Parisienne Farmgirl and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Jun 2, 2015 | Full Time Family, On Motherhood | 14 comments

Many years ago my Momma used to take me to the library…

This was one of my favorite books, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day


Oh gosh.

I’ve been wondering or DAYS if I even have the energy to tell this story.  I think I need to.  It’s so dang funny and may make you smile if you’re having a WORSE day and will remind me that most my days… aren’t so bad after all.

It actually started the evening before…

See, we have this cat.

“Ruth the Man Cat”.

Ruth the Man Cat is a kitten we adopted from my sister when Amélie’s beloved barn cat Scratchy ran away and never came back.   Ruth’s momma had been eaten by coyotes.  I hate cats ’cause they about kill me allergy-wise but thanks to my oils this once, hard-core cat hater now actually has a soft spot for Ruth… (and Tom… the one boy left from the triplets we got on Craigslist when we moved here.)

OK – so I love TWO cats.  What the h-e double toothpicks is happening to me?

I digress.

Ruth lived indoors for a few months as a kitten but longed to be outside. (Amélie is writing a children’s book about said longings).  Finally, Ruth got her wish and became an official, ferocious…BARN CAT.  But one day about two weeks ago we found her in the barn… clearly, her leg was bothering her!  Now, I have become some sort of animal healer here on the farm (again… WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME????) and she was swiftly brought to me and my box of oils, and I was told to fix her.  Well, I did my best with Frankincense and Helichrysum and put her in a cage to make her still and after a few days, she seemed right as rain.  Go, mom.   So we set her free.  Only to find her limping across the barnyard a few days later.

Back and forth we went like this for two weeks.

Until the other night when I found her, hovering under a couch on our porch shaking as though she was in shock.

Oh great. 

Now, I come from a long line of practical farmers.  One swift blow to the head with a shovel and Ruth the Man Cat could have met her maker in that litter box in the sky.  But the thing is… I can’t stand it ’cause Amélie STILL cries over Scratchy a YEAR later (she is a VERY tender child) and I could not bear it… so… here we go…


Enter my bad day.

It’s 7:30 p.m. and we are tucking the kids in.  I go upstairs and say, “Ruth is under the couch shaking.  This could be the end.  I have some money, LeeLee, Aidan, get your coats.  Let’s take her into the vet.”

What a sap.

So, we GINGERLY wrap this poor cat in a beach towel so she doesn’t rip our faces off and I GINGERLY help Aidan into the front seat.

“Oh MOM!  She just pooped and peed all over me” he says.

“Well Aidan, she is in shock.  I am sorry kiddo.  You can make it.” Says I.

And then I look down and across the floor and console of my truck…

Green puss and blood are EVERYWHERE!  All over my truck.  All over Aidan.  Dripping out of the cat.

The cat exploded.

There isn’t enough Bordeaux in Bordeaux to deal with this people.  I tell Aidan to gently lean back and hold on tight.  I’m calling on the spirit of Dale Junior and we are hauling it into town.

“We’re dripping here!”

I call out as we run into the vet.

THIRTY minutes later a BATTLEAXE of a nun/vet meets us in our room.  Seriously.  A Good Sister whose day jobs as a vet ,with a voice like a machine gun glances at my Ruth the Man Cat and tells me my “cheap option” and my “not cheap option”.  I’m stunned at the cost — considering I’ve had the farm vet out to the house to medicate and give a check-up to FOUR goats for about HALF that much.  I mutter under my breath, “I don’t even have groceries yet this week” to which she says… “I figured as much.”

Wow.  That was awkward.

Meanwhile, the cat is still puss-bleeding all over the table.

I spring for Ruth and my tender daughter’s heart.  Crazy, good mother that I am.

With no appreciation from Sister Battle-Axe.



The next morning, after dropping a glass jar full of fig jam and seeing it explode all over my pantry floor, we (as in me and all five kids) drive back into town for Ruth the Man cat after her stay at Chez Vets and I am horrified by what I see.  Her leg has been shaved and it looks like Swiss cheese.  Holes… like CAVERNS.  I mean, I can see INTO this poor cat’s body.  They said she had been bit and of course, it turned into an abscess.  They give me the Cone of Shame to put on Ruth the Man Cat… LIKE I KNOW HOW TO DO THAT!   I’m thinking, can we sedate her again???  This cat is going to tear me to shreds!!!

