Sunday, April 15, 2012

Home Alone (except for the cats)

You would think that rotator cuff surgery would get you a little TLC at home for more than a few weeks, but no. The Missus, aka Saint Ruth, is off on another mission of mercy, this time to care for one of her cronies with a more recent surgery, a hip replacement. Granted, the poor woman’s needs are greater than mine, understandable, but the bottom line is that I’m left to babysit the cats again. This is not a small task considering the tenderness that lingers around and about the shoulder area. Do I have your sympathy yet? No? Read on.

Let’s start by a review of the cat care instructions, printed out and prominently displayed on the kitchen table. Here they are, word for word. I shit you not.

Divide one can of cat food between all three. Water dish beside the fridge needs to be changed and fresh water put in each day. Blue gets a bedtime treat—it’s the “party bag” mix—give her several. Blue usually doesn’t show up for bedtime until late evening and she’s usually on the front porch. If she doesn’t show up before you go to bed, please put some dry food in a plastic bowl and leave it for her in the garage by her bed. If she sleeps in the utility room, turn on the night light. (yes a freakin’ night light… for a cat!)

Brat cat likes to drink her water out of the sink so fill the bathroom sink 1/3 full. (At last count, there was a minimum of three water bowls conveniently located throughout the household.)

You get the picture now? Cat care at the humble abode is not a simple task. I get a call from the Saint around nine last night before the severe storms were due to rumble in.

“Are all the cats in the house and safe?”

“Um, not exactly.”

“What? What’s wrong?”

“Blue is still unaccounted for. I called it. No reply. I’m not gonna worry about it.”

“But bad weather is coming. I’d really feel better if all of them were inside.”

“Okay, I’ll take one more look outside before I go to bed.”

There was additional pleading for a thorough search of the grounds. I mumbled something about yeah sure, and hung up.

But as I was shutting down for the night, right on cue, the gray cat called Blue appears on the doorstep. I try to grab her, she runs, only to run head on into her life-long antagonist, the Brat Cat. The chase was on. Crap! Now I can’t find Blue. Why do I care? Because Blue is the cat with the irregular bladder control problem. Blue is confined to solitary whenever she is in the house. Now I’m on my hands and bad knee, still nursing my sore shoulder, and shining a flashlight under the bed and all other known hidey places for cats (cue sympathy music). No Blue. I start isolating rooms, shutting doors to contain the damage (I was reminded of the watertight doors on the Titanic). After several minutes of searching and shouting profanities to all the cat people in the world that allow these creatures to breed, Blue was discovered crouched under the kitchen table whereupon she was unceremoniously thrown in her cell for the night.

I was so pissed that I deliberately didn’t turn on her night light. That’ll show her.

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