For those of you just checking in here’s a quick recap: My Husband is out-of-town for the week so I’m unattended with the kid, 2 dogs, and 3 cats for the week. The timing worked well for my Mother and Stepfather to visit for a couple of days earlier this week. And just before they visited, I made a trek to the liquor store after which I had an ill-timed encounter with our Priest, who is likely now calling the Pope himself to pray for us.
After the Parents arrived, we took a walk and ordered pizza for dinner. Then after Mac went to bed, we hung out, watched Monday Night Football, had a few drinks and caught up since it’s really difficult to talk much on the phone these days. Suffice to say, I was up late (what else is new).
As I sleepily stumbled towards the bedroom, the fat, fluffy cat scurried past me up the stairs and very ungracefully scaled the bed, entrenching himself in the spot normally occupied by my Husband.
This cat is like the sweetest cat I’ve ever met. . .which means he’s a damned nuisance. He’s always right up on you wanting affection. To appease him, I gave him a few scratches on the head, turned my back to him and promptly became dead to the world for a few short hours.
About 6:30 the following morning, I was awakened to a horrible racket outside. The weather was so nice here, I slept with our bedroom window open. This of course, allowed me to hear the entire 30 minute production of a car being towed nearly directly beneath it.
I laid there, mouth dry, annoyed as hell for at least 10 minutes until it dawned on me to simply shut the window. After I had that commotion addressed, I snuggled myself back in bed hoping to doze off again for at least another 30 minutes.
I no sooner started to drift off until the bed started shaking. . .and then the gacking and heaving started. . .I only had time to sit up before the cat deposited the biggest fucking mass of hair and partially digested food I’ve EVER seen on the bed. . .not just say, on the fitted sheet. . .On the sheet, on the down duvet cover. . .And as I was um ushering him off the bed rapidly, on the quilt, the blanket, and finally in three spots on the floor as he retreated downstairs (where presumably he was headed to eat more damned food).
This was not a good way to start the day. But as it turns out, some higher power wasn’t through with me just yet. . .
I very quietly brushed my teeth and then very angrily hurled all the bedding downstairs. I made my coffee, let the dogs out, drug the trash cans back in the yard, and prepared Mac’s breakfast.
Things seemed to be going well for a little while. We planned to have brunch and then tour a please called Evergreen. We were even a bit ahead of schedule. Which lead me to make another horrible lapse in judgment: I suggested we replace the batteries in the 3 remaining smoke detectors.
They started going berserk Sunday night due to one signaling a low battery. Chris replaced the battery in that one and admonished me that the batteries would likely all start petering out soon. I figured with the help of my Parents I could be proactive and address the situation before they all went berserk later this week while I was alone.
Our smoke detectors are LOUD. Plus, they have some Siri-like voice that loudly diagnoses the problem: ”FIRE, FIRE, FIRE” or “CARBON MONOXIDE.” The whole commotion terrifies me and I can only imagine Mac would be equally traumatized, so my brilliant plan involved my Mom taking Mac for a quick walk while my Stepfather, Bob and I switched the batteries.
What I failed to take into account was how the dogs would react.
It was an effing debacle.
There was panting, and drooling, and shaking, and a complete disregard for any training they ever learned.
So when Satan’s Lap Hound came crashing over the sofa and desk for the third time while Bob was standing on a rickety old ladder in the middle of the living room, I opened the back door thinking perhaps he had an urgent matter to attend to. Then I shut both the back storm door and solid door so he could concentrate on his business.
We managed to get all the batteries switched out, ladder returned to the basement, and house back in order. I texted my Mom that she and Mac could head back to the house and then I went to the backyard to fetch Satan’s Lap Hound.
Except he wasn’t there.
I. AM. NOT. JOKING.
He was gone.
I knew he hadn’t been dog-napped. Tilghman is a spectacular mutt. . .not an expensive toy breed someone would be itching to steal.
Somehow this dog jumped our nearly 6 foot high fence?!
Gone without a trace.
This immediately set me into a panic for a couple of reasons:
The first one being that while he was micro-chipped, he had recently lost his collar. So what did we do? Instead of buying him a new collar and tags, we just put Molly’s collar on him. Yes. The dog called Tilghman was wearing a tag stating “MOLLY, REWARD and my cell number.”
The other more pressing problem was the TRAFFIC. I felt certain he would head to the park where he could pee on everything with abandon; however, in order to get there, he had to cross a very busy street. And seeing as how he can barely walk properly on a leash, I can’t imagine he’s capable of navigating a cross walk.
So when I told my slightly high-strung Stepfather what had happened, he got a little cranked up. While I was trying to keep my wits about me, he was running up and down our very quiet street like a headless chicken. And he’s a bit hard of hearing and has a propensity to curse. . .which meant he was loudly screaming something to the effect of “Tilghman, you sonofabitch, gawd love you where are you Tilghman!?”
Yeah. People were starting to stick their heads out their front doors.
To avoid any more insult to injury I headed immediately to the Park. However, if the dog was there, he certainly wasn’t anywhere I could readily see. So I quickly returned home to get my sneakers, of course, being greeted by the chorus of my Stepfather’s cursing combined with my Mother’s sweet voice also screaming “Tilghman!”
I. COULD. DIE.
Certainly someone was about to call the police. . .or at the very least that crazy neighbor was going to come outside and start screaming at us for making so much noise.
I entered the house with Stepdad (thankfully) hot on my heels. I needed a plan and I needed him to shut it long enough for me to think it through.
And as I was standing in the kitchen trying to calmly explain to Bob what our next step might be, my cell phone rang.
Some sweet man was driving home and saw Tilghman wandering around several blocks from our house (thankfully nowhere near that busy street).
“I’m at the corner of Foster and Kenwood and I have Molly,” he said.
Oh, you definitely don’t have Molly. . .
Within a few short seconds we were reunited with Satan’s Lap Hound. This was then followed with a rather awkward explanation on my part of why “Molly” had a PENIS.
I tried offering the man a reward, however, he said he loves dogs and was just happy to spend some time with Satan’s Lap Hound.
But as I was walking away sweaty and disheveled, Tilghman in tow, panting and lurching, I wondered why the hell I didn’t offer to pay the guy to just TAKE him!?
Clearly another error in judgment on my part.
And I swear, I could almost hear the laughter echoing around the universe. . .