Whenever my husband leaves on business all hell breaks loose. I am always at the center of the storm but unlike hurricanes my storm center is not still and quiet. My center is a huge ball of stress that deprives me of sleep, sensible nutrition and most of all…quality writing time.
It started when Chauncie showed up holding her leg against her chest and steamrolled downhill from there. Chauncie has recently discovered a way onto the roof. How she gets up and how she gets down is a mystery. The first thing I thought was, of course, she broke her leg.
Chauncie has been with me for about 3 years but only in recent weeks has given in to my constant efforts to touch her. Not pick her up; touch her. I fretted a bit about getting her into a cat carrier, but she must have been one hurtin’ pup—uh, kitty because she let me move her. Turns out, she had a caustic burn on her paw, the leg after shaved showed it purple and swollen with a puncture wound. Since Chauncie ain’t talkin’ it will forever remain a mystery as to what happened. However, she could not be released until her leg healed so she had to be caged…in my sunroom…because…the morning I took Chauncie in, I grabbed another stray. I didn’t plan to grab JayJay but there she was, glowing with motherhood and my sanity left me. However the vet was short-staffed and could not give her an ‘operation’ until Thursday. It was Monday.
I put JayJay in the cat apartment in a roomy cage with a bed and litter box. She's never been indoors before, plus she’s never used a litter box. So she pees in the bed, ruining it. I pitched it out and gave her a mat with the blanket she used outdoors. Since JayJay now has the cat apartment, and the baby pool I use for a litter box, I had to create two additional boxes in the hall and dragged two cat trees out as well so the boys wouldn't riot. Meanwhile JayJay's yowls inspired me to release her into the room so she could stretch her legs. No. She wanted outside. I assured her life as an unwed mother will complicate not only her life, but mine too.
Keeping two outside cats in my home with several cynical males and one ultra territorial Queen tested my sanity. I forgot to mention I have begun cooking for my cats and removed dry kibble. I lost two cats to kidney disease; I have two obese cats, one asthmatic, one diabetic; one with FUS. No more kibble! This means I am accosted by six cats every time they see me--especially Nicholas, who at 20# is eight pounds overweight. Nick tries to run me down and trip me as I walk through the kitchen. Cries, hisses, yowls--demands for never-ending banquets prepared to their own particular tastes--drove me to the sanctuary that is my office. Behind closed doors I turned up the music and lost myself in my private writing world…only to be constantly interrupted by someone shaking the door, wanting in or tattling on someone else, accompanied by screams and sounds of gut punches and low kicks to the groin.
Thursday morning I took JayJay in for her ‘operation’. I had run out of cat food so I had a lengthy stop at the grocery store. I also had a noon hair appointment (noting my stress Hope offered me a big ol’ glass of wine; I guzzled gratefully) and then had to run back to vet to grab JayJay who would be recuperating with me for 7-10 days. I repeat. SEVEN to TEN DAYS. Schnit! As I pulled out of my garage my van made an odd sound that had me getting out to see I had a flat. Double schnit!
I text my husband in La La Land… Should I call AAA or what? Do not text—call me. I am driving. I set out for the vet about 15 minutes away. So what does hubby do? He texts me. Questions. I ignore him. I get to the vet to find the reception room chaotic and crowded. Joyce spots me in the crowd. She’s checking people out and can’t wave me through. Dr. Joe then sees me in the crowd. He grabs JayJay and brings her out for me, to which I’m very thankful. You’re probably wondering why would I expect preferential treatment? Why would I expect to be waved ahead of all the others? Ha! You’ve no idea how many times a month I’m at the vet or how much I spend monthly let alone yearly. My vet in Jacksonville was able to buy a four-wheeler and put an addition on the clinic because of what I spend. Yep. I’ve become accustomed to animal clinics knowing me by name on sight and waving me through.
Back to my issue. I’m on my way home with JayJay when again hubby texts. So did they fix the flat yet? It’s been perhaps 45 minutes. Get real, bucko! I ignore him. This time he calls. Poor guy. He can’t get a word in edgewise. I finally stop ranting to grab a breath and he asks if I’d like him to call AAA for me. YES! Back in the cat apartment JayJay shows me her operation scar and swollen nipples. She can’t have food that night but I bring her a treat around nine just as AAA shows up. I am so ready for that day to end, but it’s close to ten when I finally remember I never ate all day.
Friday. I’m finally able to sit at my computer for a nice chunk of time. It’s a beautiful day, the sun is shining, the birds are singing; my cats are getting along and I have the windows open for everyone to enjoy the fresh air. I’m thoroughly absorbed in my editing when I hear a feline conversation over my shoulder. I turn to see Opie sitting in the window talking to Peaches who is on the other side. My office is on the second story. Holy mocha!
Peaches discovered Chauncie’s mysterious access to the roof. Something inside me turns mean. "You got up there, sister, you can get down." I ignore her cries to come in through the window. Meanwhile Opie is pawing the screen, filled with admiration and yearns to run wild and free with his girlfriend. I close the window and shoo Opie out. Peaches disappears. Good. She’s figuring out how to get down.
Anyone who knows me knows it is impossible for me to ignore the situation. Soon I’m in the driveway watching Peaches amble along the roof, looking for a way down. She’s at the peak, half way into a hole. I shriek! God knows where that leads and she could end up inside the living room walls…to which I would move out. I would pack a bag, my lap top and leave. Hubby would kill me anyway. Best I just give it all up and go. I call her, and thankfully she leaves the hole to come. She stands on the edge of the roof and makes a motion to JUMP! I scream NO! I’m eying a ladder, wondering if a stay in a hospital with a broken spine wouldn’t be better for me than just leaving. Thinking of someone waiting on me instead of me waiting on them…boy it was tempting.
I return to my office, yank open the window. Peaches is there waiting. It takes me ten minutes to figure out how to open the screen…I had to do some idiotic thing to the window, pulling it toward me and then the screen pops. Peaches is ready to climb in, but the window is slippery. I grab her and pull her in. And grab Opie before he goes out.
The next morning I had a deadly surge of insanity and tried to grab YumYum, yet another pregnant stray--a Siamese, if you can believe that! YumYum has been on the road awhile and is clearly not charmed by me like JayJay is. She left me a couple bloody scars and the knowledge she did not appreciate being handled As she is a hit or miss kind of stray, I never know when I’ll see her, it saddens me to know she will be bigger next time I try to grab her.
Then I asked Chauncie how her leg was feeling. She held her paw against her chest. It was the wrong paw. Sorry sister, but your stay at the Kozlowski Ritz is over. I shoo her outside. She shoos back in and leads me on a merry chase around the kitchen and sunroom.
That evening I brought JayJay out of the cat apartment to hang out with me on the sofa. She was sick of her own company and I gave in. A couple of the boys came by and weren’t all that surprised to see me hanging out with a new cat. They’re pretty much used to my insanity. However when Peaches came over to investigate, she smacked JayJay’s face. Peaches likes being the only Queen Bee, obviously.
Later that night, I stood on the lawn gazing at the full moon glowing orange in the night sky. It made sense then, seeing that full moon, and recalling the chaos I’d endured all week. A friend once said she thought my life with the cats would make for a funny reality TV series. To which I made a rude hand gesture and crossed her off my Christmas card list. You cannot understand where I’ve been unless you’ve spent the day by my side scooping litter.
Just hearing what my week was like should make you all very glad you are not me. Now take pity and buy my book. Click the cover photo and buy. Go on. Shoo!
Peace and Love! Kim