Somehow I managed.  I sprung for the extra pain killer for the poor thing too (there go my groceries)… as I am walking out the door they remind me to clean the would twice a day.

I’m like – WHAT?  I just paid you $200 to do this list ONCE and now you want me to do this entire list all myself twice a day… for two weeks????  And live to tell about it????

Well, we made it home.  Got her comfortable in a large cage on my porch.

(Where’s a shovel?)

Food, water… and now it’s time for the meds round one.  We wrap her in a towel so she doesn’t kill Aidan (who is helping me) or me.  And I proceed to try to pry this cat’s mouth open for medicine number one.  Successful.  UNTIL she begins to FREAK OUT, frothing at the mouth, squirming around… I  mean like a TOTAL FREAK OUT!  So I call the vet and yell “What just happened to my CAT!”

— “Oh, that’s normal with that medication”, they say.

There isn’t enough Bordeaux in Bordeaux to deal with this people.

Medication number two.  Successful.  Stressful but Aidan and I are feeling like Doctor Quinn — Ok — We got this.

I load the kids back in the truck for some much-needed groceries.   See, Sister Battle-Axe… I CAN afford cat care AND groceries and upon returning Julien, my eager beaver proceeds to the pantry (where the glass is that I haven’t had time to clean up) and steps barefoot RIGHT IN IT.  ‘Cause he is such a good little boy who takes his shoes off before coming in the house.

Oh, the drama.

Sure enough, I can see a tiny, glistening piece in his big toe and you KNOW how bad glass splinters hurt.  Well, the sight of the tweezers throws him into a total frenzy and I begin to bribe him with everything under the sun short of an all-expenses-paid Disney vacation to just sit still and let me get it out.   FINALLY, he let me at it (grocery bags are all over the house… people are starving at this point remember).  I got some of it out.  He ate lunch and began to freak out again that it still hurt.  So again with the bribing and then I go in for a total excavation and I  dig out a huge piece.

I then proceeded to take the baby up for her nap.  She had a poop diaper that was about 30 minutes old due to all the drama.  I began to change her and a CHUNK fell out on my beautiful bed covering and somehow while wrangling her little fat legs I lost my grip and my hand slipped right into it.

So we’ve got cat puss and blood… glass shards all over my pantry floor and in my 3-year-olds feet, nitrate-free bacon that NEEDS to get in the fridge, a cat who’s frothing at the mouth, and momma’s hand covered in baby poop.

I mean — this is totally awesome.

To top it off with all the stress and drama the baby was JACKED UP and would not take her nap.  She tugged on my leg all afternoon as I TRIED to put away groceries and clean up LAST NIGHT’S dishes that still weren’t done thanks to our splash and dash to the vet’s office the evening before.  The afternoon continued to be brutal and by the time hubby got home I was STRUNG OUT.   But it gets worse.  I looked out to the crate and Ruth is LAYING IN HER LITTER, WOUND SIDE DOWN.  We pick her up and the Swiss cheese… the CAVERNS in her body are FULL OF KITTY LITTER.  So once again she gets wrapped up in a towel and I cleaned her wound out with a peroxide/water mix.  Oh-my-gosh.

That was it.

The icing on the cake.

I handed hubby the baby and I laced up my shoes and me and Eric Church and Jesus went and pounded out four miles in 42 minutes.  A record for me.



I recovered from the day.   My kitchen got cleaned up.  The pantry is safe for bare feet.

Ruth the Man Cat is recovering nicely.  (But boy does she owe me.)

Some bad days are like a free pass for tossing the Fruit of the Spirit out the window… or at least that’s what it feels like.

Silly me, I closed the day actually feeling proud… I didn’t implode.   The more I re-hashed it… the funnier it became.  It was a Jesus Take the Wheel kind of day.

He must have… cause I am still standing.

