So I’ve been MIA for a while. My dad called me yesterday to report that my brother is MIA out in Texas. Not to worry – he’s not a missing person yet. He just forgot he has parents. It’s okay. I mean, we were all 22 and in college once. Parents just don’t exist until you’re out of money. I told Dad to withdraw his latest deposit and wait for the call. He laughed. I wasn’t kidding. (Sorry Matt – I feel obligated to contribute to your personal growth in some way. After all, I can’t just stop at reminding you to remove that bong picture from Facebook.)
Anyway, life in Merry-Land is plugging away. I’ve been consumed by housework, school work, kids’ homework, physical therapy work, and work-work. And when I’m not doing all that, my life is shit.
When I’m not cleaning the litterbox, which is perpetually filled with shit that the cat seems compelled to leave unburied – you know, in case I forget to clean it, the smell emanating from it will remind me – I’ve been cleaning up the aftermath of his eating too fast and vomiting his breakfast back up in the bowl. This would occur approximately once a week. And once I’ve cleaned it up, he’s standing next to me, meowing for a refill. I’ve stopped giving him the canned food every day, especially after spying him sleeping on the windowsill, his pot belly hanging over the side like a hairy 50-year-old man asleep on the couch with a beer gut.
Meanwhile back in dogville, Pi has been having runny diarrhea on and off for a while, and there was one week in particular where every time she went out I’d have to carry her to the wash tub to hose off her ass. Ava almost missed the bus one morning because I had to wash the dog off. The piece d’resistance… Sabra came in that very same week with a massive cliffhanger that I deferred to Todd. At that point, I was already so over dog poop.
And then I’ve been cleaning up the occasional piles of vomit – strategically tossed not on the easy-to-clean-up hardwood floor, but on the small tan area rug. Sabra, the crazy brown poodle, managed to eat some non-toxic acrylic paint Todd had been using, and puked up a stunning black stain on the opposite side of the same rug. I’ve treated it twice now, and the best I can hope for is a stain resembling a spilled ash tray. Brand new rug 6 months ago – now a doghouse paradise.
Pi, the aforementioned stool-challenged poodle, has been having difficulty holding her bowels for more than 3 hours inside the house, presenting us with the dilemma of either canceling any plans requiring us to be out longer than a typical movie or cleaning up piles of loose bowel material. And I, the eternal germ-a-phobe, have undertaken the thankless task of emptying paper towel rolls and containers of Clorox wipes in an effort to head off my well-meaning husband before he smears it around with a wet mop. And, really, I felt sorry for the dog, as it was clear by the connect-the-dot pattern across the floor that she was desperately trying NOT to do it.
And, not to be left out, my kids invariably have clogged their toilet at least once a week, at which time I leave my veterinary tech position to become Patsy Plumber, with my handy-dandy plunger. And the toilet from hell refuses to clear until I have flushed it a dozen times and worked that rubber tool until my rotator cuff sings.
My life. Is. Shit.
We took Pi to the vet on Monday, for the obvious reasons. The vet found a large mass that required removal and exploratory surgery, including a hysterectomy (she was bred and had never been spayed). $1300 later and the mass turned out to be an enlarged ovary that was encroaching on her bowel and intestinal tract, and subsequently the nearby organs had begun to adhere to the mass and took the vet an hour to separate. She is recovering at home now, high on painkillers and sedatives, looking stylish in a lovely opaque “Elizabethan collar.” Seriously, that’s what the bill says. No Cone of Shame here… it’s the regal collar. And I, her nursemaid, am charged with guiding her cone through doorways and carrying her down the stairs of the back deck to the yard for toileting. And already the next day, I took her out and she finally had her first solid poop in I don’t know how long. I felt like a new mom! I was so excited, I called Todd. And then I called my mom. Everybody was happy.
Until yesterday. After a wonderful weekend of short excursions and impromptu work nights off to spend with the hubs, including a night at the casino where I won $80, we finished our weekend with a lovely Sunday brunch to celebrate my mother-in-law’s birthday. A leisurely drive home in the Mustang with a casual stop to indulge Todd in the pleasures of Harbor Freight, where I scored a new spade and an electric fly swatter, and home to care for our invalid and her nutty brown daughter (who I think needs the sedatives more than she does). All was going well. Beautiful sunshine-y day, strapped the leash on Pi and let Sabra out first – because she hasto be first, and will go over or underPi to get there, no matter what the cost.
Anyway, our tenant had her little foo foo dogs out in the yard. After a brief sniffing session, I tried to drag Pi away to do her business but Sabra kept running in circles around us, trying to paw my legs while YoDude (seriously, that is his name) scampered around her, barking at all of us like a miniature furry Napolean. Pi finally peed. I waited a bit longer, hoping YoDude would tire of us and move on and that maybe she might have to fertilize the grass.
Meanwhile, Sabra refused to leave my side even to pee, and she is very much a spoiled child at needing my attention NOW when I’m in the yard with them. So Pi just stood there staring out across the yard, which I took to be either drug-induced euphoria or simply just having no more business to attend to if I wouldn’t let her run. SO, I scooped up the bag of bones that is Pi, started up the stairs as Sabra flung herself onto the stairs like she was being chased by zombies, and took them both inside. Pi appeared comfortable to lie down and so I went about some household chores, including vacuuming.
And there, on the other side of the coffee table, in front of the fireplace, was a giant pile of …. poo. And no sign of anyone. No dogs. No Todd. Just. Me. And so, after I thanked God for hardwood floors, I pulled out my arsenal of paper towels, wipes, windex, and Lysol, and cursed the very existence of poo. The last two weeks have been wonderful days of sharing with friends and family, making Passover at home and having Greek Easter with my mom, dates with Todd, individual facetime with my kids, and time with my in-laws. But still, my life is shit.
Poo – I am SO over you.