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Sunday, August 22, 2010

CAT-tastrophe


Free to ANY home: 3 cats who will systematically and methodically destroy your home; will deliver with full month's supply of prescription food, expensive litter, and a fancy water bowl. Will throw in hair on your sofa and hairballs on your floor for free. No returns allowed.

I hate Marty's cats. Yes, I know hate is a strong word, and what kind of person really hates cute, furry cats? ME.

As Marty so often reminds me, I knew the cats were part of the deal when I married him. True. But, at the time, I didn't have 2 babies to take care of or to worry about.

Yesterday, I was released on good behavior to go outside to do the trimming. After throwing the weed eater across the yard because it wouldn't start, I decided to come inside to cool off before going to the store to buy a trimmer I can actually start on my own.

Marty was in his office, attempting to vacuum a week's worth of cat litter and hair off the rug. I decided to take over because at least I knew I could operate the vacuum. I sent him to deal with the evil weed eater. Bad idea.

I should have left him in there to deal with the mess. Calling the room an "office" is a misnomer. It is a cat house--an expensive, oversized cat house. Maybe not even a house--more like a cat poop room because it holds their 3 litter boxes. A house would imply that they stay in there, but no, they sleep anywhere but in there--usually on my couch or my rug or my pillows. No, in their posh bathroom, they kick out litter all over what was once a nice rug. Yes, I have tried bigger litter boxes. If the things were any bigger they would need steps. Then there's the food bowl they knock over, sending little kibbles all over the place, most commonly under a desk or cabinet, making it twice as hard to use the vacuum attachment to clean it up. Oh, I almost forgot the dust. Even though we use the expensive litter that is supposed to attract them to the boxes (since one of them likes to pee in other places), it still isn't dustless. Add another chore to the list. Note to self--Add a dust mask to the TO BUY list.

You may be thinking that this is really Marty's problem. After all, he's the one who has to work in there. Well, yes and no. First, I am convinced he's going to catch some nasty cat-bourne disease. I need him healthy to feed and provide for babies. Furthermore, I do use the closet in that room for my work stuff as well as the desktop computer for printing. I shouldn't have to done a protective suit and mask to enter a room in my own home. And, their nastiness extends beyond their palatial bathroom that I resentfully work to pay for.

Outside of the office, they leave their calling cards everywhere. Hair on the furniture, on the floor, on the rugs, on my clothes, and now on the baby stuff... I should own stock in those sticky roller thingees and Swiffer cloths. Adding to the stress is the fact that I am mildly OCD, so now I obsessively try to hide and cover all things that the babies use that the cats might contaminate. I can't leave their playmat out or their bobby pillows unsupervised. These cats are drawn to the forbidden. Like a radar-driven missile, they will hone in on the one thing I don't want them to lay on.

Since someone reading this blog might be eating, I won't go into great detail about the hairballs that I have to clean up. Let's just say it adds another chore to my list, and it strikes fear in my heart as I think about my babies eventually crawling around on the floor.

While I was pregnant, I went to war against the cats, and I made some strides. I was in the middle of nesting, fueled by raging hormones, when I came downstairs to find that one of them had peed on my new recliner and my canvas bag. Yes, it was not lost on me that they chose MY things. Then, unprovoked, one of them bit my foot. Sure, my foot did look like a sausage, but that doesn't give a cat the right to chomp on it. I threatened to hire a housekeeper. I looked up the numbers for no-kill shelters. I bought a baby gate to keep them from going upstairs. I've been meaning to buy a gun-- a water gun-- to shoot them when I catch them on a counter. I've just been using the closest thing I can find to throw at them for now. Before you call Animal Protection, no cats have been hurt--yet.

Judge me if you will. But, first, walk a mile in my cat-hair covered shoes. I am trying to take care of two babies and all that entails while keeping the house sanitary enough for human habitation. I am also a new mom, wary of any toxin that might harm my children. I am weak from the cat fight, yet I keep going, because like a lioness protecting her cubs, I must protect my babies.

As an added insult and challenge, I will put on my cat-hair covered black dress pants and return to work in a week. I work so we can afford to keep the cats in the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed. I will drive away from the hair balls, worrying not only if my children will forget me while I am gone, but also if they will accidentally ingest some cat by-product or be eaten by some over-zealous cat. And when I get home from a long day's work, after loving on my babies, I will begin cleaning again.

That is, unless someone wants to take me up on the "free to any home" offer...

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