Friday, March 26, 2010

the before and the after, both so unappetizing

So the cat, Ray Charles, and I are both in the tag end of our respective convalescences. We're both lounging around in this hellhole we call home, both appearing somewhat normal, but it took us a lot to get this far. This week's accomplishment for me was going off painkillers: I don't think I've had one since Monday. Ray's biggest achievement was feeling so much more energetic that he woke me up one day, standing on the bed and screaming for canned food.

Ray's convalescence is more spoiled than mine at this point. He wasted away to a skeleton covered with rough black fur, and we've been tempting his appetite with canned food to the point that now all household cats refuse to eat dry food. I foresee a rough adjustment when he is adjudicated healthy enough to return to dry food. But for me, there is nothing in this house I can stand to eat. If I see one more Amy's frozen "Cheddar Bowl", I may commit an act of violence. Yesterday I ate the stale crackers left in the bottoms of a couple of boxes, a few Triscuits and some saltines, for lunch. Today's lunch options are basically toast (made with stale bread) or an egregiously scorned can of low fat split pea soup which the children regard as beneath contempt.

Calling for takeout is not an option when we are over budget for the month, in large part due to a $947 vet bill for Ray Charles and in smaller part because I had a housecleaner coming in once a week for the month after my surgery, not to mention the medical bills trickling in. To look at this place, though, you'd have no idea a housekeeper had ever set food in it.

Everywhere I look, I see something that needs to be cleaned or put away or mended or thrown out. Every surface in this house is covered with used drinking glasses, stacks of books, weird plastic objects the children seem to effortlessly spawn, dust, and dirty laundry. There are stacks of dirty pans everywhere in the kitchen, despite the fact that there hasn't been a lot of cooking. In the garden, my calla lilies are blooming magnificently, but you'd have to make your way through a heap of moldering magnolia detritus and keep your gaze off the weeds and the plants that need re-staking.

I can't imagine having the energy to get even one room of this house bearable. It's reached the point now where it would be supremely embarrassing for anyone to come in the house. It's just overwhelming.

The bright side of this is that the cat and I are perky. During our worst times, I was in pain and miserable, and the cat was considered to be on his deathbed. The one thing I managed to do, with the able assistance of Iris, was to give the cat antibiotics and to hydrate him daily with subcutaneous fluids. This was not a pleasant job, stabbing the poor cat with needles and pushing endless syringes of fluids into him and soaking his syringes in bleach. The Sober Husband was freaked out when I accidentally stabbed myself with one of his needles, which I dismissed. "Diseases don't pass from cats to people like that, and I got needle pricks all the time when I worked at the bird hospital." We got from that state, moribund patients, to our current fussy, messy state, the cat and I. Perhaps in a few weeks we'll be perky enough to pick up the house a bit.


hughman said...

cause GOD FORBID anyone else do any cleaning.

Heather said...

Please don't feel bad! I had a total shoulder replacement in early January and my house is STILL a mess. And I don't have a cat in need of daily sub-Q fluids (just a lazy, but healthy, greyhound). ;)

Joyce said...


Missy said...

I think it takes about 30 minutes for any household to disintegrate into complete chaos.