I sort of survived the weekend from hell.
I am not speaking of this last weekend, the weekend of Christmas and the holidays and a monster snow storm. Despite the snow storm, this last weekend was very pleasant (cats puking and pooping the truck notwithstanding).
No, I am referring to the weekend before when there was all kinds of below zero weather and crabbiness galore.
I strongly believe hell is actually a frozen wasteland a la Dante's Inferno, and not a lake of fire like commonly believed.
I'm going to take a stand and say severe cold temperatures and weather changes do not make animals happy. I can only imagine how the poor deer and rabbits felt, going from near-70's temperatures in mid-November to immediate plummet of subzero winterland. No one had time to grow in their winter coats, and even Tess has been ragging out her coat because she is inside so much. There is no need to be fluffy.
It makes vacuuming happen a lot more though.
Generally I leave Tess outside during the day while I'm at work. In forty degrees, thirty degrees, and even twenty degrees she is fine, especially if the sun is shining. Snow or snowing doesn't deter her either as she loves to bound through the snow.
Thirty below is too much for her.
Friday, a week before Christmas, it snowed all day, blizzard style. I'm not talking the big fat lazily floating snowflakes that put one in mind of happily strolling couples, hand in hand, or riding in a one horse open sleigh (no one wants to be in a one horse open anything in subzero temperatures). This blizzard consisted of the stinging, tiny ice balls whipped around by the bone-rattling/chilling wind that makes one want to actually crawl into the fireplace and set oneself on fire.
In thirty below weather with wind that basically sucks the soul out of people, the only way to get warm IS to practically set oneself on fire.
Tess has none of that. She barely goes outside to pee when it's that cold. And if a dog with three coats who is basically made for the outdoors refuses to go outdoors, you know it's bad. I don't mind snow and I don't mind the cold. I do mind ice balls and I do mind cold that basically freezes your eyeballs open and gives one instantaneous frostbite.
Saturday the chaos began with the arrival of California Guy and Surina. Surina has it worse than Tess. She is four years old and therefore constantly energetic, but she refuses to go outside in the subzero weather (with good reason, she's practically bald she has such thin fur), and therefore releases her energy by bounding through the house, up and down the stairs, and annoying the cats until she gets a paw across the nose which in turn causes her to chase the cats. The cats were already in a bad mood given the weather, and Puckett had just recently recovered from her most recent bout of pouting for whatever reason she had for pouting. One never knows with her.
Surina also has gotten it in her head that when it's that cold, she doesn't really need to be potty trained anymore either, taking the route of barely getting out the door to pee on my porch.
California Guy put the kabosh on that one right quick. Just because it's cold and there's snow, does not mean the dog gets to pee on the porch because she's too much of a baby to go down the stairs and pee in the snow. I had a dachshund who would do that too, pee right outside the door because she was too much of a snowflake to go out into the snow. That's one step away from just peeing on the floor inside and not even bothering to go outside.
What gets both me and California Guy is that Surina has absolutely no issue with the cold if we take her and Tess for a run, and she'll flop face first into a snowbank with no problem.
We finally got everyone calmed down and Surina disappeared under the kitchen table while Tess went upstairs.
Sunday morning we were awakened at six in the morning with "pace pace pace, clicking toenails, pace pace, clicking toenails." I thought someone had to go outside. That and the fact that Surina was upset because Tess was sleeping on the dog bed. So instead of finding a different place to sleep she hovered, clicking her toenails until Califonria Guy hollered at her to go lay down somewhere. Almost immediately the ringing of jingle bells could be heard downstairs, testimony that Percy was bored, hungry, or just feeling like getting into mischief by attacking the Christmas ornaments. I got up to go shoo him and put away said jingle bells. I was half asleep and had neglected to put on my glasses so when I inspected the railing where I tied the jingle bells to my Christmas lights, I bumped into my wineglass rack, knocking one of the wineglasses off and sending it to the ground. The resounding crash and shattering causing Califronia Guy to call downstairs, "What happened and are you okay?"
So at seven in the morning in the freezing cold (in thirty below weather there is just no keeping the house warm enough no matter how much I heat, and my tile floor feels like a sheet of ice) we had to sweep up shards and particles of glass, and then get out the vacuum cleaner to make sure we didn't miss any. I would have gladly left it for later in the morning if not for the fact that of course Percy had to prance around in the middle of the glassy mess (I guess he wanted his paws cut up), and Surina had to prance around the kitchen in front of me, blocking everywhere I wanted to go until California Guy hollered at her again and threw her butt upstairs where Tess cowered. I had to shove Percy up there too, not that that deterred him from coming downstairs and trying to play with broken glass.
Puckett was the only one with the sense to steer clear, and Willow, luckily, was locked in her cage, or she too would have been in the middle of the mess.
We finally got the mess cleaned up and were headed back to bed when Willow started to squall. Loudly, demanding, like if we didn't feed her immediately she would pass out from hunger.
Have I mentioned that every night I put her in her cage with her food bowl and she has plenty to eat while she's in there?
She just wanted out.
I yelled at her to shut up, California Guy threw the dogs outside to pee, and we went back to bed.
And once again..."pace pace pace, toenails clicking, pace pace." I sat up and yelled "Set your ass down now and don't get up again!"
Surina lowered her body slowly to the ground, eyes wide and staring at me, and didn't move again. Tess wedged herself in a corner between the wall and the bed and made herself as small as possible. Willow was quiet too at that point, shocked into silence by the fraying of our moods.
The adventure didn't stop there. My clumsiness with the wineglass translated throughout the rest of the day where I dropped things, dumped water and tea on things, and then the highlight of my day when we decided we had enough of the dogs' restlessness and took them for a walk. I made it half a block before wiping out on the slick-as-glass street that nobody had bothered to plow or sand, and came down hard on my tailbone. I had to lie there for a few minutes to get my breath back, and at first I thought I was okay. It was clear that I was not when I tried to sit up and the pain in my tailbone was so bad I almost lost my cookies. Tess came over and sat beside me so I could put my arms around her, and California Guy also wrapped his arm around me and sat with me for a minute until I could actually stand up.
And stop crying.
And stop wanting to puke.
I called it a day. I managed to hobble to the park so the dogs could run for at least a little bit (not long as Surina was already turning into a frozen dog popsicle - that dog has got to get herself a doggie sweater or something), and then we went home, where I crawled into bed with my bed warmer and took a nap. Of course when I landed butt-first on the ice, it was so cold that any bruising, swelling, and pain was staunched so I didn't really start feeling it until I warmed up and realized I couldn't sit. Plus, I was nauseated the rest of the day.
I have never been so happy for Monday to roll around.
Thirty below is for the birds.