We had a lovely day at the store. Apart from the breakage. This week's total? About $65. Or more. I'll find out after I get back from the lamp repair. Usually Josie is very good at not wrecking things at the store where we work Wednesdays through Fridays (On Thursdays my in-laws take care of her at our house for the afternoon). I mean, I'm really good at keeping her from damaging the merchandise. She has a long nap in the middle of the day, and so it's really only keeping her busy for the first and last two hours of the day there, which are in part taken up by our lunch and snacks, books and play-doh and various doodle-thingys. But the damage this week? All my fault. I was not careful about where I put things, and so a mirror fell off a wall and broke a lamp, a plant fell off a thingy and broke a vase, a giant letter R I put outside blew over in the wind and the "leg" part broke off...it was great that I worked Saturday and so that paid for my clumsiness. The boss actually never asks to be reimbursed for stuff like that, but I volunteer to do so, so that I have a clear conscience. But, well, I was in a bad mood, and I rushed things and I was careless, and I couldn't put my finger on why and I paid for it. And then...
Why is the cat mad and wet?
Why was I mad and wet?
Because we came home... And, well, would you please do me a favour now and go and get yourself a barf bag? Right now. I mean it.
While dinner was cooking, Steve and I sat around the dining room table having some of the last of our lovely American beers. Josie was puttering around across the room, and oh, what a cosy family picture it was - the two adults relaxing after their long workdays, sharing stories and smiling upon their lovely daughter...
The cat, all nice and friendly, snaked around my legs, sat up and meowed in a request to jump onto my lap. So, seeing as I'd just had a hit from the old inhaler, a snootful of beer, and I was glad to see him doing something other than ankle biting, I encouraged him. I gave him a few ear scratches and chin rubs, and patted around his chest as he sat there purring. I sniffed, and thought "Something doesn't smell too fresh around here." Perhaps it was a diaper, or perhaps my dear husband cut one. I thought it would pass. But it lingered. I absentmindedly stroked Boo Boo, who was now standing, while thinking about the different base and top notes of the odour (Was it perhaps the avocado and dried apricot snack, or was it just as likely a previously enjoyed Burrito Boys lunch?) wondering who to blame; and ran my hand from the top of Boo's head, down his back, and as I got to his tail, I kind of circled it with my fingers in a way I know generally makes a man...I mean cat...happy. And, despite the fact that my brain was just barley registering something along the lines of "Why would a cat's tail be wet?", I did it again. And because...well, because one cannot help but want to confirm that the awful suspicion that what just happened really and truly and irrevocably did happen: with the rest of my body frozen in horror, my hand slowly moved to my nose and I gave my finger the gentlest sniff, as if only to inhale the two molecules of scent needed to confirm that oh yes, he did.
And then, with complete and utter horror, I shrieked. I GAAAHH'd. I retched. I flung him far from me, and ran around in a hand fluttering sissy dance of BLEEEAAAAAGGGGHHHH I TOUCHED CAT POOP!!!!!!!!!!
For you see, Boo Boo's tail was slick with it.
After I ran upstairs and tore off my clothes, scoured myself and anything I'd touched, and ran down the basement to wash everything immediately with everything in my cleaning supply closet that said disinfectant (including a small bottle of Listerine in my vacation travel pack) - he had the nerve to come and check me out, like, "Why the cleaning frenzy, Mar?".
So I grabbed him, front and back legs like a piglet on a spit, and then realized "Shit, I can't turn the water on without letting one end go." Thankfully, Steve came down with Josephine, explaining that I'd scared her with my freakdance and that she wanted to know what Mama was doing. So I made him turn on the water, and Boo Boo had a wee bath. We didn't hear from him for the rest of the night.
Now, some of you have cats. You will of course, have already realized, "Marla, you silly person. That can't be all - he's a CAT."
No, no, it's not all. (You didn't dispose of that barf bag already, did you?)
Because it wasn't until the next morning that Steve looked at my pillow and said...awwwww, I don't have to say it. You're already hurling. Yes, I slept on a pillow with cat diarrhea on it. (Which one of you just commented that you love my life?)
