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Today, Sarah, my Guru of Social Media and All Things Technical — and now Small Appliance Assembler, came up to assemble my brand-new Shark Vacuum Cleaner. I could have done it myself, but it felt right to have her there. I bought the Shark after months of watching cat hair sink deeper and deeper into the carpet to the point where its red hues had the look of a white mold growing over the top of it. The old vacuum didn’t make the cut for the move north. I had struggled for years and years with the broken handle, the non-working on/off switch and, most importantly,  the fact that it didn’t even pretend to extract white cat hairs — or black ones for that matter — from any surface it was sucked on. The only way it worked at all was if you brushed the rug first with a scrub brush and then vacuumed it. It had to go. I carried it down the 23 stairs to the sidewalk, put a sign on it that said, “It ain’t pretty, but it works.” It was gone in 10 minutes. Now, having found out the price for a new vacuum, I’m not surprised. It’s a good thing I didn’t know how expensive they are because I just might have loaded it into the truck to do its ineffectual job up here too.

But that is history. I am the owner of a Shark. When I started looking for a vacuum  I did my due diligence — i.e., Google searched — to find the best I could afford that would declare war on cat hair. There were differing opinions so I called an expert — my brother Joe. I figured whatever he and my sister, Nancy, were using to combat the hair of their eight cats and one dog, it had to be good. Joe said, “Shark! We use a Shark.” The search was over. After that, I just had to wait until the sticker shock eased enough that I could click all the proper buttons without hyperventilating and buy the thing on Amazon.

It came yesterday and it sat in the box until this morning when Sarah came. In her amazingly organized manner, piece-by-piece was unpacked from the box and assembled to resemble a vacuum cleaner. When the time came to test it’s effectiveness on the cat-hair-covered rug, the result was like magic. One swipe this way and the hair was gone. Sarah said, “This is a nice rug,” like she’s never seen it. I had begun to think that the rug was just terribly faded by the sun but, no, it was all due to cat hair. Amazing. Sarah wondered what would happen if I vacuumed the cats. I heard a groan from the back of the couch and didn’t bother answering.

But, as I finished cleaning after Sarah left, I starting thinking about how good it would be to have a Shark to clean up some of my other problems, not just cat hairs. Think of it, it would be wonderful. Just plug in the Shark to vacuum away the threatened rent increase by greedy owners. Whish, it’s gone. Or, even better, to vacuum a path out of Bell Hell after being sucked back into it’s lower rings because of their very bad customer service. But that would all be a little too magical. I think I’ll have to be content with the Shark taking care of the cat hairs leaving me to take care of the other stuff.