In fact, they could care less for my authority, too. Never mind if I think I'm in charge. They all have other ideas. And it doesn't matter what I do or say, all I get for my troubles is a look of quiet disdain, like "How dare you even think you can boss me around, human."
It started this weekend with Surina. She burst through my front door Saturday, galloping up and down the stairs until California Guy let her outside where she immediately began to whine. That one was in rare form. Usually she whines and throws a fit because we put her outside. When we let her in, she usually gives it a rest. This weekend, when we let the dogs inside, she lay on the floor of living room while we watched a movies, just whining. For no reason. Whining because she was inside, I guess.
Tess gave her dirty looks, then gave me a dirty look. She kept getting up and standing by the couch, like she wanted us to do something about the whining nuisance. I think we must have told Surina to shut up about five times, not that it mattered. And I must have told Tess five times to go lie down and stop staring at me, for all the good that did.
This went on until we got around to feeding the dogs at the extremely late hour of five thirty.
I'm not sure how Surina handled not eating for that long, but she must have been ready to expire on the spot.
Miraculously, the whining stopped after she ate. But the galloping up and down the stairs and through the house every time California Guy or I took a step in any direction got worse. If I made a move towards the kitchen, she was on her feet, barging past me to run up the stairs. Tess, of course, followed her. If I felt the need to use the bathroom, once again, they both barged past me to run up the stairs. Both dogs got in the way of cooking dinner until I finally yelled at both of them to get the hell out of the way. Yes, California Guy did most of the cooking, but it drives me nuts to have dogs dancing around in the kitchen, trying to grab any morsel that happens to drop on the floor.
Meanwhile, the cats were not impressed. Puckett must be particularly cross with me as she has taken to chirping for food whenever I am in the middle of something in the kitchen. Usually she eats three times a day. Once in the morning, then in the afternoon, and then dinner. She doesn't usually randomly come into the kitchen to demand her bowl. I think she's making a point, to prove that whenever she wants her food, Goddamnit, she's going to get it. I was making cupcakes. I was cracking and separating eggs. I had an eggshell full of egg yolk in one hand, and the egg separater in the other, trying to keep the egg yolks out of my egg whites.
And here comes Puckett, dancing around and chirping, rather insistently like, how dare I ignore her in her time of need.
Never mind that Puckett ralphed up her entire breakfast earlier and then ate it.
Willow decided to join the fun of cupcake making, by wandering into the kitchen and shrieking for her food. She doesn't chirp, like Puckett. Both wind themselves around my ankles, trying to trip me when they want food, but only Willow squalls at the top of her lungs so that she can be heard down in Cheyenne.
The neighbors must think either a.) I'm killing her (I want to at this point), or b.) I never feed my cats. They go two hours without food, and it's like the world is ending.
Then Tess got in on it. Here is a dog who has always stayed out of the kitchen when I cooked or baked, never got in the way. Suddenly, there she was, right behind me, every time I turned around with a bowl or a spatula, glued to my ass and trying to herd me towards the food cabinet to give her a cookie.
I swear she's learned this hovering in the kitchen from Surina. She has never done this before. She steered clear of the kitchen, but now because she's seen Surina get away with it, she's decided to get in on the action. "Oh, my owner is cooking, now is the perfect time to start bugging her for food."
I nearly tripped over her ass and landed head first in the oven.
I'm not proud of this, but I hollered at her to get the hell out of the kitchen. She slunk upstairs and parked it in the bedroom. When I looked upstairs, she glared back at me, like "Well, Surina is allowed to do it."
Percy has been the worst. In the space of one night he got in the box seven times, scratching. Every time I started to drift off to sleep, I was jolted awake by "scratch, scratch, scratch!" A couple of mornings before that, he woke me up early with scratching. I laid in bed, waiting for him to finish, drifting in and out of sleep because it wasn't quite time to get up yet. A half hour later, I kid you not, he was still scratching, and again, I'm not proud of this, but I hollered "Oh my God, would you STOP!"
There was a pause, then I heard him hop out of the box. A moment later I heard the pattering of little cat paws as he scurried off. Too late, though. I was awake, so I got up and got ready for work.
The night of the seven box trips - this was Saturday night - Percy got in the box as soon as California Guy and I went to bed. For once it wasn't the dogs pacing back and forth in their stupid "Dog Bed Wars." I swear, just find a fucking spot to sleep and lay the fuck down. But no, Surina has to have Tess' bed because it's softer, and if Tess or a cat is on the bed, she paces back and forth until we yell at her, or she annoys Tess off the bed. Tess could care less where she sleeps. That night Surina got to Tess' bed first so she at least was quiet.
So Percy decided to pick up the mantel of annoying bedtime behavior, and started scratching in the box. Half an hour later he was back in the box. We drifted off, then were both awakened by yet another bout of scratching. There were a few more box trips that may have come to me in a dream, but California Guy heard them too, so I'm assuming they actually happened. I think the last time was at 2 a.m.
I think I got about four hours of sleep because at 6 a.m., the usual morning box trips happened. First Percy, then Puckett, and then Willow.
I was exhausted and crabby from lack of sleep. If it's not the dogs' pacing keeping me awake, it's the litter box scratching.
Seven trips is excessive even for Percy. Turns out he wasn't feeling good because he'd decided it was a great idea to eat the rope fraying from his scratching post. He barfed up a bunch of it.
No wonder he couldn't poop and kept having to try.
I swear, he and Surina have no sense of self preservation. They'll eat anything and everything and then be sick for their troubles. Then they just do it again. No big deal, I'll clean it up, right?
Five animals is five animals too many. Especially when all of them are spoiled, and one of them is used to being the one and only and getting her way all the time. They are all going to be the death of me, eventually. Yes, Tess and Puckett are elderly, and Percy and Surina should kill themselves eventually by ingesting something that will not agree with them, but I really think they will all outlive me.
They'll either kill me in my sleep, or kill me by causing a lack of sleep.
And they both look so innocent...