And, I know it couldn't have been anything but. For you see, Boo Boo's tail is bent at the top. I've mentioned it before, I know. And there on my pillow, was the faintest, barest whisper of a shadow of that shape...along with a few curdles of poo, just so there was no doubt. Hey, it was late, dark, and we were tired. So, on Saturday morning, more scrubbing, more laundry. Because, although anyone would be grossed by poo in such proximity, I personally have a poo thing. I know lots about fecal matter, because whereas some people have a chicken juice phobia, some get skeeved by nails on chalkboard - I see fecal matter everywhere. This from a person whose daughter had a leaky diaper that left a circle of poop on the leg of my jeans in front of one guest this past Tuesday; and on the previous Tuesday in front of another friend, reached down the front of her pants and clawed up a handful of poo that she'd spent ten minutes denying - both prompting hose-downs and clothing changes not just in an attempt to show our company that we are CLEAN PEOPLE but more because poo on one thing ends up on other things. It's a law of nature. So, that begs for the thought - exactly how long has it been since he'd had that rectal explosion, and where has he been since then. Just kill me now.
Extra laundry means extra trips up and down the stairs. Which gives Boo Boo more opportunities to attack. He waits on the back of the chair near the banister at the top of the basement stairs, and either jumps on my head or on the basket of laundry as I come up. Sometimes, I deke him out, walking upstairs as if I can't see him. And then, I turn at the last minute, and he plummets to the floor. I can't help but gloat just a little - I mean, I know he'll just get me another time, but if one doesn't win a few small scratch-off lotteries, one will not keep buying tickets for the big draw, correctamundo?
What does all of this behaviour point to? I'll tell you. Steve's mother confirmed it. The feral colony that Boo Boo came from has more than a few Siamese cats in it. The larger ears, bent tip of the tail, the pointed face, the yowling, the pouncing? Boo Boo is not only part Siamese, he is directly derived from these two:
Which is my transition to this point: Josephine received a Lady the Tramp DVD as one of her birthday presents, and do I have to say it? One of the best parts of parenthood is revisiting your childhood. I. LOVE. This. Movie. It is nearly perfect. Not only is the story great - but now with all of the extras! As an adult, to now know who Peggy Lee was and love her stuff, to be stroked with those extra clips and to "get" her full contribution to the movie. To know that one of my favourite children's illustrators, Mary Blair, among others, worked on the storyboards. OY! But, to have this pleasure enhanced by watching your darling toddler sing "Me are Si-ma-me-eeese if you pee-ease" and to ask for me to play Peg singing "He's a Tramp" again and again ("He's a tamp, but my uh-ove heem")...THE PUDDLE! THE PUDDLE MY HEART IS IN EVERY TIME!
Saturday (got nothing catchy here):
In Saturday morning's news, I baked cupcakes again, and yup:
It's old hat now - I fully expect my cereal to give me the finger tomorrow morning.
I had a lovely day working by myself at the store, and tried not to be too gleeful when Josephine pulled every toddler trick in the book on Steve. His thoughts of "I will dress her in cool clothes and take her to the guitar shop and we'll just hop on and off the street car and we'll eat French fries and have fun and this will be the kind of day I've always dreamed of with my darling beautiful daughter and everyone will admire us and I will look back upon this and draw upon its thrillingness with deep satisfaction for years to come." were thwarted by a shirt-drenching poop, a desire to finger paint (and nothing else would do), and my favourite thing: when she says, "I'm tired. I need a nap." and she goes upstairs to her bed, snuggles down, makes like she's going to sleep - just long enough for you to get hopeful - and just when you start thinking of the beer you're going to pour and the sites you're going to surf or laundry to be folded or whatever stuff's been waiting to be done - she pops up with three times the energy that she had before and you realize that not only will she not nap right then, but possibly not for the rest of the day - and it happens repeatedly for an hour or more, just to wear you down to a nub. In fact, if you look at my last nerve these days, it's smaller than the rubber bristle on a gum massager.
