August 18, 2011

Of elder rage, cat crap, and fisticuffs

I've had my suspicions, but it was confirmed today that everything and everyone on God's green earth is engaged in a conspiracy to prevent me from being relaxed and well-rested, thereby robbing me of the little youth and sanity I have left.  Seemingly unrelated incidents occur at regular intervals, perpetrated by both living beings and inanimate objects.  It's enough to make an already paranoid girl start considering life in a bunker.

Today's bombardment started this morning at the unholy hour of 7:30am.  "7:30 isn't early," you say.  "Why, by 7:30 I've showered, fed my family a home-cooked breakfast, run 3 miles, and done 2 loads of laundry!"  To you I say, Shut up and make me some coffee because you are now my personal slave

Anyhoo, neigh on half past seven, I was happily dreaming about chocolate and beady earrings or somesuch, when I was jerked to awareness by a loud, insistent WAHHHHHN! sound.  I surveyed my surroundings via the bedroom window, but the perpetrator could not be identified.  No sooner had I drifted back to dreamland, than I was again awakened, this time by the ring of my cell phone.  It was the animal shelter's veterinary clinic calling to tell me that my grandma's cat was scheduled for a microchipping appointment this morning.  I informed the perky human alarm clock that we'd been told that the new cat was already microchipped, and that I was certain that we made no such appointment as I never would've agreed to a cat drop-off time in the very middle of my night's sleep.  "It's okay," she informed me.  "I was just calling to tell you that we are out of microchips.  Please have your grandma call us on Monday to see if we have more in."

As you might recall, waking me up with a phone call is a declaration of war in my book.

The day went downhill from there.  At a homeschool-related event, Nature Boy got into his third-ever fist fight.  (But one of the three fights was purely self-defense, so that doesn't count.  And the other one was a smackdown with Shrinky Dink's eldest, so that doesn't count either.)  So let me rephrase:  Nature Boy got into his FIRST-EVER fist fight today.  But it wasn't his fault-ish.  According to my perfect angel, a boy he's never met before kept harassing him, repeatedly coming up behind him and slamming him on the shoulders and yelling, "HEY!!!!" in his ear.  (Have to say, I think fists would be flying if someone was doing that to me too, but I digress.)

Nature Boy and Can't-Keep-Hands-To-Self (his Indian name) happened to go to the bathroom at the same time.  According to my son, this kid pushed him out of the way to try to beat him to the last available urinal.  Not to be out-peed, Nature Boy got there first and set about his task.  While Nature Boy was in this vulnerable position, the boy slammed his back twice more (to which my husband Tree Guy says he would have simply turned around and spread the "wealth").  My son finished up, turned around, and did a slam payback.  (The fault-ish part.)  This did not go over well with Octopus Boy.  Apparently he started swinging, which prompted Nature Boy to throw up his karate block.  When the other boy tried to kick him, Nature Boy blocked with one arm and punched him in the stomach with the other. 

The other boy's story is completely different, of course.  His version is that he'd been merely tapping my son lightly, and that someone must have bumped into him on the way to the urinal, inadvertently pushing him into my son.  Then someone else must have slammed my son on the shoulders whilst he peed, and unfortunately Fingers Mancini was blamed instead.  (He was framed.)  Next thing you know, my son whacked him in misdirected retribution.

Now I know these things happen with boys from time to time.  And of course they are both going to have a different recollection of events.  I was okay with this fact until the other mom involved said, "Well, my son is the one who got punched in the stomach," and, "That doesn't sound like something my son would do."  Mmmkay.

I like this mom otherwise, so I will let it pass.  It's annoying is all I'm saying. 

Later, Nature Boy and I headed over to my grandma's to bring her some groceries and eat lunch with her in her retirement community's dining room.  The meal began with the usual overt staring and whispers from the "Old Heifers", as my grandma calls them.  (The Old Heifers are a group of crabby old ladies who sit together at every meal and stare and make rude comments about others via stage whispers.  They tap each other and turn, as a group, to look at visitors with disapproval.  Your hopeful smile is repaid with angry grimaces.  It's just how they roll.  More about the Old Heifers in a future post.) 

Lunch proceeded normally, but it ended with the senior version of bumper cars.  A sweet old lady at the table next to ours mistakenly grabbed the wrong walker.  The walker's true owner yelled out, "Hey!  HEY!  That's MY walker!  You leave that right here because I NEED it!"  I got up to rescue the woman and joked, "So you've resorted to 'car' theft, have you?"  "Apparently so," she replied.  The woman proceeded to attempt to walker-jack the mode of transport of several other residents enduring, "HEY!  THAT'S MY WALKER!" all the while.  I tried to help her find her walker (it was black, she said) to no avail.  I looked for room numbers and name tags on the remaining walkers until one Old Heifer yelled at me: "HEY!  DON'T TOUCH THAT!  THAT'S MINE!"  Surely by now every grey hair in the place knew I was helping the poor walkerless woman find her walker, so the uproar was unnecessary.  I told the cranky senior-turned-toddler that if she wanted to keep that walker, she best get to walkin', 'cause we were in serious need of mobility aids UP IN HERE!