Parisienne Farmgirl


  1. mandy

    I’m a horrible person because I burst out laughing at ‘the cat exploded’. oh my gosh, DYING. I am sorry, I know, KNOW it wasn’t funny at the time, but my gosh. I think I would have gotten the fricken shovel at that point. bahahahaha. And you know, I literally said to my hubby last week, “WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING TO ME?” I’m like you with animals, give me farm, outdoors ones, not pets! But, we inherited a dog when my grandpa passed away last month, and wouldn’t you know it, I pet the thing! and it gets on my couch! If you had told me that last year I would have told you you were full of it! I think part of it for me is my sweet girl’s animal love too. I mean, she about dies when I call the cats idiots, etc. we’re getting soft in our maturity girl 😉 and my little guy stepped on a broken ball jar last year…it went straight through the bottom of his foot, the entire bottom of the jar. it was awful. 14 stitches. ugh. sending you wine and Jesus vibes from Oregon. thanks for the laughs~ Mandy

  2. Nita

    OMG, what a day!!!!! Not in one day, but at one time 9 different bad things happened within days. Daughter’s leg injury her ballet teacher caused, hubby lost job and the car we were buying had to be returned. It went on and on and I ended up with panic attacks.

  3. Joannah

    Wow! What a day. I’d be a complete wreck, and calling my mom over and over again. You are amazing. I hope Ruth is dong much better. Poor kitty cat.

  4. Meg Coleman

    Reminds me of the day last spring when my 93 year old mama ran over our 17 year old dog. My mama just drove too fast for my poor old dog who was running in front of her car. Since my mama has kinda shrunk down, I don’t think she can see too good just over the dash. It was a horrible no good day, also.

  5. Lori Barre'
    you did GREAT!
    we had a cat jump through the lowest pocket door pane when we moved to our farm 5 yrs ago. he sliced his arm open from elbow to wrist…meat hanging open. we got 30ppm colloidal silver in a small spray bottle and sprayed it on (non stinging) 3 to 4 times a day the first week and 2 times a day after. the wound pulled together, no abscess, no howling.
    my 14 yr old daughter sliced her toe good…we did the same with her…amazing stuff!

  6. April

    Sometimes when I’m having an awful day and I tell it out loud to my husband, it sounds so silly that all those things have upset me, kind of like when you tell a nightmare out loud it’s not as scary as it was in your head? Your day was not one of those. That was an awful day. My word. You’re a kinder mom than I. I hate cats. I’ve had a few days like that. I wrote about one of those days on my blog. Mine covered a whole weekend:

    Right after that I got mastitis. I knew it was happening, I’d had it before, but they won’t give you an antibiotic until you have the fever. The 103.5 can’t stop shaking from the chills and delirious and Advil won’t break it fever, and it hit at 7 pm on a Friday. By the time the on-call doctor called back and quizzed me thoroughly (it was a man) and reluctantly called in the Rx, it was late, and Adam had to drive 30 minutes to the 24-hour pharmacy, which means I got my first dose after midnight.

    The next day Adam and his brothers had tickets to see the Salt Lake Real play (soccer). I told him to go. All I had to do was feed the baby. The other 5 kids would just play, and I’d stay in bed in between. Ladies: Learn where the water valve to your dishwasher is. Because one day your dishwasher might randomly start filling with water WHILE THE DOOR IS OPEN AND IT’S NOT TURNED ON and it might start spilling all over the floor while you are in the middle of feeding your newborn and you have mastitis and want to die and your husband is not home and at the same time your 3-year old breaks a glass on the floor by the dishwasher where you and five of your very young kids are all standing barefoot as you are trying to figure out how to turn off the water and throwing down towels and the baby is screaming bc she had just started eating and you are trying to carry each of your barefoot babies away from the broken glass without cutting your own feet and you can barely stand bc you are so sick and water is still going everywhere and you grab a kid cup and start bailing water out of the dishwasher without passing out and you go to run the disposal to see if that will by some miracle help drain the water in the dishwasher and you find your favorite pen in the disposal instead and you scream at your kids to run and get your (very handy) neighbor but he’s not home. Because that could hypothetically happen to you. But if you know where the water valve is you could skip several of these steps and have a much less interesting story to share.

