a blast from my past
Kitties for Christmas
It was a long weekend. Very long. It started on Wednesday. I was driving back into the city. Thru beautiful rolling hills at sunset. So, of course, I started thinking about my ex-girlfriend. The one I wasn’t supposed to call. Somehow, in the golden light, on the rolling hills, in jeep without a radio, and mind with not enough to do, it made sense to call. So, I did. Next thing I knew, we were making plans to have lunch. I was full of spit and vinegar before lunch. I had a list of things I was going to say. And I was wearing adorable shoes. Of course, I said none of the brilliant things that were sure to bring her running back to my arms. I returned to work and immediately locked myself in an empty office and cried.
So, I spent yet another evening on my couch, surrounded by my own emotional deritrus, and moped. Accompanied by a bottle of shiraz, a pack of cigarettes and HBO. Pathetic.
I did, however, come to one useful realization. When I’m down, I like for my house to be a mess. I find it somehow comforting for it to look like I feel. I sat on the couch and looked around. The house was a fucking dump. And my parents were coming in two days. I took another swig of wine and settled back into the couch to watch another episode of the Sopranos. Nothing like drama to take a girl out of her own tawdry head.
Christmas eve, I woke up and I was ready. Ready to take on the house, buy groceries and in general, prepare for the arrival of Sarah Ann and Richard (the parents). In other words. The house had to be spotless. But, first, I had to check on the cats. They had come home about two weeks ago, and immediately ran into a hole in the wall. In the past week, I had discovered that they had found their way into the ceiling. I felt like this might not be good. So, I set and baited two live traps. So far, they had avoided the traps. I figured eventually they’d get hungry and go in. I was beginning to forget what the cats looked like. It was kind of like having ghost cats. They ate. They used the litter box. They made noise in the ceiling. They made a hole in the ceiling. But I never saw them.
I opened the door to their room. And there, looking rather pissed, inside a trap was Ameila. I was ecstatic. After dancing a little jig, I opened the trap and prepared to carry her the five feet to the bathroom. Ameila was thrilled to be freed from the trap. And quickly decided that she wanted to go back to her safe, dark hole. I wasn’t having it. She followed international rules of engagement and responded with steadily increasing levels of aggression. First, she growled, then hissed, scratched, then a quick bite, then, the mother of all bites. I’m cussing and this little bitch has her teeth firmly attached to my finger. We end up with me holding her behind her head like she’s a snake, blood dripping on the floor and I manage to open the kittie carrier with my feet so I can manage to carry the whirling dervish the five feet to the bathroomwithout further injury. We make it.
I set the carrier on the bathroom floor, open the door to the carrier and dash out of the bathroom. I’m not completely stupid. Over my shoulder I see her dashing in the other direction, headed straight for behind the toilet. Luckily, I have another bathroom. So I don’t have to fear getting my ass attacked while I’m taking a shit.
I spend the rest of the day running around, getting ready for the grand arrival of the parents. I hate Christmas. Ever since I quit being Christian, it’s kind of lost its meaning. But, it’s a big deal for the parents. That probably has something to do with my dad being a pastor.
By late afternoon, my finger is swollen, tender and warm. Four different people, including the ex-girlfriend and the advice nurse at my HMO have told me to go to the doctor. I spent the next three hours at the urgent care getting a tetnus shot and antibiotics. And, for some reason, I turned down Tylenol with codeine. What the hell was I thinking? My parents were coming the next day. I was depressed as hell. My house was a mess. And my finger hurt like a mother fucker. What better time to be high? But I, in my infinite wisdom, said no, I could handle the pain. Fucking masochist.
The Christmas morning, my house looked much like it had the previous day. My finger was still so swollen I couldn’t bend it. My cat was still behind the toilet. And I was sitting on the couch, drinking a latte and smoking a cigarette when my phone rang. It was my parents. Their plans had changed and they were calling to tell me that they would be at my house in two hours; approximately four hours early.
I panicked. As I was scrambling around the house, trying to create some semblance of order, or at least get it to not look like a crazy person’s house, I realized that I was out of toilet paper. I dashed over to my friend Leigh’s house to borrow some. When I get home, I find that Cassie has eaten two loaves of bread and then peed on the floor. I needed that bread for two different recipies for Christmas dinner. I took a breath and called my parents, who were now in town and at the airport. I informed them that we would be having Chinese for dinner. About five minutes later, they called back. Their luggage was in Philadelphia and their rental car reservation was screwed up. I started laughing. And gave the fuck up. I told them that not only were we having take-out for dinner, but the house was a wreck and I wasn’t cleaning anymore. I was done.
Finally, they made it. We had a lovely dinner of steamed dumplings, moo shu and chocolate truffles with Leigh, her daughter Rory and Leigh’s girlfriend CJ. My parents were dismayed by my lack of glassware and forks. Hey, when a girl gets divorced, these things happen.
After Leigh, et. al. went home, Sherman, the other cat, stuck his head out of the ceiling. First we heard meowing. Then I saw his adorable little head peering out of the hole in the dining room ceiling. Next thing I know I’m standing on a chair, trying to feed him treats, while my parents stand on the floor, all of us making kittie noises and talking to him. Sherman has some neurological deficits. His cerebellum didn’t develop fully. So some things don’t work quite how you’d expect them to. Things like eating treats while hanging his head out of the ceiling. They kept falling out of his mouth. So he gave up on the treats and asked to be petted. So there I was, with his head sticking out of the ceiling, scratching his ears while he purred like a diesel engine. It was sweet. But we couldn’t stay like that forever, so I very carefully pulled one leg out, then the next, and while murmuring sweet things, pulled the rest of him out. It was like watching the ceiling give birth. Like Athena coming out of Zeus’ head. Except, it was a developmentally disabled cat coming out of a drop ceiling in a house with a rotting porch, into the arms of a depressed, single lesbian with a throbbing, infected finger and two parents standing by giving well meant, if rather obvious, advice. The little bugger clung to me and then was very happy to see his sister. She even came out of from behind the toilet to greet him. My parents and I ended up having a decent Christmas. They didn’t bitch about the house. They made Christmas dinner the next day and their luggage arrived. Leigh and CJ left a bag full of glasses from Pier One on my porch. My parents gave me a set of silverware. The swelling started to go down in my finger.So all in all, the weekend didn’t suck.
After all, I did get my kitties for Christmas. What could be better than that?