Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Things Are Not Always as Great as They Seem

It's been a week of realizing I'm not as smart as I think I am, I'm not as talented as I think I am, I'm definitely not as flexible as I think I am, and things just aren't working out like I think they should.

Just ask Percy.  He knows what that's like.  Now.

My darling Percy just discovered that that wild, crazy, unreachable dream he's had - going outside - is not as amazing and over-the-rainbow as he thought it was.  For years now he's been a pain in the ass come spring because he just thinks he should be allowed to be an outdoor cat.  All my cats are indoor cats.  I've never had an outdoor kitty for the mere fact that it is a pain in my ass to have one.  Outdoor cats stay out all night, get into fights over territory, wander through other peoples' yards, thus pissing off the neighbors, and wreak havoc on the ecosystem by destroying birds and small mammals.  They also wail constantly at the door, wanting either out or in, depending on which side of the door they are sitting; and they sometimes develop litter box aversion because they want to go outside and pee under a bush.  They can also get fleas and other parasites, and I don't want that in my house.

It's just easier and less of a headache for me to keep the beasts indoors.

Percy, however, does not believe this is fair.  He is constantly trying to give me the slip and sneak outdoors.  The Cowboy says every time he pet sits, he has to chase Percy at least three or four different times out the door to bring him back.  Usually he slips out the back door and runs down the stairs to hide under the deck.  Sometimes he goes out the front door and tries to get under the car or the neighbor's porch.  Usually we manage to catch him before he gets too far away.

Now with the weather slowly getting nicer, he's getting more insistent.  The last two days have been between sixty and seventy degrees so I propped the backdoor open, leaving the screen closed, and let the sunshine in.  Percy sat by the door desperate to get outside.  Every time I went outside to mess around in the backyard or give Tess her bowls, he tried to slip out.  He becomes a wild one too with nicer weather - spring fever.  He starts racing through the house and digging with increased energy in the litter boxes.  And he does his loud caterwauling bit in the mornings and when he needs to use the box.

He's annoying in the spring.

So I decided, okay, you want to go outside so badly, let's do it.  When I first adopted Percy I also bought him a little harness and leash so I could take him to the vet.  He liked wearing his little harness.  As he's gotten older, however, he's gotten less enthusiastic about wearing it, and that is my fault because I stopped putting it on him.  It's easier to stuff him in the cat carrier and move him around that way.  Sunday I got the harness and leash out, and told him we were going to go outside with Tess to check out the front yard.  If he wants to go outside so badly, we can arrange that, but he's going to be on a leash so I can keep track of him.  Percy is a nice cat but he has zero sense of self preservation.  He thinks the outdoors is his personal playground without knowing anything about speeding cars (he'd probably get himself hit) loose dogs (they aren't all as friendly as Tess) and other cats who are bigger, tougher, and more experienced than him (he'd probably come home one night missing both ears and his tail).  His zero sense of self preservation comes out in all the crap he tries to eat and his overwhelming need to ingest anything resembling a ribbon or string (particularly dangerous because it can twist up a cat's intestines and kill him).

I have to cat proof my home.  I can't cat proof the outdoors.

We went outside, and for fifteen minutes, Percy was inquisitive, curious, and excited to be investigating this mythical unicorn known as the outdoors.  He did pretty well on his leash too.  I had to pull him around a little bit, but for the most part he caught on pretty quickly.  He did try to scramble under the townhouse next door where their foundation has fallen, and I had to pull him away several times before he got the point that that is not allowed.  Then he flopped under the tree and started chewing on the grass.  He rolled through the garden and tried to eat the onions.

One minute he was blissfully enjoying the sunshine, and the next a truck roared by and scared the ever-living beejesus out of him.  He freaked out and tried to bolt under the neighbor's porch.  I grabbed him and he struggled like hell was after him, clawing welts into my arms and shedding fur all over me.  I wrestled him to the ground, held him, and stroked him for a bit until he calmed down.  He was calm for a minute.  And of course a second truck roared by.

Utter chaos.

I managed to get the hissing, shedding, scratching bundle of terrified fur under one arm and carried him to the front door.  I opened the door and shoved him through.  He ran downstairs immediately and disappeared under the couch.  All I could see was a blue leash poking out from underneath the couch.

He stayed there and pouted until I pulled him out by the leash just so I could take off his harness. Then he slunk back under the couch and stayed there for awhile.

Somehow I think it's going to be some time before he's in an all-fired rush to get outside again.

In the spirit of having our asses handed to us, I discovered that I'm not as smart as I think I am at my job - apparently I can't wear all of the four hats I've been given in the last two weeks.  I also am not as talented as I thought.  Every word I've written lately has been crap, and reading articles on writing and publishing are doing nothing to boost my confidence.

And then yoga kicked my ass.  I've always thought given my belly dancing and Pilates that I was fairly flexible.

Yoga has taught me otherwise.  Fifteen minutes of practicing "Beginning Yoga" and stretching left me breathless and feeling extremely out of shape.  Doesn't help that my thirty-ninth birthday is just around the corner, and that my digestive system seems to reject everything that is yummy.  To say nothing of the fact that I found several pictures taken of me when I was in my twenties.

I was so cute.  And thin.  What happened?

I mean, I can't eat anything.  How am I gaining weight?

I look nothing like I did in those pictures, and I've been under the impression that I haven't changed much over the years.

Yeah right.

The mythical unicorns of youth, talent, and "the world is your oyster" are not as we thought they were.  Youth is not eternal.  We are not vampires.

Even the outdoors can't live up to their hype.  Life just isn't fair.

My cat is so disappointed.

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