My carpet is held together by dirt and cat hair

Our carpet needs replacing. I knew that. But it didn’t turn into such a desperately needed situation until I got a migraine yesterday and laid down on the floor and got a very good whiff of dog pee and cat hair. Fuck. I knew it was bad with stains and some pee spots that we’ve treated and hidden pins (like hidden Mickeys, but worse because you invariably find ANOTHER rusted pin with your foot in the night even after you’ve looked at the carpet carefully. At least my tetanus shots are up to date.  but not this bad. Where the hell are these pins coming from?)

No matter where I laid down, it smelled like dog pee. Even though moving around made me feel sick and nauseous I wanted to rip up the carpet right then and there and bleach the hell out of the concrete floor even though the floor is rough and not even the kind of rough that’s “industrial chic.”

You’d think the migraine would have stopped me. No. Only imagining the look on my husband’s face when he came home from work to see the house in pieces stopped me. It wouldn’t be the first time I did something irrational, but I’m learning that he doesn’t much appreciate irrational moves like coming home to a carpet-less living room.

I want wood floors. Real wood. Perhaps the nice wood laminate with a layer of real wood would be okay. I would totally do it myself, but my husband, again, is probably too rational for my own good. He’s haunted by me getting ONE stitch in the past from my last home improvement project that involved a wood saw–he nixed my idea about renting a circular saw. We’d need a circular saw because there are absolutely no right angles in the house. Everything’s a little more, or a little less than 90 degrees, which is bullshit. It’s neat, but also bullshit.

Friends have kindly suggested in the past some cheap ways of dealing with the carpet. Why not replace the padding? Just lift the carpet up, replace the padding, and replace the carpet?

Nope. We took a peek once, and the carpet tore and started disintegrating. It tore easier than paper. Maybe we should just paper the floor. Then replace it if the dog pees. Or the cat barfs. EASY.

Couldn’t we replace it with cheap carpet tile?

Nope. Condo code requires that the carpet padding needs to meet a certain requirement and be oh-so-thick for sound reduction. Or as a friend suggested, the same padding as in mental institutions. Then it’s baby-safe!

(I am trying to convince my husband that the current pad doesn’t meet the code anyway, so why couldn’t we just flout the rules for a couple of years until we have the money for wood or tile? So far, no luck.)

Meanwhile, I keep pricing out how much it would be to replace it with wood, laminate, tile, carpet, and dreaming of the day when I can get rid of the pee-carpet. Does anyone have about 900 square feet of carpet they can sell to us for about fifty bucks?

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