From our family to yours: Happy Halloween.
(you’ll find out more about the dog later)
Here’s a sad thing: It’s December and we have absolutely no holiday spirit in our house. It’s like we can’t feel Christmas or Yuletide or Feastmas or anything. We are numb. Is this the result of having Christmas shoved down our throats since the end of August? Are we becoming even more curmudgeonly? Are we really pod people from the planet Mars and have no actual emotions? I don’t know. All I know is that I do not have the vim or vigor required to create fabulous holiday posts, not like last year.
Instead, I’m going to talk about our cat, Evie.
Evie has a thing about peeing. It’s a fetish, really. And, apparently, I do it wrong.
Here’s what happened:
Sometime this past summer, Evie realized that as soon as I get home from work, I run upstairs to the bathroom. She’s been with us since 2008 but only just now noticed this habit of mine. Anyhow, one day, curiosity got the best of her (she is a cat, after all) and as I headed toward the tinkletorium, she raced me up the stairs and into the bathroom to see what I do in there. The moment I sat down, she scurried over, sat in front of me and watched me, watched me pee. It was weird. But it got weirder. She started rubbing against my legs and then she checked my progress, poking her nose between the seat and the bowl. Was she sniffing what I’d had for lunch? Was she making sure it was my pee coming out and I wasn’t faking it? She purred and…well, encouraged me, rubbing against and looking up at me like she was letting me know I was doing a good job.
Evie, I’ve been peeing for 41 years and 39 of those peeing years were done on toilets. Mostly. I think I’ve got this down by now.
As I finished, she hopped up on my lap and gave me nose kisses. “Good job, Mommy! You peed correctly! You are so smart!” Then she hopped back down and waited for me to clean up, stand up, and flush the toilet.
OHMYGOD, the toilet flushing. It’s so magical.
She stood, little cat hands on the seat, and watched everything swoosh down the hole with an intensity usually reserved for dogs and food or children and candy. When the flush finished, she leapt upon the seat and stuck her entire front half into the bowl where she started playing with the potty water, splishing it and splashing it and even drinking a bit. Because she is a classy lady.
This has become a ritual. Every. Damn. Workday. And it’s not like I can just evade her or shut her out or pick her up and toss her down the stairs violently. You try catching a cat on a mission when your bladder is full-up and ready to burst.
Since she’s so fussy over peeing, you’d think she’d confine hers to the litterbox, right?
Her poop, yes. She’ll come racing in from whatever she was doing outside to run downstairs and into the bathroom where she shuts the door and poops in her box. But pee? Oh, her nasty cat pee is the ultimate weapon.
Should we forget to clean her box one day, she’ll pee on the couch.
If Gabe is too unloving throughout the morning, she’ll find his important papers and pee all over them.
This started when we got her. I took her to the vet for the very first time, it was a bad experience for us both, and that night, she squirmed her cute little kitten self up onto the bed, walked right up my legs, glared at me, squatted, and peed all over the comforter while staring straight at me. And then she took off. I was stunned.
She’s used this weapon against us ever since.
The worst, though, was the one time we angered her beyond measure. I don’t recall what it was we’d done, but I remember telling Gabe, “Oh, we’re going to pay for this!” hoping she’d get something that could be cleaned and wouldn’t have to be tossed. We were on the lookout for days but found nothing. During that time, we cleaned the house, folded the laundry, dusted, all that jazz…and no pee. I thought maybe our little girl was growing up and finding better ways to express her anger.
I was wrong.
One day, maybe a few weeks after The Angering Incident, whatever it was, I got dressed for work, ran downstairs, put my jacket on and left the house. When I got to work, I removed my jacket and sat down and…smelled cat pee. I sniffed around. It wasn’t on my chair. It wasn’t on my jacket. Not my shoes. Not anything else nearby, not that anything else could have been peed upon; I was at work. But the longer I sat there, the stronger it became.
Finally, I got fed up and went to the bathroom. I took off my shirt and examined it with my nose. Guess what? Evie sprinkled little bits of pee on the back shoulder of the shirt when it was in the clean laundry basket. She did it in such a way that it dried quickly and was not smellable when we folded our clothes. It was sleeper agent pee, activated when the shirt was on the body. The more the shirt warmed up, the stronger the scent became. Of course, this wasn’t a shirt that I could go without for the day as I wasn’t wearing anything else underneath or over the top. And I was super poor at the time so couldn’t run to Target or the thrift shop to buy another shirt. Also, I live 20 minutes from work so it’s not like running home to change was an option. And it had gotten onto my bra strap, anyhow, so I was all peed up no matter what.
I did what anyone would do in this situation. I put my shirt back on, found some Lysol, returned to the bathroom, sprayed myself down, waited for that smell to dissipate a little, returned to my desk and put on a sweater, hoping to mask the odor of urine du chat. When anyone came near me, I yelled at her to stand back and hold her breath; we’d communicate via sign language and she’d better be obvious since I don’t actually know ASL.
It was a long day. I was so angry when I got home. I lectured Evie. She smirked at me, amused at her wicked clever ways.
You know what? Now that I’m remembering all this, I think when I get home tonight, I will miss the toilet and pee on her. We’ll see how she likes it.
I haven’t been getting much sleep lately for a variety of reasons, some of them unknown even to me. I had a plan, though: Gabe was away, I was going to go home, do my chores, then relax and get to sleep early. That’s how I came to be sitting in bed at 9:30 on a Tuesday night, reading a book and winding down for the day when something flew up the stairs, into my room, past my head, followed closely by two speeding cats. I looked over to see Toki and Evie attentively staring at the window next to me. I followed their Serious gazes to a wild bird that was perched on the sill, watching me, looking worried.
