You Are Covered In Kitty Litter and Other Thoughts About Family Life

This past weekend deserves an honorable mention in the Our Life Is Crazy Hall of Fame.

Back story: I’ve been sick for a week. Thus, my poor housekeeping skills are at an all time low. It looks like a bunch of sticky crap has exploded on all of the surfaces and walls of the kitchen.

The two-year old launched an entire bowl of Fuse Beads off the kitchen table. So there’s that. You can never completely clean up a Fuse Bead incident of that magnitude.

And let’s not forget the three loads of clean laundry waiting to be folded and the wet clothes in the washer that are starting to smell suspect. How many times can one wash the same load of clothing? Apparently many, many times.

I’m not even sure that the clean laundry should be considered clean at this juncture. Every time I open the laundry room door our dog bum rushes the laundry baskets, jumps in and kicks everything out. He does this weird snorting and circling thing in the clothes once his stubby legs have landed him in said baskets. I suspect he may be urinating on the clean clothes.

If the dog has been pissing on the clothes I will only be able to whisper obscenities because I’ve lost my voice. This has thrown my daughter (who is on the Autism Spectrum) for a complete loop.

She keeps growling: Stop. Whispering. At. Me. Stop. Whispering. At. ME. I guess this a welcome change from Stop. Yelling. At. Me. Really, I’m not one who yells a lot, but any tone of frustration in my voice causes her to think that I’m going to lose my shit.

Granted, I am generally going out of my mind, but I really do try to keep that masked by a tone of kindness and understanding. Bah ha ha ha ha grinding teeth while entertaining ideations of drinking an entire bottle of wine.

So as I mentioned in an earlier post we decided to appease my daughter’s soul-crushing reaction to finding out that there is no tooth fairy (You are the worst mother ever and you’ve ruined my entire life), and put an end to her three-year long Adopting a cat will mean that all of my dreams have come true campaign by getting her a kitten.

If you have ever spent any length of time with a kid who has autism you will learn that they tend to obsess, and obsess hard.

So, for the last week Ruby has been talking non-stop about getting the kitten. She brought a whole pile of cat care books home from the library and explained to me at great length how to read a cat’s body language.

She made lists of things we need to purchase for the cat. She chewed over a slew of names (Blackberry? Dina? Dingleberry?). She could barely sleep.

When the big day arrived we all went to the Cat Adoption Team shelter together. Ruby’s excitement was at a fevered pitch. She hopped from cage to cage extolling the virtues of each cat.

This one is so friendly! (The cat was cowering in the corner of a cage, eyes dilated, fur on end.) This one is so playful! (The cat was clawing at the cage as if gunning for blood). This one is very sleepy! (The cat was geriatric, sleeping, or dead, would not rouse even with poking).

Meanwhile the two-year old had eaten about ten of the complimentary double stuffed cookies offered at reception. Geeked up on sugar and arms filled with cat toys he ran up and down the aisles yelling: Kitty! Kitty! Kitty! Kitty! I touch! I see! Give me kitty!

We ended up chosing an adorable, sweet, feisty black fuzzy three-month old kitten that was recommended by Extreme Cat Lady Volunteer on Duty. Before we could leave, Extreme Cat Lady adoption counselor insisted on giving me thirty minutes of instruction about kitten care. And kitten food. And kitten poop.

We finally got the kitten home, got her set up in the bathroom, assured Ruby fifteen times that the kitten would indeed always be hers. The kitten, now known as Alice, was pleased as pie about her new digs.

Food? Purr! Litter box? Purr! Small toddler holding her by the neck? Purr! Toys? Purr. Two children fighting over her? Purr. Small toddler freaking out that older siblings are petting her? Purr.

Awesome, I thought. This kitten is bullet proof.

Then we unleashed the dog. The dog sensed something was awry and ran to bathroom door. He went pug style crazy. Snort, snort, snort, snort, cough, cough, snort. The kitten, having heard the monstrous pug noises blew up like a little puffer fish and began hissing and growling at the sound of the dog.

