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Molly Wens

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Member Since: Aug, 2009

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The Kid, The Cat and The Dog
By Molly Wens
Tuesday, November 30, 2010

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A day in the life of an author/mom/wife/animal wrangler/worker drone.

Sounds like the title of a bad Eastwood parody, huh? Well, if Clint Eastwood had been here, he would have been no match for this mother-turned-psycho.

The kitty learned a new trick today. I had been warned this sort of thing could happen, but I scoffed at it. “Not my cat,” I said with a laugh. “He hates the new puppy.”
Of course, it might have been hatred that prompted the cat to pull the stunt. Maybe he was hoping to get the puppy in trouble. It worked, but it also backfired on the cat when I caught him in the act.
It all started when I arrived home after work. For the first time in weeks, the day at the Cube Farm had been relaxed, so I was in a pretty good mood when I left. The minute I walked in the door, I snagged the leash and made a big fuss about taking Lucy, our four-month-old Bichon, for a walk. Lucy danced and barked excitedly, her little tail swishing back and forth like a wicked blade intent upon bodily harm. 
We took our usual route, around the corner and down the cul de sac. Lucy loves to crap in John’s yard so, hoping to get the proper outcome of our little walk, we headed there straight away. Apparently, she was feeling constipated. Great.
I kept her outside until my hands began to stiffen and freeze. She still hadn’t urinated, so I had to suppose she had taken care of business on my carpeting—again. With a sigh, I dragged her unwilling carcass back toward the house. She was on the trail of something and was determined to follow her nose to its conclusion. My couch was calling me, though, and I was determined to go in. It’s amazing how much strength five pounds of white fluff can have. 
Deciding to take a shortcut through the back yard, I discovered what scent the pup must have picked up. My opinion is that it must have been raccoons, judging from the amount of damage to the contents of our garbage cans. There was a mess of trash all over the yard. Sigh.
Once I got the dog wrestled back into the house, my husband was informed of the mess. He joined me in the back yard for some neighborhood beautification before I finally got the chance to sit down and relax. Yuck, what a mess.
Just as my backside hit the couch, I remembered I needed to get some laundry done or my child would be going to school in her PJ’s in the morning. Dang it! She had just got out of the shower, so there would be no hot water left, but I prefer to wash in cold, so it didn’t matter. Ah, but the dryer was full of my husband’s shirts and the washer was full of the load I did the night before. With a sigh, I took a step back—right into a fresh pile of dog poop. Okay, so the dog’s not constipated after all.
After muttering a string of oaths, I peeled off my knee-high, tossed it in the trash and went in search of my daughter. What I found was a wet bathroom floor. I yelled, told her to clean up the dog crap in the laundry room and wipe up her mess in the bathroom. Like most eight-year-olds, she pondered these instructions until I rolled my eyes heavenward and stomped off. 
It was in my bedroom that I discovered my cat’s new trick. Mr. Fuzzball, the world’s longest and most neurotic cat, pushed my husband’s half-gallon sized drinking vessel off the table for the dog to get into. The happy pooch bounced joyously through the puddle of tea and ice, snatching up cubes and tossing them in the air. It was my feral bellow that brought my daughter running. I barked orders, “Get the shampooer, mop up the bathroom and clean up the dog s%$t!”
The poor kid went running for the shampooer, distracted by her father in the front room who demanded to know what was happening. With the enthusiasm only a child possesses, she launched into a fanciful and animated tale of what was going on in the rear of the house while I collected scattered ice cubes. Where was my shampooer?
I found it blocking the hallway, halfway in the closet, right where she had left it. “Shampooer!” I yelled, followed by, “Focus, girl.”
She dragged it in, admonishing her little puppy the entire way. The dog’s tail swished dangerously, her little tongue lolling while she panted happily. The cat watched all this from the safety of the bed, where little Lucy couldn’t harass him. I swear he as grinning malevolently.
Then I walked to the bathroom to fill the shampooer tank. When my bare feet hit the wet floor, I almost went down. I jumped back from the room, was just preparing to yell at the kid when I saw the dog peeing on the carpet, not two feet from where I stood. 
I was drawing perilously close to the edge. There was a crash in the back of the house as I scooped the little pee bag up and deposited her on the piddle pad. I counted to ten. I did a quick yoga breathing exercise. I cursed vehemently. 
Releasing the mutt, I went in search of the latest disaster. With a glance through the bathroom door, I found my child hurriedly sopping up the mess in front of the bathroom entrance with one of my guest towels. 
Breathe. Roll eyes. Find new mess.
Mr. Fuzzball was nowhere to be found, but the lovely urn my aunt had given me was in about twelve pieces. I’m beginning to hate the cat.
Hands on hips, head hanging down, breathe.
With that mess disposed of, I tried to remember what I was to do next. I heard a bellow from my husband in the direction of the laundry room. Oh yeah. Dog messes.
I barked more orders, demanding, for the fourth time, that my daughter clean up the dog poop and urine. She was watching TV. The set was switched off. She opened her mouth to protest, but something in my expression silenced her. Maybe it was looking into the desperate eyes of a woman on the edge, or maybe she could feel the spanking that was headed her way. In any case, she jumped up in search of toilet paper to clean up her puppy’s mess and was staying well-clear of my reach.
Deep breath. What was I doing? Oh, shampooer.
I found the tank in the hall where I left it and headed for the bathroom. The entrance was dry, but the rest of the floor was covered in pools of water. What the hell? The rug was soaked. There were several towels lying about and the tub was full of toys, wet washcloths and various bottles of hair care products. 
The shriek I let loose bordered on that of a woman possessed. “How many times to I have to tell you to close the shower curtain? Have you lost your mind? No wonder the water bill is so high. Get in here and clean up...”
The tirade lasted several minutes until I started to hear my mother’s voice coming out of my mouth. Stop, breathe, picture a peaceful place.
The dog was howling, the cat was yowling, the kid was cowering and the husband was hiding in the garage. With the tank finally filled, I managed to get the tea cleaned up. I went over and over the spot, but it had set too long and there’s a permanent dark stain on my once-cream colored carpet. 
As I was putting the machine away, I stepped on another ice cube. The resulting surprise caused me to bite my tongue. 
Whiskey, I decided. Lots and lots of whiskey. After finding my husband in the garage (his hands in the air as if to ward off an attack) I asked him to kindly go supervise the daughter while I took a breath. He started to mumble something he hoped would be supportive, but a glance from my fuming eyes stopped him short.
“Sure, hon,” he said as he carefully squeezed between me and the car.
With a beaker of whiskey and a splash of Coke, I finally got to sit down. I’d been home almost two hours by then, but the laundry was going, Lucy was confined to her crate, Mr. Fuzzball’s eyes could be seen peeping from behind the couch and the husband had explained to our child she needed to remain absolutely silent for a little while. Then he disappeared into his man-cave. 
Soothing jazz in my ears, house quiet, second mug of booze—I think my family might just survive—but the jury’s still out.

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