September 6, 2007

JB and I used to sleep with both the cat and the dog piled on the bed with us, a situation that sounds about as attractive to me now as inviting several Himalayan yaks to snuggle under the covers. It’s not that I love their pea-headed, useless selves any less, but I’ve come to prefer the sensation of a fur-free mouth, and the absence of someone repeatedly licking their reproductive parts within five inches of my head. (JB only wishes he could do this.)

Cat is hardly ever in the house at night these days, choosing instead to hunt small defenseless animals during the summer evenings. Our vacation threw her out of sorts, though, because while she is in fact comprised primarily of Evil and Healthy Weight Cat Food For Adult Cats, there is a tiny portion of her diabolical catbrain that actually cares about us. Or at least cares about the possibility of being present during the event of our untimely housebound demise, so she can fulfill her feline destiny by feverishly gnawing the tips of our stiffening-with-rigor-mortis noses.

She was unusually clingy on Tuesday night, so despite my misgivings we allowed her on the bed with us. Just like old times, except despite Dog’s liquid gaze I did not go so far as to make it a four-mammal party.

After one night of this, I can’t imagine why anyone sleeps with their pets. I kept waking up and readjusting the comforter, because there was always a dead, purring weight preventing me from covering myself. She did the grippy-claw thing over and over, kneading our sheets with an annoying little rip rip rip sound. She slithered around our heads and stuck her butt in our faces, she padding over our prone forms looking for the warmest spot, she tried to sleep directly on our mouths, prompting JB to announce at midnight that “Jesus fuck, the cat is trying to steal my breath!”.

I felt like I had been slowly and ineptly molested all night by a shedding, purring blob of Purina Breath. Most unpleasant. Not only that, but right on schedule, in the wee hours of the morning when all was still and the human occupants—especially the pregnant ones—should have been blessed with silent, restful slumber, she hitched a leg northward and started vigorously slurping at her, you know, chocolate starfish turd cutter mahogany knot Rusty Sheriff’s Badge anal region.

No more of that, then. Last night we put her out as usual, but as you might expect from such an instrument of Evil, she exacted her revenge: for the first time, she figured out that the rain barrel directly outside our bedroom window is a perfect place to sit and yowl at top volume. At 5-goddamned-AM.

In other news, I’ve been feeling weirdly unsettled recently and I think I’ve figured out why: my house is a disaster. I don’t just mean the general filth and chaos caused by the now-seemingly-paused remodel work, I mean there is clutter and disorganization in every single room, on every surface. Clothes half-unpacked from the trip, mail strewn across the table, toys everywhere, books and magazines and old newspapers and laundry and grocery dry goods that don’t fit on our makeshift pantry and etc, etc, etc. Have you noticed that when your home surroundings are particularly unkempt, it dumps a sort of psychic detritus in your brain that follows you around all day? I feel like I have a mental Pigpen cloud hanging over my head, this sensation of unfinished business that’s lurking somewhere just out of sight. Know what I mean? Damn it, am I ALONE HERE?

Oddly, parts of my house are sparkling clean, as the cleaning people just did their business on Monday. When we started the remodel work JB put forth the opinion that we should pause the cleaning service during the, ha ha, short amount of time that the house would be torn up, and boy howdy am I glad I didn’t listen to him. My kitchen may be AWOL, but by god my toilets are ring-free.

Every time the cleaning people come, there is some strange, yet welcome touch they leave behind. Sometimes they arrange Riley’s stuffed animals in a tidy, alert-and-staring sort of manner on his shelves. Sometimes they fold the toilet paper into a crisp little point. This time, someone took the time and effort to squeeze all the toothpaste in my nearly-empty tube down towards the cap, a useful maneuver I never bother with, preferring instead to crush the holy hell out of the thing until it’s a crumpled aluminum ball.

It is sadly comforting that in the midst of a messy, deranged-looking house, my toothpaste tube is a model of efficiency and harmony. Aquafresh: teeth whitener, zen koan.

Comments

62 Responses to “Unwelcome companions”

  1. MRW on September 7th, 2007 9:31 am

    We have a 100# dog who does not sleep on our bed because when she was a puppy and small and cute enough to be invited, one of our (at that time) three cats would not put up with a dog on the bed. Now I’m so damned glad that cat was crabby. We’ve had as many as three cats, but only two at a time ever slept on the bed. Now we are down to one cat and it feels a little lonely up there. As a kid I was never allowed to have our cat sleep in my bed, so I guess I’m making up for lost time. However, all of our cats have been pretty good about lying down and staying put for most of the night. It helps that my husband sleeps like a rock – hardly anything wakes him, so the cats love to lie on him. I fidget a lot, so I get cat love, but don’t have to sleep with the furry lead weights actually on me. The best of both worlds.

  2. velocibadgergirl on September 7th, 2007 10:20 am

    Cat needs to take lessons from my cat. He curls up on my chest and purrs for about 15 minutes each night, just long enough for me to feel like he really does care that I’m alive, and then goes off marauding.

    If he comes back during the night, he’ll just curl up politely by side so that I wake up in the morning sandwiched between adorable sleeping husband on one side and adorable sleeping fuzzface on the other, and feel pretty damn special.

    Of course, he’s usually pretty hateful during the day, so maybe this night-time sweetness is his way of ensuring he’s just cute enough that we don’t toss him out to seek his fortune on his own.

