Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Day of Drama: Smells Like Chicken

I used to think that having 3 kids under 4 was a monumental feat of mommyhood. Either I forgot how hectic those days were, or it truly wasn't that bad. Because today I was wishing I once again had 2 in diapers and toddler meltdowns. Dog and cat meltdowns can get very, very ugly.

The drama was unfolding in this section of the house we call Doggy Hospice. By "section," I mean the entire first floor, which is a bit inconvenient since we haven't been either upstairs or downstairs since Christmas. This first floor thing - it's our space, or was. The Doggy Hospice gig has been going on since October. The dog that was going to The Bridge in two months remains alive and somewhat well. Still, he remains.

It started out with The Soup last night - the infamous chicken vegetable soup I started making for Lucky when he was no longer able to eat his kibble because of the tumor that is growing through the roof of his mouth. It takes hours. Stew the chicken, peel and cut up the vegetables, strain, cook until everything is good and soft, add noodles, cook some more. Thicken a bit, cool, then put in a giant vat to dole out his daily rations.

Because the vet said when he stops eating, it's time.

And we don't want it to be "time."

He loves his special soup. He knows when I'm making it. And he can't wait for it to get served up in his bowl. Underfoot, but very unsteady, he falls, I trip over him and vegetables go flying and the chicken carcass hits the floor. I pick it up and rinse off the inevitable dog hair. I start mopping up chicken stock, while he competes with the scrub rags. Slipping, sliding, and of course, covered in the stock. And I grab the wishbone. Just because.

And the cat now thinks Lucky smells nice. Like .... chicken.

Eventually the kitchen is clean and all is well. For now.

I woke during the night to the sound of cat yak. Ugh. In my sleepy stupor I tell myself it can wait til morning. Oh how I wish that Little Green Machine had a remote. I got up and saw that Snickers had not only yakked, but she had dropped a deuce in the corner of the family room. Ripe. She had already done the same thing on the edge of her litter box, and no Princess Kitty can go in the same place twice. After all, we have scruples.

Today before I served up Lucky's (will it be his last?) supper, I scrubbed and cleaned his eating area, the floor, the rugs, the bowls, the wall. His poor little mouth is pretty much out of control, and food flies everywhere. Reminiscent of 3 children under 4. The hose to the vacuum is on the floor and he decides he needs to be right by his bowl, so he attempts to navigate his way across the hose. SPLAAAAT. Down he goes, gangly legs tangled in the hose and he tries like crazy to get himself up. His legs are too weak to push himself up on the tile.

So like any old person who gets frustrated and confused, he pees. And pees. This ginormous puddle beneath him spreads like a giant amoeba, all over the vacuum hose and under his belly. And his feet and legs are literally swimming in the mess as he flops around, trying to stand. One tall, skinny dog, covered with pee, and his spiffy dining area is now a sea of pee. The only way to get him out of the mess is to lift him up, take him outside, and dump him in the snow.

Now I'm covered in canine urine, still have the lingering smell of feline feces, and Ron Burgundy comes in as I've finished cleaning up the floor. He puts Lucky in the tub. Yes, the whirlpool. Gives a whole new meaning to "spa day." Dog gets clean, towels get washed, and then he tackles the litter box. I hear him mumbling under his breath.

Standing there in the laundry room in his whitey tighties, I hear "I never thought I'd find myself standing here on a Saturday morning doing this."

"And I wouldn't want to be anywhere else."

Sweet man.

Smells like....chicken.

Tea tonight: Harney & Son's green with citrus


Beth E. said... poor dears! And, can't stop laughing! I don't mean to laugh. You do tell a great story, though!

So sorry you had such a yucky day. Poor Lucky. What a goo mama you are to him! Sorry about the cat, too.

Hope tomorrow (well, actually TODAY, here in VA)is a better day!

gitz said...

Oh, Candy... first of all, Ron is a keeper. But I'm not surprised, because after all of these years of watching him (and hearing Bobbi talk of him) you can see the sincerity in his eyes. You are a great match for one another.

And I'm SO sorry about Lucky. I try to pretend that will never happen with my Riley, but I can assure you if it does, I would be walking with my crutches, struggling to make him soup. Because the thing about dogs is that they would do it for us if they could.

Hope tomorrow is a better day all around!

Liz (Loving Mom 2 Boys) said...

Oh what a day!! What a wonderful mommy you are to Lucky - he truly is lucky to have such wonderful people in his life!!

sherri said...

I'm laughing...WITH you, not at you!

Yep, Ron is a keeper, but you just gave me a visual of your hubby in his underwear!

Alix said...

Sad and hilarios all at the same time, Candy. You are a good mom and Lucky is, well, lucky to have you. Augie sends his love and an order for homemade chicken and vegetable noodle soup.

Helen said...

Candy, I am so sorry about Lucky.

Steph at The Red Clay Diaries said...

Such a tender story, even soaked in urine. Our older dog is 13 and getting weaker every day. As you told the story, I knew the punchline for each situation before you got to it. ("Oh, I bet Lucky pees all over himself.")

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