Lessons I learned from my soggy cat


It was a bleak, rainy morning, the kind that begs you to stay in bed with the covers pulled over your head.  As usual, I got up late and was running around like a fool trying to draw on eyeliner with one hand while feeding whiny kids with the other.  The ferrets, Romeo and Juliet, escaped from their three-story penthouse cage for the umpteenth time that week.  I heard them scampering about in the boys’ room, no doubt hiding another sock treasure they stole.  I put their litter box in the room along with some food and water as I didn’t have time for another ferret round-up.  I was late for work and my kids were late for school.

I returned to my bathroom to finish painting my face and perfecting my hair when I heard my youngest daughter yell out to me, “Mom, Tequila’s in the house and he’s swatting at Buttercup.”

I rolled my eyes.  Who in the hell opened the slider and let the six-foot iguana inside?  And why is the bunny loose in the living room?

I ran out of the bathroom in my undies.  Sure enough, there’s a standoff in the middle of the living room, Tequila whipping his tail and Princess Buttercup bing-bonging around him leaving little pellets all over the tile floor.

“Oh my gosh, you’ve got to be kidding!”  I picked up the rabbit and put her outside in her custom-made, two-story bunny hutch, complete with carpet and a homemade hut.  I looked at my sons as I swept the bunny poop.  “Who let the iguana and rabbit in the house, huh?”

Neither one said anything but they both wore mischievous grins.  A second later  Tequila tried to climb my leg.  I shrieked.   My boys burst out in laughter.  For some reason, they thought me getting clawed by a big, green reptile was funny.  I huffed, put on my stern face and told them to get their shoes on.  My oldest daughter came around the corner of the kitchen with a pen and a piece of paper.  “You have to sign my homework,” she said.  My youngest daughter yelled out from the kitchen table, “I need money for lunch.”

My mind was in a whir.  I glanced at the clock.  8:25.  I had thirty-five minutes to finish dressing, drop the kids off at school and get to work on time.  If I hurried, I could do it.  I yelled at my oldest to open the slider.  I picked up the iguana, put him in his tropical paradise cage complete with a pond, a Ficus tree and a tray overflowing with lettuce, fruit, veggies and hibiscus flowers, and scurried to my room.  As I’m wiggling into my slacks and top, I hear my girls yell simultaneously, “Casper, no!”

CRASH!

And then came the laughter.  Lots and lots of hysterical laughter.

I poked my head into their bedroom.  Our white cat, Casper, was in the fish tank, wide-eyed, drenched from head to toe, and desperately trying to claw his way out.  The hood light dangled behind the dresser and the inhabitant of the fish tank, a white albino frog, was on the floor gasping for breath.

Shit. You’ve got to be kidding me!   

I glanced at my watch.  8:35.

I lifted Casper out of the tank and set him on the floor.  Through her giggles, my oldest put the frog back in the tank.  He was happy to say the least.  I, on the other hand, was wet and on the verge of tears.  I was late.  Really, really late.  I was about to cry when I looked at Casper.  He was strutting down the hall, his head and tail held high, flicking the water from his paws as he went.  He sat down for a moment, licked his fur, then got back up again and strutted off with that ‘I meant to do that’ feline arrogance.

I couldn’t help myself.  I laughed.  I leaned against the wall and let the laughter come until my sides hurt.  Pretty soon we were all laughing and making fun of Casper falling into the fish tank.  As if knowing we were talking about him, he sauntered back down the hall, shot us all a look like we’d lost our minds, and sacheted into the bathroom to eat.  My kids all stood around me, laughing and hugging me.  In that moment I realized something very important:  stop rushing through life, laugh as much as possible, it’s okay to take a few risks, and when the risks don’t work out as planned, flick it off and walk away with your head held up high.

I was fifteen minutes late for work that day, but they were fifteen minutes I’ll never forget.  I never thought I’d learn some of life’s most important lessons from my soggy cat.

And who said cats are dumb?  Oh yeah, the dog, but that’s another story for another day.

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19 thoughts on “Lessons I learned from my soggy cat

  1. Oh, Jenny! Still wiping the tears of laughter from my eyes. In all the years my kids were in school and I had to work, I have never had a morning that was quite so, uh, eventful! Glad you were still able to laugh about it! Trust the cat to teach you a lesson about taking it easy when life gets stressful! 🙂

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  2. Thanks so much for the pingback.

    This is such a wonderful post! I absolutely loved it!

    Do you honestly have that many pets? Or more? Sounds like a dream to me. 🙂

    I’ve had cats, dogs, fish, birds, hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs, ducks, butterfly…. I think that it, lol. Although I’ve rarely had more then two different types of pets at once. It has always been a dream of mine though to have a home “zoo”. I still plan on it too. 😉

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    1. Yes, I did at one time have all those pet in my home. My hubby and I used to joke that we charge admission to our house. The outgoing message on my answering machine at one time said, “thank you for calling the zoo.” I loved every minute of it, until it came time to buy the food. It never failed. Once a month the food cycled around where we had to buy for everyone. THAT was expensive. We are now left with 3 dogs and one cat. All the others have crossed the Rainbow Bridge. They were all angels and I’m blessed to have had them in my life. Good luck with starting your own menagerie.

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      1. I can’t imagine the cost of food. The most pets I had at once was six cats and a dog, plus two people (including myself). Just with that little bit was costly enough, lol. They were worth every penny though, and I’d be glad to do it again. 😀

        Thanks for the luck! Thankfully I have a partner who also love animals as much as I do. So one day I will have my little zoo/farm, or whatever I decide to nickname it. 😉

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  3. You’ve got a damn menagerie in your house! Holy shit. Do the cockroaches have names, too? And don’t tell me you don’t have any…you live in FL. Of course, we call them “water bugs.”

    This was priceless. Loved it. And lessons like that come from all over. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I don’t name things I kill. The palmetto bugs are evil. They must die. And yes, I did once have a zoo in my house. The most I had at one time: 2 rabbits, 2 ferrets, 4 dogs, 3 cats, an iguana, a cockatiel, 3 hamsters, 2 pet feeder mice, 150 saltwater tank, 50 gallon freshwater tank with more than 200 Jack Dempsey babies, and a small pond with several koi that were eventually eaten by the visiting egret. That was at the time this story took place, and I wouldn’t change a minute of it. 🙂

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  4. OMG Jenny, I laughed out loud when I read this! Great story just as I’m about to go to bed and read for a half hour ….. I have to admit that one thing kept going through my mind as I was reading – did you remember to finish dressing before rushing off to work? LOL! You have quite the menagerie there! Loved this! 🙂 xox

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    1. I thought about it, but the story didn’t happen when I was over 40, though. My kids were in elementary and middle school at the time, but, yeah, it’s pretty funny. We still laugh about it.

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