Dawns mother had surgery recently. So, Dawn, being a good daughter, decided to help her mother during her recovery time. Ten days in Wisconsin while I stayed home and cared for the pets was not something I was looking forward to. What follows is a daily account of my time alone with the animals.
Took Dawn to the airport. Visited ex-wife and son in Richmond Virginia. Returned home following day. Cats unhappy. Litter boxes relatively clean. Easy job scooping. Rather painless.
Noticed that none of the cats slept with me. Strange. Normally they pile on the bed and I have to wrestle around for space to sleep.
Cleaned litter boxes. Much gagging. Someone poops big like a human. Better check what they are eating.
Cats fighting in the Zen room. Everyone wants to lay on Dawns pillows. Stanley, Dora, and Sampson seem to have won the right to lay there for the time being.
Cleaned litter boxes. Meditated before hand. Useless. Still gagged. Puked in mouth a little bit.
Forgot to feed cats. Sampson tried to pull all of the vents out of the floor and Chloe tore a hole in the wall paper by the food dishes.
Cleaned litter boxes. Chloe joined me for bedtime cuddles.
Chloe was the only cat who slept in the bed last night. Got up and saw every cat sleeping in the places where Dawn sits. Obviously they miss her.
Bear is screaming up a storm! I thought he might have impaled himself on something. Ran into the hall to find Bear and Bobcat pacing back and forth across the hall. Offered them cat toys and cuddles. They won't go near me.
Tension in air. Something is going to jump off soon. Better be careful.
Cleaned litter boxes. Found tinsel in poop. Where the hell did they get tinsel???
Couldn't find source of tinsel.
Let Milton out. He ran down the hall to the Zen room and slept on Dawn's pillows. Tried to play with him. He buzzed and thumped his hind feet at me and ran away.
Jasper ran out of the house. Picked him up in the yard and he bit me. Damn cat!
Bear paces up and down the hallway screaming. Everyone try's to ignore him.
Made pork chops, fried potatoes and corn. The cats love that meal. No one joined me. Everyone was M.I.A. the whole time I cooked. Chloe came for a few bites of pork toward the end of supper.
Missing Dawn like crazy.
Don't want to clean litter boxes on a full stomach. I'll leave them till tomorrow.
Early Tuesday Morning 2:00 AM
Severe shrieking and howling in the front room. Bolted out of bed to find all the cats looking out the windows and at the front door. Expected intruders. Turned on outside lights and looked out windows. Nothing. Returned to bed. On way back to bedroom Jasper ran up behind me and bit me in the back of the knee. Damn cat!
Early Tuesday Morning 2:30 AM
Chloe is under the bed growling up a storm. She sounds like a didgeridoo. Got up to see what was going on. Looked under the bed to find Chloe, Sampson, and Stanley in a Mexican Stand-Off. Tried to break it up only to get scratched and hissed at.
Screw 'em. I'm going in the guest bed.
Screaming under guest room bed. Got up, went in master bedroom and closed door. I'll let them fight it out in the hall.
I will never ever let the cat boxes go overnight without cleaning. It looked like they were trying to make small mud huts in there. Did they save it up just for this occasion? How can such small animals make such incredible structures????
Silver and blue tinsel in litter boxes. They must have a secret stash of tinsel somewhere.
Forgot to feed cats this morning. Came out of office to find five sets of eyes staring at me. When I got into the kitchen there was a new hole tore in the wallpaper next to the bowls.
Made lunch. Let Milton out. Got bit in the ankle by Milton. Realized I hadn't refilled his Timothy hay from yesterday. He is spoiled, he gets fresh Timothy hay every day. Far be it from me to miss a day and expect to go 24 hours without being accosted.
Went grocery shopping. Returned home to find a potted plant turned over in the kitchen. Looks like they took turns running and sliding through the dirt. Spent half hour cleaning kitchen. Forgot about groceries on kitchen table. Someone tore into the beef roast and someone else has an odd fascination with onions. Had to squeeze an entire loaf of bread into a Tupperware bowl because someone chewed through the bag. Whole pork chop missing from family pack. Searched entire house. Can't find it.
Spent majority of day at library and coffee shop. Scared to go home.
Finally got up the nerve to go home. Entered front door slowly. Nothing out of place. Air is thick with tension. Something is going to go horribly wrong because whenever I look at a cat they stop moving. Then the next thing I know they are closer to me like the Weeping Angels of Doctor Who fame.
