What’s so great about pets, anyway? I have three of the feline persuasion. It is now 5 a.m. and Smokey has woken me up for the second time tonight wanting to go outside. We have a cat door, but she won’t use it. So outside it is – Outside as in dig-in-the-dirt. Like a latrine, you know? I have never been a fan of litter boxes and unless there is an extreme circumstance as endless rain, I don’t use one. Well, of course, I don’t use one. I mean I don’t set one up for the cats. I truly do understand and sympathize with going outside in the rain to do your business. While “Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head” sounds cute in a song, I’m sure it doesn’t feel so all-fired cute when you’re actually out in it looking for some dry dirt. As I stumble to the door, trying not to wake up anymore than I have to, Smokey is using her demanding voice that tells me: “open the door or clean up the floor. ” And yes, I will be cleaning up the floor since somewhere in the middle of the night I heard that dreaded “Ugh, ugh, ugh” sound which presaged upchucking.
And now I’ve found it. Or it found me. My slipper just lived up to its name. It slipped. In something slippery, like cat erp. Yep. So now I have to switch on the light which is guaranteed to wake me all the way up. I slip off the slippers so as not to track this stuff all the way through the house, gingerly step over the mess and let the damn cat out! Does she apologize? Does she say “thank you?” she does not. She prances outside like a princess. “I deserve a raise!” I yell at her, and she replies with a flick of her tail.
Now I hobble in to the kitchen and pull a half dozen of my precious Coronavirus-rationed paper towels and spread the out over the mess. I’ll clean it up in the morning. Later in the morning, I mean.
But once I’ve opened the door, the jig is up. The other cats begin demanding their breakfast, so I stumble through the kitchen and start the morning ritual. Lop Ear gets fed first since he also gets his insulin shot. So feeding him, getting the shot ready and actually administering it before he finishes eating and sidles to the cat door keeps me moving. Now I’m pretty awake. I check the front door — no Smokey. I put the food in the dishes for Blackjack and Smokey and open the door one more time and start calling. Smokey finally saunters in, demanding treats. By this time I’m starting to get hungry myself and wishing someone would put my breakfast in a saucer on the floor. Or the table. Yeah, the table would be better. “No treats!” I tell her. “Eat your breakfast.” Of course she understands every word — NOT! But she knows what I mean. She sniffs delicately at the food like a connoisseur and then starts nibbling.
I finally make it back to bed barefoot having left the yucky slippers behind. These cats have no idea how much trouble they are. Especially now that the fibers in my lungs are spreading making it harder to breathe so walking from room-to-room is a chore. Bed! It’s only been 15 minutes, but I feel like I’ve been up for an hour. At least now that they’ve had their breakfast, they will leave me alone for awhile.
The next day I’m back on Chewy.com re-ordering their food. If I don’t send in my order now, goodness only know how long I’ll have to wait for the next cycle, and goodness knows I don’t want to do the 5:a.m. run to the 7-11 again. I hit the button that will send three trays of various chicken concoctions to my front door.
By the end of the week I’d finally got my slippers cleaned (quire an ordeal involving a bunch of paper towels, a throw away rag, the hose and the washing machine). I’d also scrubbed the floor so who would ever know? And by-the-way, why do they always do that right where they know I’m going to walk? Sometimes I really wonder why I put up with them.
Tonight after I’d filled their water dishes and made sure everyone had plenty of crunch (separate plates, please), I told them”I really don’t know why I bother. You are all just great big nuisances.” Blackjack jumped up on the bed quickly followed by Smokey. As I turned out the light, Smokey snuggled right next to me where I could feel her purring. Blackjack curled up on the pillow, put his head on my shoulder and his little paw rested on my arm as if to say, “It’s okay, Mom, we’re here for you.”
As the warm furry bodies snuggle next to me, making their little purrs and chirps, I feel the tension of the day drain away. Yeah, there are times I wonder what earthly good they are., but I remember now.
Goodnight, sweet kitties.