Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Prisoner in my Own Home

I've led a pretty sheltered and charmed life.  I can't really sit here and say that I've known a whole lot of hardship or sadness.  My parents are both still alive, married, and in good health. I have a good relationship with my brother. I've never had a major health scare or been shot or gone through a divorce. I have friends. I have a decent job that pays well, and a house I own. Since I'm childless and husbandless, I pretty much get to do whatever I want.

So I don't understand where this overwhelming feeling of being tired of everything has come from. I'm just tired of my life, I think. And it's a pretty decent life.

I blame the pets.

Somewhere, somehow I have become a slave to my pets. I feel like a prisoner in my own home, and I'm sure it's my own fault as animals don't know any better.  I just don't know how to fix it.

The other day I looked at the litter boxes downstairs and wished I could cut the litter boxes by at least two.

That will never happen.  Remove one litter box (I have four), and the drama that ensues would make one think that the end of the world is nigh.  All the cat experts tell you that you should always have one more litter box than cats, but honestly, when dealing with my cats? You almost need three litter boxes per cat.

And they use them too.

I clean litter boxes five times a day sometimes.  And not just one litter box.  ALL four of them need to be cleaned at least three times a day.

Percy starts it off by pooping in one litter box, then moving over to the second litter box, and peeing in it.  He then proceeds to scratch all the litter into a scatter across the floor.  Then he goes upstairs and squeezes out God knows what else that's left in his bowels into the third litter box.  If he could get his ass into Willow's litter box, he'd use that too. 

So I clean those.  Not five minutes later, Puckett is in one litter box downstairs.  She sits in it for ten minutes, scratching around a bit, then goes to the other litter box, does her business and takes off. 

So I clean them again.  Then Willow gets in, and since she has just recently started to use the downstairs boxes again and has stopped peeing on the floor, I try not to discourage her.  Meanwhile I'm screaming inside wanting to kill all three of them.  because as soon as I clean what Willow did, the whole cycle starts over again.

It's like Percy cannot handle the boxes being clean.

I decided to rebel one day and cleaned the boxes only once.  Percy kicked all the litter out of the box, including some poop, in protest.  So I cleaned everything up, bleached the floors, and added some fresh litter. Within seconds he was in the box again.  He didn't actually do anything other than squeeze out one tiny drop of diarrhea, but it sure stunk up the place so I had to clean it AGAIN.

I'm sure you all think I'm making this up. Trust me, it's too stupid to make up.

My best friend has four kids.  She's been changing diapers for the last seven years (the youngest isn't a year old yet, but I think he's the last one in diapers).  Potty training them was a bit of a struggle, but I think she had less toxic waste to deal with than I do on a daily basis.  Also, hers all have eventually learned to use the toilet, and while they sometimes forget to flush (I've spent a week with her family and that's a fun surprise in the guest toilet), at least they don't poop in a box around the clock.

My dream, my own personal private dream that I have shared with anyone, is to give in to California Guy and tell him, yes, yes, he can have Willow. Please pack her, her litter box, her dishes, and her kitty tower up in your truck and take her away.  Then I can move two litter boxes to the fourth landing where the cage is (and once Willow is gone, will be thrown into the dumpster), and get rid of all bathroom activity from downstairs where I spend the majority of my time anyway.

Except this last week. I've taken to hiding in my bedroom with the laptop binge-watching Downton Abbey just so I don't have to look at or smell the litter boxes.

The dog is the cleanest one.

Oh wait, never mind, as I got up the other morning and there was not one, but two puddles on the floor.  One soaked in the carpet, the other dried and tacky on the hard floor outside the bedroom.  I looked at the dog and asked her, "What the fuck, Tess?" And she looked back at me with those big brown, old dog eyes and wagged her tail.

She's old. She's afraid of the dark. She's losing her eyesight. I can't get mad at her for tinkling on the floor when it's not really something she can control.  She would never do it if she could hold it, as she's not a spiteful dog or one who potties on the floor when she' mad or upset.  She just drank too much water one night and couldn't hold it and she's too good of a dog to wake me up when I'm sleeping. A courtesy not shared with the cats as my alarm clock now begins at six o'clock when Percy scratches for twenty minutes in the litter box. Then at seven Puckett scratches in the litter box.  Then at seven-thirty willow scratches in her litter box in her cage.

Tess probably assumes if she wakes me up she'll get hollered at.

Incidentally I sleep a lot lately.  I almost dread going home anymore because every time I step through the door I am bombarded by three cats demanding their food bowls.  The litter boxes are overflowing. I feed them and then they promptly, one at a time use the litter boxes again. So I have to clean the boxes because they are overflowing, and then I have to clean them again after mealtime because they get filled up again. How the hell do three cats generate such waste?

If they want to make spies talk they should just force them to come to my house and take care of my three cats for a week.  The Cowboy is my designated pet sitter for when I go out of town, and he says he can't imagine having to deal with this on a daily basis. He said a week is enough to drive him right out of his skull.

And of course besides the constant screeching for food, the constant scratching the litter boxes, the fact that my house perpetually smells like poop and pet food (why is that stuff so pungent??) even though I clean my house all the time with bleach, there is also the constant begging for attention.  I'm so tired when I get home from work and after I clean up after my animals, I really have no energy left for attention. I crawl into bed, turn on Downton Abbey, and slide into near catatonic state for a couple of hours.

Meanwhile Willow is on the bed, Percy is in the corner of the bedroom, Puckett is stretched out beside the closet doors, and Tess is at the foot of the bed.

I can't escape. I can't get out. I'm trapped in a hell of my own making.

I'm a prisoner in my own home


He looks so innocent, Bogarting the dog's toys and posing for the camera.

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