I decided I had to escape the madness for a couple of hours. As I drove back home to pick up my husband for date night, I got a call. He sounded unhappy. Very unhappy. He had just experienced a Major Toddler-Kitten Incident.

The Major Toddler-Kitten Incident went like this:

In a moment of total insanity, my husband left the two-year old alone with the kitten and a full box of kitty litter. He returned a few minutes later to find the entire bathroom, toddler, and kitten covered in kitty litter, kitty litter dust, and kitty poop clumps.

He then stripped toddler down to a diaper, disposed of kitty litter covered clothing, and left the half-naked toddler with our older kids so he could quickly walk the dog (who had just eaten and is a ticking fecal time bomb after food ingestion).

While husband was walking the dog, the toddler freaked out. The freak out caused him to take a huge poop that blew out the diaper. Meanwhile the babysitter arrived to complete chaos and no husband in the house.

What I thought as my husband told me the story:
Seriously? You left the toddler alone with a kitten and a box of kitty litter? And, You left the toddler alone with the older kids who don’t know their asses from their elbows? 

What I said: Oh man. I’m so sorry.

By the time I pulled into the driveway everything appeared to be in control. My husband warned me to stay in the car so the two-year old wouldn’t flip out again. The babysitter had everything in control.

My husband finally joined me in the car, ready for date night. He smelled like a cloud of kitty litter and toddler poop. He had the look of a lunatic. We stared at each other, laughed, and nodded in silent agreement. Yes, this is our life. Kitty litter. Toddler poop. Dog pee. Chaos. Love.

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25 thoughts on “You Are Covered In Kitty Litter and Other Thoughts About Family Life

  1. aw that is so sweet about “learning to read a cat’s body language”…
    also- I ALWAYS need to rewash my clothes because I’ve left them in the washing machine wet too long. And I don’t have any kids. Or illnesses. Does that make you feel better? ;)

  2. Damn fine narrative. I could see and smell and frictionize the tumult and turmoil. Gee, I wish I were a younger man so I could experience this in the raw again. So much chaos; so little time.
    “and the smells, oh the horror, the horror.”

  3. So what I’m getting from your post is this:
    You should have gone with the cat that was very sleepy…

    Hang in there. Kids and pets are WORTH IT!
    (Ha. I just had to say that. I’m totally kidding.)

    • You should get the kitten. Bunnies do too much pooping while hopping. They are out of control poop depositors. But if you really want a bunny, I’ll send you one. Let me know.

    • I tried to sell my husband on two kitties, but no go. Now that I see how hard the pug is spazzing out about the one kitten I see it’s probably for the best. But you, you should get another kitten so I can see all the cute pictures.

  4. When my daughter was about 2, I was babysitting a friend’s daughter who was about nine months older and my entire day consisted of following in their footsteps cleaning up the string of disasters they were leaving behind them, rushing to try to catch up with them before they made the next. I was putting EVERY CD in the house back in the rack when I heard water splashing and them giggling. Ran to the bathroom to find them dunking the kitten in the toilet to give it a “bath.” Your story actually made me feel a little grateful my story wasn’t worse. :)

  5. ohh… clean (dirty smelling) clothes sitting in the washing machine for 3 days, three baskets of clean clothes looking to be folded and put away, unidentified sticky spot on the kitchen floor, two boys with ADHD and three dogs that refuse to learn any decent manners…. seriously, I thought I was the only one! Reading your posts doesn’t make me feel “normal” but it’s nice to know I’m certainly not alone! :)

  6. ohmygoshness you are making me laugh so hard. so, so, so hard. I am so, so, so thankful for you and your crazy life and your willingness to go no-holds-barred.

    P.S. you are not alone on the laundry thing. I know you knew it, but it bears repeating.

  7. Tootsie rolls are quite delicious for the dogs. We have to cover the opening just enough to the box so our dog doesn’t enjoy a feast.

  8. This is a riot!!! I just subscribed. The oldest of my four boys (eek!) is on the “spectrum” too, and true confessions–yesterday, the youngest two were leaping off my bed into the pile of clean laundry overflowing off the chair in my bedroom, where it was waiting to be folded (yeah right). :-D Glad it’s not just me!

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