Monday, August 21, 2006

morning from hell

I was up until 2 AM because I sustained a large burn on the palm of my hand cooking Anton's special dinner for his birthday, and the pain prevented me from going to sleep. I got through the dinner itself by icing my hand, but the pain when I was trying to stop icing was unbelievable. I used up all the ice in the house, plus a bag of frozen corn and a cylinder of grape juice concentrate (plus a bottle of chilled white wine, this last taken internally, while the others were administered externally).

We're fostering a litter of tiny kittens right now, three little gray tigers with a lot of attitude. On day one, they were growling and biting (there's nothing much cuter than a baby animal who can't even effectively walk trying to scare someone), but now they have come to regard me as The Source Of All Food. They're at this incredibly awkward phase, where they are transitioning from bottlefeeding to eating solids, which means they have to be fed and they make a huge mess. I'm doing at least one load of laundry a day which is solely cat laundry (I use a towel every time I feed them, plus there's a towel in their container which needs constant changing).

So now, when I get up, the parrot is screaming for breakfast, our own three cats are squawking and leading me towards their bowls, the fish needs feeding, the children need breakfast, AND before I can really do anything, I have to sit down and feed the starving kittens. Thankfully the rats are low maintenance and are happy to chill out in the mornings. (Rats: the ideal pet!)

The three kittens need two different medications: one twice a day, one three times a day. Al, Lucy's cat, needs two different medications as well, and this normally mellow cat turns into a spitting, shrieking monster when he sees the medications. Al lost control of his bladder when I was medicating him yesterday, the little orange freak, meaning I had to strip the couch cushion covers and launder them.

All this means, at a minimum, that before I've even had a cup of frigging coffee I have to spend a solid hour feeding and medicating animals, then cleaning the kittens' container. I've gone from having a halfway house with my pet alcoholic to having a veterinary clinic. It was my idea, so I shouldn't complain, but it's hard work, and there's no support to be had from the husband. I should note that I don't expect him to do any of the routine work of the foster kittens or pets (although he does traditionally have the parrot out during his breakfast). He has been helping me medicate Al, which turns out to be a 3 person job: me using one hand to scruff Al and the other to administer the meds, both Anton and Iris restraining the struggling animal. For someone who only weighs seven pounds, Al sure has a lot of pent up rage.

This morning was extra stressful because the phone was ringing off the hook (including a call from Al's vet asking how the meds are helping him; he's only been on them for TWO DAYS so it's too soon to tell, so why are you wasting your presumably valuable time and mine, vet?). Also, without consulting me, Anton had scheduled a document destruction company to come take my old legal files, which were taking up too much room in the garage. I had to go through all the boxes to make sure everything was good to go. A truck arrived with the world's largest shredder in the back, and they shredded everything in plain sight and then presented us with a bill.

I'm hoping tomorrow's hellish routine will be easier, without the document destruction and with hopefully more sleep.

Off now for the night-time routine of feeding and medicating cats. Sigh.


Anonymous said...

Dag, you really ARE supermom!

An idea for medicating the reluctant Al... pick him up and wrap him shugly in a towel, then he will be immobilised and you should be able to deal with him on your own. I used to do this with one of my cats when I had to give pills, and it made the process go much more quickly and smoothly for both of us.

Anonymous said...

er, make that "...wrap him sNugly..."

Sassy said...

A friend who raised orphan kittens would put soft food on a plate in the tub and let them walk through it as they ate, then bath them as she washed out the tub.