I want you to keep that image in your head. We'll be coming back to it.
I'd love to say that the day started out well, but it didn't really. Today is day two of my pipe-replacement journey, and for the second day, I woke up at 8 am. Now, for those of you who don't know, I am a night owl, and I tend to be up working until at least 2am. Most often, I'm up until 3. So before you get all judgy and play the tiniest violin in the world for me, realize what that means--it means only 5-6 hours of sleep, at the most. If you get up at 6 am, imagine having to get up at 3am, and that's the equivalent. Yes, both nights I tried to go to sleep earlier, but I wasn't able to fall asleep earlier, and I just laid awake unable to fall asleep until it was actually farther past my bedtime than normal. So, to sum up, I'm a little sleep deprived. And I don't wake up well on a good day, when I've had plenty of sleep--I used to have a mug that said 'Just hand me my coffee and back slowly away.' You get the picture.
I got up, and prepped the house. What that means is, the dog has to be out in her dog run, and the cats have to go into a room with me, because 1) they can't be allowed outside, and 2) they'll get in the way of the workers. So I brought them into my 'office' with me, where I sat down to get some work done.
I was excited today because I was going to attend a webinar about writing. I made sure everything was all set up, I had my coffee, and I even had a cozy blanket wrapped around me. Ah, the benefits of working from home. Then the seminar started, and I began to listen. I think these things always start out slowly, which was good, because I hear the workers talking about how the stuff we ordered to put the bathroom into place again won't fit, and new stuff has to be reordered. I don't even have to know how or why, I just know it's going to be expensive. Ah, well, c'est la vie. You have to have working pipes, and that bathroom has to be reassembled afterwards.
I turned my attention back to the webinar, and ignored the chatter. Suddenly, the dog started to bark about something. I don't know what--maybe she saw a cat or a possom or a raccoon in the yard. Maybe some bird was taunting her. Maybe that episode of Cosmos she heard in the background the other day finally registered and she was suddenly hit with the vastness of our universe and the absurdity of life when seen from that context. Who knows.
The point is, she went nuts barking, and then, BAM! There's a huge crash against the side of the house. Perhaps it was the cat or possom or raccoon escaping. Perhaps it was a canine suicide attempt in the face of deep philosophical questions about why we're all on this planet.
Whatever it was, it scared the booboo-jeebies out of the cats, who all jumped simultaneously. Keep in mind that my cats are ninjas, and when they jump, they don't just jump--they leap up walls and furniture. So, when they jumped at the scary noise, the fear was reinforced by the sight of three other cats leaping around them in their peripheral vision. So they each understandably tried to run away from the other cats that were leaping and jumping around them.
Okay, now is when I want you to call in that visual of the Tasmanian Devil.
There were four cats, all trying to out-run each other, and all doing it up at the top of the room. From the top of one bookcase to another, off the lamp, off the top of the desk, banking off walls, off the top of the shoe rack hanging from the back of the door, all faster than the eye can see and the brain can register. Knocking everything down that was stupid enough to be in their path--pictures, printer paper, the shoe rack and all the shoes, small tchotchkes, magazines, my phone, and most important of all: my beloved Starbucks mocha.
I waited for a few seconds assuming they'd each find a spot of sanctuary to hide behind, before realizing that nope, this tilt-a-whirl was self-sustaining. While each thought the other three were chasing them, they were gonna keep running. And leaping. And destroying.
I should probably mention that this is a pretty darn small room, and I am sitting in (roughly) the middle of it, while four cats are dashing around my head at hyperspeed, claws extended, freaking out. And all I know is that if I move a muscle, I'm most likely going to be shredded. Or peed on. Or both.
Let's pause for a moment to do a little math. Each cat has four paws, each of which has five claws. There are four cats. Four times four times five = eighty. 80 claws, all whirling around my head. I've never been so glad in my whole life not to own any polydactyl cats.
I have no idea why I thought this would work. In retrospect, it was probably a fairly stupid thing to do, but you know how it is at the spur of the moment. I put my hands up and said sternly, in a loud voice just below a yell: CALM. DOWN.
And they did.
Holy crap, they actually did.
They each went to their metaphorical corners. I looked at them, and they looked out at me with accusatory faces, like I'd been the cause of the whole thing, and I owed them an apology. They looked around, and I swear if they'd been able to speak, they would have said "Damn, what a huge mess! You better get to cleaning this up!"
And they did have a point, so I got to cleaning. I sopped up the mocha, started picking up all the things they'd knocked over, and realized that one of them had voided their bladder while in flight. There was a series of little puddles all around the edge of the room, like the trail of bread that Hansel & Gretel laid down to find their way back home, but only if it was incredibly disgusting and led directly to the depths of hell. For the next half hour, I fell in love all over again with my old friend, the Lysol spray can.
After that, I pried one of the cats off the far corner of the bookcase where he'd tried to become one with the wall, and attempted to bring him out of his dissociative fugue state with a can of his favorite yummy noms. Bupkis. He stared at me like I was the devil and he wanted to shred my face. He is still, at this very moment. It's very disconcerting.
What's the moral of the story? I believe it's this:
Thank goodness the webinar was free.
© Michelle M. Chouinard 2014 All rights reserved.