I’m Just Saying: ‘This is why we can’t have nice things’

Published 4:22 pm Thursday, February 1, 2018

When you have an elderly dog and try to keep an immaculate home–

Sorry, evidently I was thinking of someone else. Let’s try that again.

When you have an elderly dog it’s all you can do to keep your house presentable. 

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And I use the word ‘presentable’ as a sort of Mount Everest of goals. As four cats also reside in our small house it truly requires vacuuming each morning (which gives the cats the same, stunned expression as New Orleans Saint’s fans) and sweeping each evening. Likewise, the door to each bathroom must remain closed or the bath mats will be targeted for hairball expulsion as just happened on the new pearl grey one I bought at the dollar store.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

And as our lone terrier, Rosie, is coming sixteen and on diuretics, this also means that after vacuuming the two area rugs covering our pine floor, they must be then quickly covered with a dozen pee-pads in case she has to visit the loo and no one is in the house to let her out. This, of course, is time consuming and quite a bit of work, so naturally, when considering company, leads to the question:

Who is pee-pad worthy?

Oh, yes….if you are considered of any real importance and your visit to the Funny Farm is your first, you can expect to be met by gleaming floors, attractively quirky mid-century modern area rugs still showing the vacuumed tracks, a jug of fresh flowers adorning the quickly polished kitchen table.

In short, you will find us not even closely resembling the way we actually live.

But if you’re hovering between acquaintance and friend, especially if you also live with a houseful of critters, or are the UPS guy, or a Jehovah Witness, baby, you’ll have to take us as you find us: pee-pad palooza!

Also, take note: if you are invited for lunch or a festive holiday meal, it will always be late afternoon. I don’t care how hungry you are. You see, from the hours of 11 a.m. until just past 2 p.m., the glare of the sun’s rays hit the floors like a klieg light, illuminating for all the world to see the countless deep scratches caused by cats tearing down the hallway despite having the floors refinished with half a dozen coats of polyurethane just over two years ago. 

While we’re talking about cats, riddle me this: why do cats feel compelled to exit the litter box as if they’re on fire? You would think they would be hurrying toward the box when they feel the urge to relieve themselves, but no, generally it’s a leisurely stroll. However, when the five minutes of covering up the evidence is concluded (which includes heaping mounds of litter over the freshly swept floor as well as inexplicably turning to scratch the wall) it’s as if rocket boosters have been deployed as these same cats, who spend ten hours a day sleeping and another two looking for a place to nap, come careening down the hall as if they’re drag racing. I for one keep expecting to see parachutes popping out the other end to slow them down as they attempt to make the hard right turn to fly up the stairs, but all that happens is more scratch marks left as they vainly search for traction.

But let me make myself clear: they are absolutely not allowed on the kitchen counter. It is disgusting and unhygienic. 

So of course they get on the kitchen counter. Late at night. I know that because I can see paw prints on top of the stove top (what was I thinking in getting a ceramic one??). 

Before you ask, because we love them, plain and simple. They are willful, disobedient, funny and affectionate. Rosie, still missing her soulmate, Bonnie, cleaves to me and how can I ignore that look of adoration in her big brown eye (she only has one). She depends on me like a baby and no matter how much extra effort it is, I’m compelled to do all I can to lift her heart–even carrying her upstairs to bed, placing her beneath the covers and aligning her head on the pillow just right…

And yes, arrange a pee pad directly under her bum.

As far as guests are concerned, well, I guess that’s what hotels are for.