Sighing, I crept out of bed, told the cats their game was over, then calmly walked to the laundry basket, dumped out the dirty clothes and tried to trap the bird. It sort of worked but I couldn’t get a seal around both the window frame and the blinds so the bird squirmed out and flew to the shelves.
The cats, their eyes still large and psychotic, leapt to the bed and watched our feathered new friend with malice-aforethought. I quickly got the basket around the bird again and slid it from the shelf to the wall but didn’t have anything big enough to create a sixth side for this make-do cage. I could, however, get the bird to the bathroom door, which I did via more soft sliding.
I opened the door, kicked at the cats to keep them out, then did this amazing magic trick that resulted with me-n-the-bird in the bathroom (it’s like “Clue” only I’m no General Mustard) and the cats stuck in the bedroom.
T&E were yowling and reaching under the door, begging for their toy back, the one they’d undoubtedly brought in sometime during the afternoon and left for dead which actually means it was Evie because Toki would have eaten its brains. I planned to use Door #2 to make our escape but, first, I had to catch the bird.
Situation: I’ve got a outdoor bird flying around the bathroom at 9:45 pm.
It fluttered around for awhile then landed on top of the linen closet. Of course. Because that’s what birds do. That meant I needed to fetch the stepstool and even that didn’t help because I couldn’t really see up there, but I could point my camera, which I’d also retrieved.
The camera is shiny and the bird was intrigued so started hamming it up. Seriously, bird? You’re beat-up and tail-busted and you’re posing for pictures? This is how you’re going to spend your evening in captivity?
I shooed it off the linen closet and it fluttered to the ground then ran to the corner between the door and the tub and BAM! There’s Toki’s little paw, groping and hoping. I smacked his hand, put the laundry basket gently over the fugitive and urged it onto the rug, then slowly turned the basket right side up so that the bird had to walk from the rug to the basket side to the basket bottom and the rug became a lid.
Once the bird was secure, I opened Door #2, ran downstairs to open the back door then ran back upstairs and grabbed the basket and we all – the bird in the basket, Daisy, and I – walked out into the night. I uncovered the basket and the bird…it did nothing. It wasn’t stunned any more but it also wasn’t leaving. It just sat in my laundry basket, staring at me. I said kind things to it, told it I hope it had learned a valuable lesson, gently encouraged it to try its wings and then finally gave the basket a small shake and yelled, “GO, ALREADY!” The bird hopped, skipped, and flew away from me and out into the night air where it promptly smacked into the side of the shed then slid down into the raspberry canes. I rolled my eyes, hoped the skunk wasn’t around, and watched it hop around the side of the shed, climb a tree and sit there. I bid it farewell, wished it luck, and went back inside.
Daisy thought it was all good fun, though.
It was like this: I was exhausted, so tired that my eyes ached even when they were shut. All I wanted was sleep. Instead, at 11:30 pm, we were up looking for some sort of wrist brace for Gabe’s hurt hand (I don’t know what he did. He doesn’t, either) In addition, Daisy May has been suffering discomfort brought on by her failing kidneys (I’m assuming) so was drinking more than usual all night long and was restless, displaying anxiety behaviors. I should have been sound asleep and was being kept from it by my husband and my dog and it made me resent them both.
After locating a wrist brace, Gabe took a pain pill and fell asleep. Daisy calmed down and fell asleep. I listened to the nighttime noises and finally drifted into dreamland, myself. All was well with the world. Then Gabe thunderclapped with a snore that probably measured on the Richter scale and I was startled back to wakefulness. It was a little after 2:00 am. The alarm clock would go off in four hours so I panicked. I had to sleep fast only it wasn’t going to happen because Gabe magically produced an invisible bullhorn, put the speaking end to his lips, the horn end to my ear and deafened me with the power of his staccato snore/ts. My agitation woke Daisy and she promptly resumed her pacing and drinking, something I thought about doing, as well. Filled with unplumbed depths of hatred toward my fellow bedroommates, I went downstairs to the couch where the cats were thrilled to show me their new acrobatic routine which I endured for half an hour before I escaped to my little room where there is a little bed and I thought I could have a little rest. Unfortunately, the cats saw where I’d gone and wanted to join me (my little room is their favorite room) so began dismantling the house in order to get the walls to remove themselves from the closed door so that they may also enter the little room to commence playtime. After awhile, I just went back to my own bed.
Sometimes, in the wee 3 o’clockish hours of the morning, frustrated spouses lie next to their loudly-snoring husbands, listening to the dog anxiously licking her paws, and knowing that the cats are about to renew their assault on the door in the hope of breaking it down, and they, the spouses, think about getting up, putting on a robe, and driving to Wal-Mart in order to purchase a firearm so they can violently murder their horribly loud and disrespectful families (stabbing takes too long and has a lower success rate)
Thank you, legislation, for keeping my family safe from my heinous intent, for understanding that sometimes insanity hits hard at terrible moments and unsolutions become only solutions. Although I hate my family today for depriving me of an entire night’s worth of sleep again, I realize, now, that killing them would not have been the answer. Obviously, the logical conclusion to this problem is to fake my death, run away to another country, and live someplace where I am allowed to shut my eyes at bedtime and not open them again until morning has broken. Also, duct tape may become my new best friend, as will the cellar. Is it illegal to tape a man to a dog who is taped up with two cats and throw them under the house for eight hours in order to get a decent night’s rest? Because it shouldn’t be.