3:00 A.M. – I am awakened by loud barking, as Yodie and Flossie alert me to a terrorist threat in the backyard (possibly involving moonbeams, a tree leaf, and a moth). After calling the cable news media to report this new threat to our well-being, I go back to bed.
At 5:30 A.M. – I am awakened by a kitten that is trying to steal my breath and/or attempting to make me get up and give him some food. After firmly telling the culprit (little Torgo, the Kitten Of Fate) that there is no meal service before 7:00, and then throwing him off my bed about 20 times, he gets the message and leaves me undisturbed for about 20 minutes.
5:50 A.M. – Awakened by Flossie and Yodie, who wish to alert me to the fact that the dogs next door are barking, possibly because they have spotted a terrorist paperboy. After upping the threat level to tangerine, I decide I might as well get up and feed the cats. I dish out small servings of canned cat food to Zigra, Tibby, Bix, Torgo, and Andy. (Jet Jaguar, who doesn’t care for canned cat food, chooses to sleep in.)
5:55 A.M – Dish out more cat food to Andy, whose meal was stolen by dingoes, or possibly Yodie and Flossie. Then back to bed.
7:00 A.M. – Awakened again by Torgo, who reminds me that I had said that the first meal of the day would be served at 7:00. I get up, but nobody gets fed this time!
7:05 A.M. – Noticed a trail of vomit leading down the hall into the living room. Got out the Resolve (both George Bush and I have lots of it) and the paper towels and the damp rags, and spend 20 minutes cleaning the carpet. Vow that nobody ever gets fed again!
Then I scoop out litter boxes, refill water bowls, feed the fish, and hand feed the dogs their kibble. (Flossie has developed “dog in the manger syndrome,” and if I put out bowls of food, she won’t eat anything, but instead obsessively tries to guard both bowls from Yodie, or any other pet that might within a foot of them. I’m sure this behavior serves as a potent metaphor for something or other from the current political scene, but I’m too tired to say what.)
After I get tired of the hand feeding, I put little piles of kibble in strategic places around the house (hey, it’s what a book on dog training recommended). Tibby eats some kibble, but Yodie and Flossie tell me that their doctor has insisted that they eat only canned cat food.
9:00 – Call the vet’s office in an effort to make an appointment for Zigra, who has another abscess on his neck. I noticed the lump Saturday afternoon (right after the vet’s office closed, of course), and spent my weekend putting hot packs on it. The abscess burst last night in a colorful explosion of blood and pus, which my carpet conveniently absorbed. (Like I said, I have lots of Resolve.)
The receptionist says there are no openings until Wednesday. When I relate the details of the exploding lumps, with their attendant blood and pus, she gives me an appointment this afternoon. However, it’s at their other location (the one that isn’t five minutes from my home.)
9:30-12:30 – Pick up various material (dog toys, chewed-up green apples, poop, etc.) from the back yard, and then mow the lawn. Take a shower. Get out of the bathroom to find a pile of chewed-up wood on the carpet. Near the detrius are the most likely suspects, Yodie and Flossie, but they swear they are innocent, and insist that the terrorist moth was the real culprit. Spend a few minutes trying to decide what the wood came from (A piece from a chair? A leg from a bookshelf? Part of the wall?). Give up, and pick up larger pieces, and then vacuum, to the consternation of all.
Eat a granola bar. Share same with two dogs after they inform me that they are in immediate danger of starvation, even though the little piles of kibble remain untouched.
12:30 P.M. – Stalk Zigra, capture him, throw him in the cat carrier, and make the 20-minute trek to the vet’s. There is loud wailing all during the drive, most of it from the cat.
1:00 – And we’re back at the vet’s office, where we dropped $140 just 6 days ago! (Although I told the other animals that Flossie got to go to the vet’s and get tutored, she actually got spayed.) Anyway, after a short wait, Zigra’s wound is cleaned, shaved, and squirted with antibiotic, and we are good to go.
Since this is the second time Zigra has had an abscess on his neck, everyone asks me if he is some kind of feline thug who goes around town picking fights. I tell them that actually he is a very submissive cat who offers up his neck to anyone who might be interested in biting it. While I’ve often seen Jet Jaguar, Yodie, and Flossie with their mouths on his neck (to demonstrate their dominance, I assume), I’ve never observed them apply any pressure, or him exhibit any signs of discomfort — he just gets a soggy neck. But I guess a tooth could have accidentally punctured his flesh. Or, since he has recently discovered if he goes to the spot in my fence which connects with the neighbor’s chain link fence, he can climb the links to freedom, he could have re-encountered the little orange tom from two houses down who gave him his previous bite wound.
In any case, since each of these little incidents ends up costing me $90, he has got to quit getting bit on the neck!
2:00 – Return home to find shards of plastic, cardboard, and metal all over the floor. Yes, the dogs have eaten a CD. (I know that it was Flossie and Yodie, as they are still chewing when I walk in the door.) Since it was a CD I had forgotten I even owned (the soundtrack to The Craft), I don’t shed any tears, but I do swear a little as I clean up the mess. The dogs tell me that they are sorry, but since (a) I took the cat for a ride in the car while leaving them behind; and (b) I forgot to give them a chew treat before departing, they had no choice but to relieve their sense of abandonment and boredom by destroying some of my personal property. I see the logic of their position, and promise them that they can go for a ride to the vet’s really soon.
Then I give the dogs each a delicious chew treat, and go to change my clothes, which are covered with cat hair. (It’s a proven fact that cats shed about 100 times their normal rate while at the vet’s.)
2:15 – Emerge from my bedroom to find Flossie chewing a clod of dirt, which she found outside and brought onto the living room carpet to enjoy. As I vacuum, I repent for having implied that it was wrong of Meghan Cox Gurdon to have several mixed drinks every afternoon.
And so it goes.
But seriously, my pets are great, and I love them. Just not today.
15 Responses to “Pet Swamp”late to the party as per usual for me but one thing i’ve learnt about my kitties: never, but never feed ‘em wet food in the morning. i dig sleeping late and them being accustomed to their fave wet food first thing in the AM just ruins my sleeping w/the constaint wails of ‘feed me! NOW!’ (despite the dry food always in the bowls but totally disdained in the morning).
i fucked up and totally forgot about this when i decided to share my life w/Hunter. my bad–he’s worse than Peter was (RIP) as Hunter, when getting no response at about 5AM every morning, fucking jumps my ass and wails in my ear.
mission accomplished: i’m dead to the world as i trudge to the kitchen to give The Important One what he wants WHEN he wants it. but that’s most kitties for ya, as you very well know.
ps, thanks for letting me rave on this. and i wouldn’t trade Hunter for the world.