then it’s time to Swish the toilet, Calamity is drinking her “fountain drinks”, and Luna Grace and Maneki Neko are in position, ready to “help” with the toilet! So my Furry Girls bless me by helping me Swish and Swipe, and I bless them by giving them a clean “toilet” to use every day!

It only takes a few minutes to do this extra step (the time is negligible), but it is so worth it! It makes them happy to have a clean box, and it makes me happy to do it for them! Besides, I’m always entertained watching them lining up to see who gets to use the clean box first!! Thank you so much for giving us the tools and insight to find ways to make blessing our family easy and fun!

Fluttering Fly Cat and the Fly Kitties Calamity, Luna Grace and Maneki Neko

P.S. The girls also “help” with decluttering, FlyLady emails, and even the WHB!! But that’s another story…

FlyLady here: Our  July habit  is to Swish and Swipe your bathroom everyday.

Have you ever been embarrassed when someone asked to use your bathroom?  Have you ever put off allowing a repair person into your bathroom? Have your dear children watched you clean the bathroom and you have then caught them swishing out the toilet?
We want to hear your stories or tips on the benefits of Swishing and Swiping everyday.

Send your stories or tips to FlyLady@FlyLady.net with Swish and Swipe in the subject line.

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