Cleaning up Cecile

On Christmas Day, one of our visitors mentioned what an interesting shade of lavender our octopus, Cecile, was. That was when I realized she really was too dirty.

We bought Cecile just over a year ago, in the run up to Christmas. La Serpiente Aquatica Negra fell in love with her almost immediately, flinging herself onto this squashy new pink object in the house at every opportunity. Well, as she couldn’t walk at six months it was more that she’d flop onto Cecile, but it was still cute.

I liked flopping down and putting my head on Cecile too. Our love for fluffy pink octopuses grew further; when our daughter saw a keyring-sized Cecile, she immediately recognized it and began to grasp for it. And on she kept flopping.

Over time, Cecile got a little bit grubby. Well, very grubby. By the time she was a year old, she wasn’t pink any more. She wasn’t lavender, as our friend had diplomatically observed. She was a rather revolting shade of grey, made worse by when we folded back one of her legs and saw the contrast with more pristine, pink areas of fur. I would have photographed this, but you’d be righteously disgusted to see the level of filth attached to our daughter’s best friend.

We had to face the inevitable, and take Cecile down to the laundromat for a swim through the washing machine there. As a cephalopod, she should be quite capable of coping with a spin cycle.

I missed this momentous event, because I was at work, but my wife was happy to see Cecile spin and spin and spin. Our daughter was unperturbed, until Cecile left the washing machine and headed for the tumble dryer, at which point La Serpiente Aquatica Negra kicked off big time, so her pet octopus didn’t get stuffed in the dryer. It’s possible that was a lucky escape – would Cecile have enjoyed the rough and tumble of a tumble dryer? Instead, she dried out gently next to the family dehumidifier.

I returned home late this evening, after a departmental meeting that seemed like it would never come to an end. A one hour meeting that takes three and a half hours is really something special. As I walked down the corridor to our flat, I saw Cecile, resplendent in her bright pink finery once more, puffed up to her full height, unsquashed again, and I was happy.

La Serpiente Aquatica Negra was just as pleased, and wouldn’t let our octopus out of her sight after she returned from the Room of Dehumidification. If only everything in life was as simple as washing a fluffy octopus.

2 responses to “Cleaning up Cecile”

  1. Is Cecile too large to go in a normal washing machine?

    I think the tumble drier was a lucky escape. Imagine if she’d come out key ring sized. You can never tell with a tumble drier.

    • She’s pretty enormous, and because we’ve got a top loading washing machine in our flat, and there are those big fluffy tentacles of hers, we thought it was safer for her to make a trip outside.

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