Thursday, May 24, 2007

kittens and magnolias

Every day I get up and instantly I am incredibly, horribly behind on everything. As soon as I get downstairs, I hear the cries of my newest foster kittens (I have seven foster kittens at the moment. Of these, two are pushing the envelope of kitten fostering technology, having been separated from their mother at only about four days old. Amazingly enough it looks like they are going to make it, although one came with a nasty abscess and is on antibiotics). The kittens are starving and have fouled their pen and themselves. The adult cats and parrot are screaming for breakfast. The kitchen is a wreck. For the sake of sanity, the coffee needs to be made.

Giving the parrot breakfast is the Sober Husband's job, as he has developed a ritual which is viewed, by the parrot, with an increasingly over-developed sense of entitlement. In the immortal vernacular of the eighties, "I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast, but my parrot likes hot butter on her breakfast toast." The parrot takes a well-buttered English muffin, consumed perched on the husband's shoulder, casting the evil eye towards everyone else who dares approach the sacred breakfast table. Until said English muffin is served up, the parrot screams and screams (the next door neighbors told me that for years they used to think, "God, Iris is sure loud in the mornings"). Now, to add a soupcon of stress to this charming ritual, Lola has developed a sibling rivalry with the parrot. Through the various stratagems of pouting and nearly crying with angst that her father can momentarily not hold her on his lap, Lola manages to achieve another victory for homo sapiens over the animal kingdom, getting the parrot prematurely banished back to her cage so that she may eat her own breakfast sitting in the paternal lap.

After their breakfast, the kittens are clingy and want to climb on me, but I need to shrug them off so I can clean their pen. I also need to clean their meat off my clothing and floor, as they are messy eaters (and my nice vegetarian home! It's defiled every morning!) It takes me roughly one hour each morning to feed the animals, clean the kittens' pen, make the coffee, get Lola's breakfast, and do what little chores must be done, such as running a load of laundry. At the end of the hour, I myself have not had breakfast and have not glanced at the newspapers. The feelings of stress and being behind remain all day.

Right now, I can hear a periodic, slightly wheezy sound, and I cannot track it down. I cannot get rid of the nagging suspicion that it's an ailing animal somewhere which needs my attention. It's a fairly logical conclusion in this house that a wheezing sound signifies the presence of an animal which will need chauffeuring about to the vets' and the administration of various medications. I think, though, that it's more likely a sign of increasing neurosis on my part. We have also now entered into the time of year when the motherfucking magnolia tree rains its foul seed pods down upon the back deck, and the intermittent thuds are working what little nerves are left within the raddled shell of your old Drunken Housewife. Kittens and magnolia trees: they seem so pretty and innocent, but they're destroying what little is left of my brain.

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