Woke to the sound of someone wretching. It was worse than the sound of a hairball so I got up to investigate. Found Bear on top of the stereo cabinet making violent heaving gyrations and noises. Suddenly he chucked up a waterfall of liquid directly onto Sampson who was standing below him wondering what was happening. Samson didn't take it well, he bolted into the kitchen and scared Stanley who was probably in there walking on the counters when he isn't supposed to. As quickly as Sampson entered the kitchen Stanley shot out, slipped in the vomit on the floor and puffed up with a Christmas tree tail. Instead of running down the hall toward me he turned and ran up the pile of pillows next to the lamp in the far side of the livingroom. Where he was expecting to go is beyond me. When he reached the top of the pile both the lamp and the pillows came crashing down. This terrified the remaining cats in the living room. Everywhere I looked there was a cat running for its life and they all were puffy with Christmas tree tails.
As quickly as it happened it was over. Complete silence fell across the house. Then softly, like a whisper, the smell of cat vomit met my nose.
Found Sampson and Stanley under the guest bed. Thank God for hardwood floors. Extracted them from under the bed and wiped them off with a warm wash cloth. Sparked up the steam cleaner and cleaned under guest bed. Found 38 cents.
Steam cleaned living room floor. Heard cats fighting in Zen room. Went to investigate. Jasper and Sampson knocked over my coffee cup. Steam cleaned Zen room floor. Found 90 cents. What are the cats saving up for?
Went to corner. Bought twelve pack of beer. Returned home. Locked myself in bedroom. Forgot that I would have to venture back into the main part of the house if I wanted another beer. Screw drinking. I'm safe in here with the door closed.
Scratching at door. Looked to see two sets of paws poking out from under the door. Almost broke down and let cats in. Feel like prisoner in my own house.
Crawled out bedroom window. Had to sneak in back door to get twelve pack out of extra fridge. Couldn't climb back in bedroom window because screen slammed shut and latched. I must look like a complete idiot climbing out of windows and swinging a twelve pack around the yard.
Front door locked. Neighbor saw me. Asks if everything is OK. Tell him "No, I'm hiding from my cats." He looks at me like I've lost my mind. Offer him a beer. He turns and goes back in his house.
Sneak in back door. Tiptoe to bedroom with twelve pack. Bedroom door locked. Overcome with shame. Sit in hall and drink two beers. Cats come for cuddles and pets. I know its just a matter of time before they kill me.
I'm still alive. I feel like someone poured death and hot garbage in my stomach. Head spinning.
Never ever ever clean litter boxes with a hang over.
Went back to bed. Woke to the sound of something crashing in the kitchen. Rolled over and wept softly. Cried myself to sleep. Woke to the sound of screeching and howling. Pulled covers over my head.
Woke up to go to the bathroom and shower.
Went back to bed.
Took out garbage, cleaned litter boxes, made stew. Only one more day until Dawn comes home.
Up early cleaning house. Want everything perfect for Dawn when she gets back. Cats work against me all day long. Knock over cleaning products. Puddles of Mr. Clean on bathroom floor. Knock over Ajax. Green powdered footprints all over kitchen and living room.
Sit down for a break. Bear knocks coffee cup onto laptop. My litany of curses scares cats into parts unknown. Close all bedroom doors. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! Now they can stay locked in there until I go to pick up Dawn!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!
Pick up Dawn at airport. Had wonderful ride home. Get home. Forgot to let cats out of bedrooms. Push past Dawn to get into house first. Let cats out. Dawn sees me opening the last bedroom door. She says, "Oh, I would have just locked them in the mudroom with the litter boxes and put the food and water in there for them if they were giving you a hard time."
Solitary silver tear wells up in right eye. Slides down cheek. Nerves shot. Glad wife is home.
Dawn sees holes in wallpaper and scolds me. Cleans litter boxes and sees tinsel in poop and scolds me. Finds a dozen empty beer cans in the recycling and scolds me. Finds kitchen plant on back deck half dead and scolds me. Finds sharp bone from missing pork chop under kitchen table and scolds me.
At that point I simply wrapped her in my arms and gave her a great big kiss and a hug. As I stood there holding her I mouthed the words, "Just wait, your day is coming!" to the cats. Then one by one we drifted back toward the bedroom and settled in for the night. And yes, everyone piled on the bed for cuddles.