Saturday, October 15, 2016

My Pets are plotting my demise

I awoke with a start, sweat dripping down my face. Panicked, I groped in the dark for the lamp on my night table. The room was still other than the light whirl of the fan and the sound of my anxious breath. I quickly looked to Evan's side of the bed, noting that the covers were still tucked into the corners and the pillows were stacked on one side. Right. Evan was gone. He was in California for business, and had flown out the day before. Although nothing appeared immediately out of place, something felt eerily wrong. I rolled my head on my pillow to investigate the other side. There, staring back at me, mere inches from my face, were the big black eyes of my little white dog, Dundee, and the bright yellow eyes of my cat, Biloxi. This; however, was not the look of love. The animals were not relaxed, gazing at me with admiration. My little furry friends appeared startled, as if I had interrupted a plan. Suddenly it occurred to me - it was obvious. My pets were conspiring against me me. My pets were plotting my demise.

Ok, Ok. I know this sounds crazy. You might be reading this, wondering just how many painkillers I am on. The answer is...a lot. Yes. But…hear me out. I think I have a legit concern.

When I first returned to the island after my surgery in Philadelphia, the pets watched me gingerly crutch to my bed, where I spent my first week, icing my knee and catching up on my favourite daytime TV. Both the dog and the cat have now witnessed 7 knee surgery recoveries, so none of this was new to them. Biloxi took to his cat duties immediately, sleeping on my bed with his head placed carefully on my knee, steadily purring, and refusing to leave my side. I've always asserted that Biloxi acts as my personal physio, providing ultrasound to my sore knee. Dundee, on the other hand, demonstrated his true feelings about my injury, whining and crying while he watched Evan help me into my bed, and distancing himself from me until I was feeling well enough to get out of bed. Despite the fact that Dundee will actually sit down and watch "Working Dogs" for half an hour on the Fido Network, Dundee would never be selected as a working dog for the sick or injured. Man's best friend, my ass.

My personal ultrasound

Kirstie's crutches make me sad. I'm going to ignore her until they go away.
Someday I'm going to be a working dog…but not with sick people. I don't like sick people. 

Since my surgery, Evan has had to to fly out to London, England and San Diego for 2 separate work trips. This has not been an ideal time to be left alone with my furry friends, as I haven't recovered as quickly as I had hoped. Now, don't get me wrong, I am very proud of my husband. After working for this company for only a few years, he has worked his way up, being promoted several times into, what I imagine, is a very important position. Don't ask me what he does. I know there are spreadsheets, profit margins, and key metrics. And I know that he works very hard. I still recall watching a 19 year old Evan play his 7th straight hour of NHL 99 on the XBOX, questioning if I was in a relationship with a unambitious bum. Jokes on me! He's definitely driven and I am very proud of his success, but I wish he could spreadsheet from home without these frequent work trips. I've been depending heavily on him to help me and provide me with food, massages, and pep talks…you know, the basics.

Once left alone with the pets, they immediately began to turn on me. I detected a look of panic on their furry little faces when Evan wheeled his suitcase to the door, "You're leaving us with her?" "How the hell is SHE going to keep us alive?" I sensed their apprehension and, to be honest, I questioned whether or not I could keep them, as well as myself alive for 7 days, without the help of Evan.

The revolt began with Dundee. He began peeing and pooping on the floor, in various locations, even when left alone for a paltry 2 hours while I was at work. There was no excuse for this behaviour. My lovely neighbour was taking him for multiple walks, my buddy, Monty, was taking him to the beach, and I was crutching to his little food bowl to ensure he was well fed and watered at all times. You know what's worse than working in 90 degree heat, in pain, on crutches with 5 year olds for 8 hours? Returning home after those exhausting days to clean pee and poo off the floor…on crutches!  I was livid! I tried yelling. I tried ignoring. I tried reasoning (yes, reasoning with a dog. I know. I know). Throughout this week of lysol-ing the floor, Biloxi, the cat, watched quietly from a distancing, poising himself for his attack.

I peed on the floor. Again. I feel shame.

Biloxi joined the revolt on day 3. Some background information for you: Biloxi is 14 years old and quite set in his ways. This summer, Biloxi suddenly decided that the dry kibble he had happily enjoyed for 14 years was no longer satisfying his senior needs. Refusing to eat, I desperately tried everything - adding tuna to his kibble and changing his food multiple times until he finally settled on something he liked - Whiskas Seafood Pate. For whatever reason, my little furry orange friend chose the cheapest, non-nutritious food that we had offered. Go figure. Anyway, Biloxi now receives seafood pate twice a day - once at 6:30am and again at 5:30pm. You'd think my little buddy had a tiny little Timex on his hairy paw. If his food does not hit his dish by 5:31pm, He screams, "Seafood Pate!" (well, I imagine that is the translation of his high-pitched demanding meow). On day 4 of the revolt, however, Biloxi decided that he needed to be fed the exact moment that I had laid down for my after-school nap. 4:00pm, 4:30pm - it didn't matter. As soon as I settled in with my ice bag on my knee and my head on my pillow, he began his seafood pate outcry, "Seafood pate! Seafood pate!"

I said SEAFOOD PATE, biatch!

By day 5 I was exasperated. Returning home sweaty and in tremendous pain, still shocked that the last words I had uttered to a student were, "Put that iguana down now!" I just wanted to pop a painkiller, throw on a little "Say yes to the dress," and have a nap. Using 1 crutch indoors, I set down my other crutch on the floor while I went to change out of my work clothes. When I returned from the bedroom, Dundee and Biloxi sat side by side on the couch staring at me spitefully. Something was up. I looked down to discover that my lovely little white dog had pissed ON my crutch. ON MY CRUTCH. Why? Why would he do that to me? Sniffling back my tears of frustration, I wiped the dog pee off the crutch.

Evidence of the horrid act. 



I turned away from my pissy crutch to locate the source of the loud banging. To my astonishment, Biloxi was now throwing his paws against the dryer in protest. Yes, it was 5:31 and Biloxi was hangry. While creating the loud banging noise on the dryer, he was simultaneously screaming, "SEAFOOD PATE! SEAFOOD PATE!"

As I listened to my hangry cat and addressed my dog's dissatisfaction with my crutches, it suddenly occurred to me: I am not their owner. The dog and the cat OWN ME.

So that brings me back to the evil murder plot. I believe that Dundee and Biloxi regard me as their peer. I am a member of their pack. I know that Caesar Milan would scold me for being a member of my pets' pack, as opposed to their leader. I know, Caesar. I screwed up. To make matters worse, I am a sick and wounded member of their pack. I was a science major in University so I know the deal - I understand survival of the fittest, natural selection, etc. I have been less than "useful" to my furry friends as of late, making few contributions to the pack. In fact, I have been dominating the leader of the pack's attention (obviously the leader of the pack is Evan). These animals have motive. When I awoke suddenly that night, in a panic, I believe my furry little friends were huddled on my pillow, quietly watching my rhythmic breathing, and plotting my demise.

Or…I could be on too many painkillers. That is also a plausible explanation.

Wish me luck. If anything happens to me, look to the dog first. He's shifty-eyed today.

Is she still breathing? Yep, yes, she is. We will try again tonight. 

PS: Check out my blog post on Women Who Live On Rocks:

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