  3. Li'l Foot's Mommy on September 7th, 2007 1:49 pm

    We used to let our 110 pound dog sleep with us. Until I got pregnant and had our daughter. Now we’ve trained him to sleep on the floor and he’s fine with it most nights. Some nights though he goes over to hubbie’s size of the bed and gives hubbie those sad puppy dog eyes and in turn hubbie turns to me and gives me sad hubbie dog eyes and I still say no…and they both groan and sigh, roll over and fall asleep hubbie in bed and the dog on the floor. The cat is always downstairs…there’s a baby gate at the bottom of the stair case preventing her entrance to the upstairs…she doesn’t like that so much.

  4. Brooke on September 7th, 2007 1:57 pm

    Oh, my God, Linda, your reader’s comments are almost as funny as your entries!! I laughed out loud at JB’s comment.

    I totally hear you on “psychic detritus”. My kids have been living out of a suitcase for 4 months while we’ve been remodeling their part of the house. We just got our closet organizers in this week, and I have to put everything back in my daughter’s closet, which will now accomodate less stuff. And, I’m 9 weeks pregnant and don’t feel like doing much of anything. Alas, my tolerance for crap is higher than it was because I’m too tired to nag my husband, who apparently collects mail (postal, not chain). We have stuff on pallets in the back yard and on every available surface in the living room we don’t use. Soon, we will have to liberate even that space for the rest of our whole-house remodel, so I totally feel your pain.

    My 2 15-lb dogs used to sleep on my King bed with me. My husband doesn’t like them there, though, so they have dog beds on the floor. But when he is away or when I take naps in bed, they sleep up there.

  5. Anonymous on September 7th, 2007 4:53 pm

    My two Siamese used to sleep in my bed until I crawled into it one night and stuck my foot in a big pile of puke. Yeah, that was the end of that!

  6. Dvlshkitten on September 7th, 2007 4:54 pm

    My two Siamese used to sleep in my bed until I crawled into it one night and stuck my foot in a big pile of puke. Yeah, that was the end of that!

  7. Lisa S. on September 7th, 2007 5:23 pm

    I feel like I have a mental Pigpen cloud hanging over my head, this sensation of unfinished business that’s lurking somewhere just out of sight.

    Yes! We demolished the porch a few weeks ago and have been using the garage to go in and out while the porch gets rebuilt. The same garage that holds all the porch materials and tools. I cannot recall the last time leaving or entering the house didn’t involve near-Mission: Impossible-style hijinks. And we have a cat who likes to go outside for a few minutes each night. I feel deeply unsettled right now. Thanks for articulating why!

    The same cat — the 20-pounder — loves to sleep with us. He passes out until 4 a.m., when he will wake the husband with a gentle claw to the scrotal area or, on the occasions when the husband’s sleeping on his stomach, by tenderly sinking his fangs into my chestal region.

    Only his cuteness keeps the cat alive.

  8. shy Victoria on September 7th, 2007 11:06 pm

    I totally get what you’re saying….

  9. Nicole on September 8th, 2007 9:31 am

    Yeah, cleaning people are da bomb. Seriously – I was recently given the choice between cooking more or giving up the cleaning people (due to a labour disruption).

    I chose the cooking more part.

    The cleaning people vacuum the cat – she loves it and they get a kick out of it.

    It doesn’t stop her from throwing her hair everywhere though. Especially when I put the navy blue sheets on the bed and she purposely puts her white fur there (why can’t she put the black fur there instead? Evil feline diabolical plan, I imagine).

    I currently have little shavings of wallpaper sitting in my entry way and the walls have strips of wall mud on them where I had to fill in some gouges. It will be painted. Likely tomorrow.

    Also, the upstairs bathroom is almost complete – and the cleaning people cleaned the floors except now I have to sand some of the grout away.

    The cleaning people come on Thursday.

  10. Amy Q on September 9th, 2007 11:20 pm

    I am right there on the clutter = losing my mind thing. You describe my current mental state perfectly, although sadly there is no cleaning service in my house. sigh. one day my service will come. one day.

  11. Anais on September 10th, 2007 9:14 am

    Our cat does the same exact shit at night. He pats us on the nose with his paws to wake us up so that we can caress and pet him. He meows into my ear. He climbs onto us, sticking his paws between my poor ribs. He rubs his whiskers along my nose. He rubs his cold, wet nose against my lips. He sits on my hair. He climbs on and off the bed all freakin’ night. I didn’t sleep a wink last night because of him, but I don’t have the heart to lock him out of the bedroom. It’s his favorite room.

  12. Audrey on September 10th, 2007 11:15 am

    One of our cats sleeps with us nightly, one basically lives outside, and the dog is allowed a snuggle on the bed, but is sent to her bed on the floor when it’s time for “lights out.” For a while, we were adding a newborn to that mix…in a queen-size bed!

    I totally feel you on the pigpen cloud. We, too, are remodeling and I am SO SICK of my house being messy with shit piled everywhere. I spent a good amount of time cleaning and organizing our bedroom this past weekend (including buying new lamps!!) just so I could feel like one thing in my life was organized. And you know what? It helped! It’s still not as tidy as I’d like it, but I know that we’re buying a wardrobe soon and that will help. You had better believe that once that wardrobe arrives, the room will be my zen place!!

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