Tuesday, December 29, 2009

On waking up in a puddle of piss

After a lovely--if a little whirlwind--trip back East, we arrived home on Sunday afternoon. Oscar, our new kitten, was hungry but happy to see us. I noticed our cat sitter hadn't picked up the cash I'd left on the counter and I panicked momentarily, thinking perhaps she hadn't come at all. But the litter boxes were relatively clean, the mail inside, sidewalk somewhat shoveled and Oscar wasn't starving.

Just then my Blackberry starts buzzing. It's Paula. "Oh good, you're back. I was so worried!" She races to tell me she's lost my house key and couldn't get in to feed Oscar that morning. She'd even had her mom (a well-known Oak Park family practice doctor) call some of our neighbors to see if they had a copy of our key.

I reassure Paula that Oscar's okay, she can come get her payment whenever and not to worry about the key. But that drama was small potatoes compared to what we were in for a few hours later.

Sunday night A wakes up, as she has been since campaigning to go Pull-Up free, at midnight. I take her to the potty, and then back to her crib. She hollers bloody murder, and after about half an hour of it, we bring her to our bed. She demands water, hogs the pillows and covers and kicks me in the face repeatedly. After a few stern warnings, Josh tells her the party's over and deposits her back in her crib. Hysterical crying commences and goes on for two bloody hours. At some point I close our door to minimize the damage to my eardrums and psyche.

Trapping Oscar inside.

Exhausted from the midnight battles, I sleep like the dead and don't hear the cat meowing and scratching at our door. Josh apparently does, but figures Oscar probably just wants to be fed.

Around 5:40, Josh wakes me up. "Um, I think Oscar might have..." I shift and find myself in the middle of a warm wet spot. How can A have wet the bed, I wonder, didn't we put her back in her room? Josh continues, "I think Oscar pooped in our room somewhere."

I dawns on me that the zoo like smell and the warm spot are probably connected and we start stripping our bed. The piss has soaked through our down comforter, sheets and mattress pad, but the mattress is still dry.

The good news is that our "dry clean or professionally launder" comforter comes our spotless and odor-free after a vinegar-enhanced trip through the washer and extended stay in the dryer (with a tennis ball). The bad news is that our room still smells. I sprinkle the carpet with baking powder, light candles and still the odor remains. I'm sniffing the mattress, wondering if somehow the cat piss has infected it when Josh discovers a giant cat turd in my walk-in closet. Gross, but at least he laid waste to my old Crocs instead of my new boots. And once that mess was cleaned up, the bedroom was fresh as a G-d damn daisy.

And we learned our lesson. Never keep a kitten from his litter box. And quit reinforcing A's bad habit of "sleeping in the big bed with Mama." Operation tough love began last night.

He didn't mean to be bad...