I ask you, have you ever had one of those days when you realize pretty early on you probably should have stayed in bed longer? Or maybe not gotten up at all?It started with my dog Skip needing to pee at 3:17 a.m. He still can’t figure out how to go through the new dog door. What can I say? He’s no Einstein. So I follow him downstairs, push the door open and then go back to bed.
Repeat the routine at 5:23 a.m. so Skip can poop.
Moments later, as I’m drifting off to sleep, I hear gagging. My dog Callie is either bulimic or has swallowed something she shouldn’t have.
Once I’m certain she’s not dying, I fall back into slumber watching the TV program, Sunday Morning. At about 7:00 a.m. I hear something downstairs, but ignore it. I figure Penny, the cat I’m pet sitting, has bumped something in my office where she’s sleeping.
By 8:00 a.m. I’m dressed and downstairs, not ready to start the day, but what can you do? I head for the garage where Buddy, a 20-year-old neighborhood cat, is snoozing on blankets and a pet heating pad. After feeding him, I head for the kitchen to feed the rest of my brood.
As I’m plating Penny’s food, the phone rings, so I answer it. When I turn back moments later, I see that Penny’s bowl on the counter is licked clean. Turns out Nellie, my Greyhound, couldn’t resist the temptation. (I keep forgetting how tall she is!)
So once again I fill Penny’s food bowl then take it to my office to feed her. As I step in, I notice she isn’t waiting for me at the door. Instead, there’s a gaping hole in the window screen and Penny has vanished.
Turns out last night I’d inadvertently left the window ajar for fresh air and forgot to close it. With her sharp claws, Penny managed to tear open the screen and was probably now halfway to Nevada. Panic set in. What would my friend say? What if I can’t find Penny? Where could she be?
I run outside and swiftly comb the neighborhood, calling her name. Buddy follows me for blocks, but he isn’t much help searching.
After I come up sans Penny, I jump in my car and drive up and down the streets, asking people on their morning walk if they spotted a Maine Coon. I even call the Humane Society. While searching neighbors’ bushes, I call friends to lament my stupidity.I head home with a plan to inundate my community with Lost Cat flyers. No doorstep or telephone pole will be without one.
Moments later, back in the family room, I find a little surprise. Turns out Skip actually did have to poop at 5:23 a.m. but not in the backyard, as I’d thought. I guess he preferred the spot next to the sofa, where I found it.
I then trip on Callie as I head to clean up the mess, narrowly escaping a face plant and probable broken body part. As I bring Penny her long-overdue breakfast, my toe catches the top of the baby gate I use to keep the dogs from that part of the house. Naturally, I lose my balance, flinging stinky fish-based cat food on my hallway wall and new carpet.
Now don’t get me wrong; even though the central theme of my misery today has been animal-related, the pleasure they usually bring me greatly overshadows the grief. Does that sound convincing? Anyway, let’s just pretend none of this ever happened and start again, shall we? The day can only get better from here.
I’d like to retract that last sentence. Get this: Callie just ran through the living room with a roll of toilet paper stuffed in her mouth. A 5-foot section, like the tail of a kite, flowed behind her. Skip and Nellie, barking madly, followed in high pursuit.
I believe I can safely say I was mistaken about the day getting better.