Disclaimer:  Before somebody calls Adult Protective Services on me, I want to clarify that the Old Heifer knew I was kidding with her.  I know this because she didn't run away.  I mean, if she thought I was serious, she surely woulda hotfooted it out of there, right? 

The Case of the Missing Walker was finally solved when there WERE no other possible walkers.  The walker in question was the only walker left.  And it was BLUE.  Risking life and limb, I pushed the lone walker to the woman and asked if it was hers.  "No," she replied. "I don't use a walker."


Come to find out, the little old lady wasn't looking for her walker, she was looking for her friend's walker.  That's why she didn't know what color it was.  Crisis averted.

After all the old folk drama, we decided to head up to my grandma's room to visit this new cat of hers.  He's a 7 year old white and cream cat, front-declawed as we discovered today.  He's super affectionate--exactly the kind of companionship my grandma needs.  However.  When I got there, he had no food or water in his bowls and the closet that's set aside for his loo was like one giant litter box.  He didn't poo on the floor, mind, but my grandma obviously hadn't scooped said poop all week.  I could not believe the amount of scat that cat begat.  The cat's scat smelled like a sewage vat.  (Dr. Seuss tangent!)

As Shrinky Dink well knows (because I cat-sit for her), I do not enjoy cleaning up after cats.  I'm a dog person through and through.  The scent of cat poo and pee makes me dry heave.  For real.  I needed a small shovel to clean up the poop closet.  Then I had to vacuum up all the extra litter that my grandma's cat felt the need to shovel out hither and yon.  All she has is a tiny stick vac, and it was not up to the task.  I had to empty that sucker 5 times before I got most of the litter cleaned up.  I couldn't get into the corners because the vacuum has no crevice attachment and I sure as Jello wasn't gonna get on my hands and knees and scrape up the errant granules.  (Not even for you, Meemaw.)

All in all, I spent 2 hours cleaning up the place only to be told at approximately 119 minutes in that my grandma's housekeeper hadn't been coming in to clean.  AHA!  No wonder it was so dirty.  Imma tell you right now, it was not the day to be found slacking on the housekeeping duties, y'all.  I got my sweaty self to the phone and called the manager.  He bodily tracked down the cleaning lady (bless him) and discovered that my grandma's apartment had been scheduled to be cleaned on Monday.  I took 5 bags of trash out that mofo, so there had been nary a housekeeper in there for a long time.  And that's what my grandma told me.  She said the housekeeper never comes.  I thought she was just forgetting, what with the dementia and all.  But now I think she's right.  The manager told me the housekeeper would come to my grandma's apartment shortly, so I left the dirty dishes and headed to the pet store for auto-feeders for the cat's food and water, as well as a litter box with a lid.  Finally, Nature Boy and I headed home.  

As soon as I reached the blessed coolness of our house (because our one working car doesn't have air conditioning), I laid down for a nap.  And I swear, a stupid FLY kept waking me up buzzing around my ears.  (Conspiracy!)  Then Tree Guy called to tell me that he was on his way home.  And immediately after we hung up, my grandma called me in tears saying she couldn't find her d#*% cat!  (She lives on the 3rd floor, y'all.  The cat's not going anywhere.)  I gave her a few more places to look and we hung up.  She called back a few minutes later to say that she found him in her closet.  Sigh.        

Tree Guy got home from work and being the wonderful, supportive wife that I am, I proceeded to tell him about my hellish day.  And he had The Nerve to balk at my assertion that people shouldn't be calling me at 8am.  He criticized my "night owlish" schedule.  (As if that's the problem.)  Right or wrong, I said, "Tree Guy, do you REALLY want to be starting stuff with me right now?  Are you SURE it's in your best interest?  I have been yelled at, shat upon, and lied to all in one day.  I suggest you just listen--silently."  He rolled his eyes and replied, "Whatever."  (He stopped the yapping though.  And he cooked dinner.  I'm just saying.) 

The rest of the evening went smoothly.  Until I called my grandma to remind her to take her bedtime medicines and she informed me that the housekeeper never did stop by today. 

Tomorrow?  It's on.


  1. Tree Guy and Michael should compare notes on "When To Safely Comment".

    Oh, Housekeeper and Manager..I feel sorry for you.
    You don't mess with the grandmas.

  2. What a day! I'm with ya on the early phone call thing!

  3. That walker story cracked me up! When I have a walker I also hope to have a hot pink one, which I will label.

    I completely think Nature Boy was justified.

    And, you are so nice to clean up most of the cat mess. I think I might have tried to give away the cat.

    What a day!

  4. Yes, walker identification should follow along the lines of luggage ID. It needs to be something ridiculously bright and gaudy to differentiate it from all the plain vanilla walkers. Maybe with a racing flag attached to the handle or something. I taped a giant red gift bow to the "handlebars" of my grandma's walker. And I am proud to say that there have been no walker-jacking attempts.