Sunday, bloody Sunday:
Which is why today, when the same thing was happening again with naptime despite Steve's having taken her to the park for over an hour mid-morning and a great lunch after; I horrified Steve who had just dismissed someone who'd knocked on our door soliciting support for their candidate in the election by bringing a disheveled and very cranky Josephine out to the porch, and yelling after the shlumpy twenty-something dude who was already slinking off half a block away "THANKS FOR WAKING UP MY DAUGHTER!". But no, that did not get the frustration out of my system. I was compelled to write this note and leave it on the door in case any other canvassers thought they'd be welcome to check in on us to see if they could count on our votes:
Steve is okay with it (oh yes, it's still there). See, I think that certain information is private, despite all that I reveal via blogging or after three or five bourbons with friends. And I've read that canvassing for votes doesn't accomplish anything other than giving the appearance of a well-run campaign. So I say, unless you're leaving me a free bust of Elvis, fuck right off.
After that, I had to get out of the house. Somehow I thought that Josie might nap in the car (hahahaha) or that her cranky self would be more bearable in larger confines. Since Josephine has taken to complaining about her pajamas (okay, sweat pants and shirts) saying they're "dirty" or just that she wants them off for some reason (although I have noticed her pulling the legs down - they've gotten a little skimpy after a whopping what...three months of wear), I decided that a giant Old Navy store in the nosebleed North would be a great place to venture in desperate attempt to kill time before dinner. I'd buy a pack or two of pj's, it's big enough for her move around a bit and there are usually so many kids in that shopping plaza that she probably won't be the worst-behaved child there. Well, whatever happened (and it wasn't pretty)...her baby rat stuffed animal was lost. Now, there is a second baby rat in the rat family - but coming home and having to tell these two that one of their daughters was probably gone forever?
Broke. My. Heart. Another day I'll go into my thoughts on stuffies, and their purpose and value and a whole lot of stuff that takes up way too many of my brain cells. Seriously, I'm a little teary. I mean, if, as I thought when I was little, these guys do have little lives a la Velveteen Rabbit when we're away, then it's just too awful to think about. We lost one of Mommy and Daddy Rat's BABIES. I drove back to the store, I left an illustrated note, I wandered the aisles with Josephine who was pitifully calling "Baby At, Baby At, Wheah ah oooo?". You know what happened, don't you? Someone's kid took it. Every employee in the store was asked, the Lost and Found dumped. I crawled under racks. What are the chances that some parent will say to their kid "Where did you get that? We have to return it! Some little sweet child will be missing it!" and make the trek? Nil, I'm sure. We live in a horrible world sometimes. Why do I care? It's not like it's her dearest stuffed animal friend - it's just that this one had the appearanace of belonging to two parental stuffed animals. Hits close to home.
See, Josie LOVES playing this game called "What's Your Name?" with her toys. It's really just a game where they do stuff and it's whatever she wants it to be...but she starts it by asking us "I want to play What's Yooah Nayme." and then we wait for her to clue us in as to what direction to take it in. Any of her guys will do, but the rat family is ideal. She often uses them to act out our family situations, like "Daddy Rat has lint in his bellybutton." and "Mommy Rat lights matches in the bathroom." and "Don't run away from Mommy Rat, Baby Rat - oo might det huht." Because there are two baby rats, and she doesn't really get what siblings are, one is usually left out anyway. So she still has a family unit that resembles ours to play with, but I am still, rather surprisingly, devastated that this happened.
Hence, the long post and the uneasy conscience tonight. Which accounts for the liberal application of this:
My secret stash of Cadbury Mini-Eggs, Smarties to bribe Josie with (and eat), 70% dark chocolate for extreme emergencies, bunny chocolates I bought from a Rabbit rescue (Buy chocolate bunnies as Easter presents - not real ones!) and I think some Hershey's kisses from a birthday party grab bag. Wait...what was that? In the lower corner? Let's pan out just a bit...yes, it is what you think it is.
But let's pull back a little further...
Aaaah...yes. That would explain the rather morbid post. In part. But you know, the cat poo counts for a lot. It's going to take me a long time to get over that.