A cat, dental hygiene, and $123

If I seem a little absent lately, it's because my writing brain has gone missing. I think it's out looking for a more attentive host.

I've been a little distracted by, well, life. For example, this is how yesterday went.

I awoke with the sudden realization that the cat hadn't eaten or had water for many hours. Due to a feral cat who sunk its fevered fangs into our sweet kitty's foot, said appendage was two times its normal size and can bear no weight. He couldn't get downstairs to eat all night. I had neglected our feline family member because a certain human member had a tantrum - I had the audacity to ask her to wash her hands. (In all fairness to her, this is only her second week of all-day kindergarten and she comes home exhausted; although that rationalization did little to ease my anger at the time.)

I spent the time I should have been getting dressed looking under beds and in closets for - the thought crossed my mind - a dead cat. (He wasn't.) That put the whole morning off schedule. Add an intense storm and missing rain coats and I end up dragging the kids through puddles to where the bus is already waiting at the stop.

From there I go to my first "full day" of work. Despite the short day, the transition from house-work to office-work is surprisingly tiring. Instead of catching up on chores and bills, or just relishing the first hot cup of coffee while Tater Tot is napping, I'm arranging my desk and reading up on grantwriting how-to. Rather than grocery shopping or mediating between my two small anger-management candidates, I'm plugging in network cables and attending my first staff meeting.

I should note here that my children are actually incredibly well-behaved, sweet and loving... when they're apart. When together I spend my every breath and ounce of energy playing referee. Tater is two-years old in two weeks and acting his age with a vengeance. His poor sister suffers his frustrations and constant search for independence at the end of his pinching fingers. Meanwhile she sees the attention he receives (negative as it is) and acts out to even the score.

And, as tired as I am, this is what I come home to (aswell as the bills, the dishes, and the messes). But I digress...

So, I return from work just in time to collect H off the bus. As usual she is staaaarving, mom! As I throw a pizza in the oven - the kind we never eat but very thankful to have on such occasions - invalid kitty limps into the kitchen with a paw four times its normal size, and shaking. He attempts a jump onto the table, scrabbles at the table cloth and thumps inelegantly to the floor. I swear I see his little cheeks flush in shame. Time to make a call to the vet.

45 minutes, a slice of pizza, and a frantic search for the cat carrier later, we are in the car, mewling cat and pizza-sauce covered children along with (who are also mewling along with).

Another 30 minutes later I am writing a check for $123.


FOR 8lbs OF CAT!!

I haven't had my teeth cleaned in three years because it costs $100 each time, but I just paid a vet (who has lovely teeth) more than I earned in my whole first two weeks of work. Because some neighbor couldn't be bothered to neuter their damn cat, one of its hoodlum offspring just cost me another six months of grungy teeth.

And that's why I haven't written...

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