    Then I woke up covered in hives from an allergic reaction to the antibiotic. Great. They told me to stop taking it (obviously. I’d already figured that part out), and didn’t give me another one. They told me to wait and see if it came back. Fortunately, it didn’t.

  7. Amber~FPH

    Oh Angela! I’ll drink some Bordeaux for you! LOL!

  8. Toni

    Mon Cheri! With all due respect, I couldn’t contain myself and laughed throughout the post. Way to funny and way too real. It’s nice to know that even you have terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days……..and here I had the audacity to think that you had a perfectly perfect life. 😉

    I look forward to each and every post, as you make wife-hood, motherhood, and personhood feel normal and real as opposed to what the world tells us that we can have it all. It’s a fine line, a balancing act, in which God is front and center, and Who leads us through the rest.

    God bless!

  9. Donna

    I’m sorry, but I laughed also! I truly remember those days when my girls were young and we lived in the middle of nowhere with snakes, bugs, cows crashing through fences to get to my garden, dozens of kitties (we had 7 cats dropped off at the end of our driveway, four of them pregnant, and all delivered within days…I told my daughter to stop counting out loud when the number almost reached 25…I didn’t need to know!), but they actually are great memories now, and will be a humorous story told 20 years down the road. Chin up, you made it girl!!!

  10. Glynis

    I’m almost wordless by your tenacity.

  11. Bonnie Schulte

    Good grief, I think we should nick-name you “Wonder Woman” Really, what a Horrible time you had, but you did “GOOD” So sorry to hear about Ruth the Cat, but happy that he will survive the entire tragic day also. I know all about giving a cat pills. It took me to drop the pill in the cat’s month, while husband held her mouth open. I did this too, for two weeks, so I know how tough it is. You gotta we pretty proud of yourself….Wonder Woman!!!

  12. Katherine

    Whew!! I would have lost it when the cat exploded! I’m glad everyone survived the day. 🙂

  13. Janet Hurley

    Laughing—but somehow I don’t laugh when my days go like that. In the last 6 months, my family has moved from the suburbs to a farm with a house to renovate. I’ve had cow poo in my hair, calving slime all over me, chicken poop on my bare feet, dealt with 72 animals and 6 of my kids whilst hubby remained in the city because of ice storm–twice-, and I milk 3 cows twice a day and homeschool…………and no, we’ve never lived on a farm before! So I can totally relate!!!!
    I love your blog=)

  14. melyssa

    Oh, lordy. I’m laughing with you and not at you because I had a day like this yesterday. We just got back from visiting my family in Idaho and we literally have $7 in our checking account until payday. We are playing “Chopped” all week as we gingerly eat whatever is in the pantry. My gas tank is running on fumes. We sell my son’s bed on craigslist for $75 so yay! But it was not in time to keep the checking account from going under (when you see the bank on the caller id you know they ain’t calling to say howdy). Suddenly we realize the dog is gone. Like, gone. The back gates are shut so what the hey? Well, the internet is out so maybe the repairmen went through the yard and let him out? You know, the repairmen who spent hours out there but still didn’t fix anything? So we drive around in the 106 degree heat in the van that the ac has gone the way of the internet. No dog. I can’t call Animal Control or check the lost and found online BECAUSE THE INTERNET IS OUT. So I load up the laptop and go searching for free wifi. The animal control website says they have a male cocker spaniel but the don’t have a picture up yet which makes me think he just got there. Oh crappity crap, I think. Didn’t they send me a notice about renewing his dog license like two months ago? Great. Sure enough, we get out there, kids in tow, and there’s our Milo, looking like he’s enjoyed his lovely adventure of getting in cars with strangers. “That will be $88 for the boarding fee” (what the what now? He’s been here like an hour and a half!), “$75 for not having him licensed, and $25 for the new license.” I promptly burst into tears. I count out my wrinkled bed money, crying all over the place, and beg them to let me take the dumb dog home so my son doesn’t wail all night. There was no poopage or glass splinters so your day was worse, but still … pets. Pets and money. Grr.


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