My husband and I are ridiculous animal lovers. We are aware that our pets outnumber us. If they should ever decide to mutiny, we will be screwed. And, to be honest, it's really my fault. When I met Jacob, he had a dog. Just one dog. Like a normal person.
I, on the other hand, had five cats. And one dog. Now, I will agree, five cats is kind of a lot. But really, it wasn't totally my fault. I had three when I was first living in my house way out in rural Stafford Springs. Tragedy struck one Memorial Day weekend when I allowed my indoor cats to have their daily treat of hanging out in the backyard. Usually about 20 minutes with my supervision. There was an email I wanted to read so I trusted them to stay in the yard as I was located on about three acres of open land so what could they possibly want with the road?
Apparently, they wanted something. And one of my babies, my beloved Harley, was killed by a murderous piece of scum who didn't even bother to slow down when he saw the trio of cats in the road. Two motorcycle riders saw it and pulled into my driveway. They were unspeakably kind and helped me until I got him back in the house where I then proceeded to completely lose my shit. My sister had to come over and Zanax me and sleep over. My ex was on a tour for the Air Force, we hadn't even lived in the house for a year. It was horrendous.
So, when about two weeks later a tiny, calico kitten appeared in my backyard...it was kind of strange. She spent a lot of time hanging out around Harley's gravestone. I noticed her playing near it several times. The first time I noticed her was, in fact, near the gravestone (yes, a real inscribed stone laid flat in the ground). The very next day the tiger lily edging it bloomed completely. You know I totally believe in signs and the universe and karma right? Well, now you do. I decided this kitten was meant to be mine and I would totally be able to woo her and make her mine.
The kitten did not receive that memo. She proved to be impossible to catch but she came out and hung around me every time I went outside all summer long. Cooking on the grill? Kitten time. Hanging out reading? Kitten. Mowing the lawn? Front row seat.
Just out of reach. I could get within a foot of her before she'd run away. We developed our own little language where I would copy her little "Meep! Meeep!" and make my own meeps when I was outside. I seriously treated this project like my summer job, dedicating hours almost every day.
A month and a half later, mid-August, slowly losing hope but still feeding her daily, I started to question if she would ever be an in-house kitty. A new problem was that raccoons had figured out there was delicious kitty food to be had at the buffet (aka my pool shed).
I adjusted the feeding schedule to just during the day to avoid kitten being eaten by raccoons.
With Labor Day looming I began to grow more bold in my efforts. One night I stood outside with my friend Emily holding pool skimmers as nets. Kitten was meeping, I was meeping, Emily was ready to pounce with the skimmer for at least an hour. I thought our teamwork was absolutely going to bring my success.
Um, an hour outside meeping in an area known to have yummy kitty food in it did not end as planned. While I had my back to the yard and meeped my heart out, I saw Emily freeze, skimmer held aloft.
"Stop Don't make another noise" said Emily. "You are surrounded."
"Turn around, the raccoons have answered your call."
Totally not believing her, I turned around ready to see nothing but my dark yard. However, she was telling the truth. There was a pack of baby raccoons (baby ones! squee!) running my way making the exact same sounds I had been making all night. There were at least five of them and although what I really wanted to do was pet them and snuggle them, Emily (shockingly) was not down with that. She charged them with the pool skimmer held out like some sort of shield device and ran into the house, dragging me inside with her. I'm pretty sure there was a lecture regarding why petting baby raccoons is not okay and also why we had to give up on the kitten quest for the evening. Because you know, mommy raccoons are probably not as nice as baby ones.
Although I deeply enjoyed by my wildlife experience I gave up. For that night at least. Later that week, I was hanging out with my Uncle Kenny. He had been my savior that summer turning my pool from a horrible swamp filled with tadpoles and opaque brown/green water into a sparkling blue lagoon. He had also been with me in my attempts at capture. He suggested that instead of chasing the kitten, maybe I should lure her into my mudroom with food. Just leave a plate of kitty food (during the day, no raccoons allowed in the house) and watch the mudroom.
Zoe all grown up!
After nearly three months of meeping and hunting kitten she was caught in approximately 30 minutes with virtually zero effort on my part.
Anyway, that's how I went from two cats to three again. Or it would have been if I hadn't given up on yard kitten and gotten a new kitten from the Humane Society. So, yeah, I meant to get one new kitty but...I got two in one summer. About a year and a half later while driving to work on a main road I saw what I thought was a squirrel struggling on the side of the road and even being rolled over by a truck without getting hit. When I realized it was a kitten I did what any animal lover would do - I pulled over and captured that kitten! She was way easier than outside kitten, now named Zoe. I would totally find her a home no problem!
Um, yeah..my home.
So you see, my pets really are like, my furry children. 99% of the time they bring us nothing but love and fun. Yes, litter boxes suck my will to live and the dogs bark at nothing no less than 37 times a day. And having a puppy, like a real baby puppy who was 10 weeks old when we got him, is a new and mostly awesome experience. He's six months old now and just gets cuter all the time. Which is kind of necessary because puppies do bad things. He's totally chewed up my favorite pair of shoes along with anything else he's come into contact with. But this week, he really had a tough time.
I don't know if anyone else in the world has ever experienced what this puppy has pulled on us this week. It started last Sunday morning when as I was getting out of bed in the morning he let loose, straight up doggy poop on the bed. Under my covers and on the sheets. We chalked it up to a freak event and maybe he'd been having tummy trouble.
We went to bed Sunday night fully believing such an incident could never happen again. Until I was awoken Monday morning by the puppy, Shamus, trying to get me up faster. I kind of ignored him and closed my eyes again. Mistake. Big mistake. I was aware he was trying to get Jacob's attention by standing on his chest...whatevs...the next words I hear are,
Jacob: "Hun what is he doing?"
Me: "Nothing, I don't know..."
Jacob: Hun?! HUN!? HE'S DOING IT! HE'S SHITTING ON ME!! OHMYGOD HE'S DOING IT!!"
(Jacob then flung the pup to the end of the bed.)
Jacob: "GET IT OFF ME!"
Leaping into action I grabbed a wad of Kleenex from the bedside table and flung myself around the bed to Jacob where I spotted an actual poopy on his neck. I lunged to grab it but in the excitement and with all the shrieking (not mine) my aim was off. And...I kind of squished it, leading to Jacob "OH MY GOD YOU MADE IT WORSE!"
"OH GOD! I'M SORRY! WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON??!!"
He leapt out of bed and into the shower. I did not see him again until at least 30 minutes later.
Then, "Hun, why did you make it worse?"
"I panicked. There was a lot going on. Yelling and all three dogs jumping around, I just...I failed you on that one."
See? He's fine. And he is very sorry about "the incident."
"Shit yeah you did. That was awful."
Don't worry, Shamus is fine. He did receive some yelling and some time in solitary confinement. He didn't even complain. He knew what he did. Needless to say, we won't be adding any more pets to the herd anytime soon.