This Missus is out of town for a few days, actually an unknown number of days, on another mission of mercy, caring for a relative with recent surgery. We don't call her Saint Ruth for nothin'. Naturally, the entire household is out of sorts, our precious routines shot to hell. The cats, all of them, are walking around with glazed eyes, knowing full well that things just aren't right. The dog spends his every waking moment staring at the front door, ears pricked for the sound of a Honda coming up the driveway.
It's not that I don't know what to do with all this livestock. After all, I have a list of instructions, carefully thought out, typed in an easy-to- read font with large black letters, to show exactly what I should do from day to day, including any animal emergencies that might pop up. An example of such an emergency would be the disappearance of a cat for more than oh, 30 minutes. In such a case, my instructions read: Go to both the front and back doors, and in a loud voice, yell "KITTY, KITTY, KITTY. Thank God, that crisis hasn't happened yet.
There's the medications of course, the eye drops for the yellow cat and the Rymadil for the dog. Did you know that cats hate having someone stick gook in their eyes? I do now.
Naturally, the whole crew is off their feed; nobody's eating like they normally do. Bowls of uneaten pet food sit everywhere. There's Friskies Seafood Dinner in the kitchen and bathroom (each cat has it's own private dining area you see) while the shredded tuna and turkey and giblets await in the laundry room and on the patio. Maybe the Missus throws that perfectly good food away after a day or two, but I'm thinking along the lines of "eat it or die".
I'm also told to supply fresh water every day. I did that. Well, every other day maybe.
But then you have the dirtiest duty of all, the litter box or in our case, boxes, as in plural. Morning AND night, twice a day, (and in between if the need arises say the instructions) that's the cleaning schedule. What a way to start a day, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee mingling with the stench of a litter box. There's nothing quite like the smell of cat shit in the morning.
At this point I'm more than ready to join the dog in his vigil at the front door and listen for that Honda coming up the drive.