Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I was sitting on the toilet reading “Beautiful Losers” when my middle one, the Jan Brady of the family, the weirdest boy, the grey-stripey stepchild came mournfully meowing into the bathroom wanting love and reassurance. He had been locked up in his cage in the basement since six a.m. after a night of carousing around the house for no particular reason. (The valium isn’t working.) In the morning I am blind as I do not sleep in my contact lenses and I usually cannot see where my glasses are. It was two of my other senses that led me to understand after a partial pat and an inhale and a half that he was covered in poop. I put down the book and pinned his clean side to the floor and shouted for husband making coffee and tea, forgetting that husband is growing harder of hearing, as musicians do, and probably could not hear me, but it was early, and it was hard to yell, yelling not being normal fare in our house no matter the hour, unless we are yelling at Max, the now shitty cat. I am sitting on the toilet, blind, pinning a stinky cat to the floor and though I am glad that Pete is taking care of the morning beverage service after a sleepless night, I need his assistance more than I need tea. In a perfect world, cats don’t need baths. Maybe show cats need baths, but housecats are self cleaning like fancy new ovens, but like with fancy new ovens, sometimes, accidents happen, and you can’t just push a button or whip out a small pink tongue and make it all better. This was a bathtub shampoo situation. This is what parentage is all about, though I do not believe, or at least I hope, that our future infants will not be as struggly or strong when they inevitably wind up covered in their own excrement. I envision baths being less violent and less prone to skin breaking physical injury than our experience this particular morning. (It’s a gorgeous morning by the way. 66 degrees and clear blue flawless sky, raspberries and tomatoes ripening in the garden, morning glories blooming.) The cage in which Max was confined sits outside by the back steps now, decorated like a monkey might, and Max is probably still in a windowsill, washing himself of the grapefruit shampoo bath we gave him. I am at work, having renewed “Beautiful Losers” at the library because I did not get nearly enough reading done this morning.

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