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
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?
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.
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.