Thursday, November 29, 2007

it's not easy being green

This is a post about cat feet, not about Kermit or Christmas trees or even stinky green cheese. Wait for it.

Floorapalooza 2007 began at The Last Homely House yesterday. Remember The Flooring Thing? While we had originally planned on staying at a pet-friendly hotel, a united and happy, albeit dysfunctional family unit, in the course of our discussions, it didn’t seem like the sanest idea. Like what if the maid came into the room and the cats bolted? Or what if Chip and I went totally DEAF listening to the cats complain to us for 3 days about how UNFAIR it is that we were keeping them cooped up in some strange place and then our ears started to bleed?!?! From the caterwauling?!?!

After careful consideration and talks with other in-the-know flooring people, we decided instead that I’d be the only one displaced to a hotel, and Chip would barricade himself and the cats inside the master bedroom – complete with open windows (brrrrr- chilly!), lots of blankets, the catbox, and plenty of cat food for the fuzzy ones. This plan also helped our desire to vent the house as quickly as possible, so that yours truly would be able to inhabit it again, without any possible damage to the Bean. Yes, in case you were wondering, we do want her to be able to walk in a straight line!

So that was The Plan. The Cat Plan. All seemed to be going fairly well (with the usual delays and such that can be expected – uneven concrete requiring much grinding down, delays in laying the floor, etc.). The contractors put down some kind of water sealant barrier (imagine a BRIGHT GREEN layer of polymer poured over concrete) as the final step before laying the floor. They left the house around 3:30 p.m. to let the polymer set-up overnight, with a promise of returning the next day. Because Chip was staying in the house, the flooring guys kindly left a little polymer-free walkway leading from the entry to the stairs, so Chip would not be trapped upstairs. As Chip was walking this little path, talking to me on the phone yesterday afternoon, he goes – “Oh my gosh. The guys got some of the green stuff on the STAIRS.” Then there was a silent beat – and he said, “Wait a minute. THAT’S NOT FROM THE WORKERS. THERE’S A CAT LOOSE! I’LL CALL YOU BACK!” So it turns out that Phoebe – the ever wily, ever sweet, ever fun-loving PHOEBE had escaped from the bedroom and had traipsed her ever-loving wide cat body across the green goo – and then, after getting her paws thoroughly coated in the stuff, had walked upstairs. To, you know, clean up. Commence much Freaking Out. Poor Chip dealing with this all on his own – calling me every 2 minutes with updates:
-found Phoebe!
-paw assessment!
-who do we call!
-did you know there's an ANIMAL poison control!
-is she vomiting! (stupid question - it's PHOEBE, the feline puke machine!)
-we need to take her to the vet!
-this green goo has solidified into Incredible Hulk-colored masses on her feet!
-she looks like she's wearing green sandals!
-this is not funny!

Chip was a trooper, despite my ill-advised suggestion to dip her feet into a warm bathtub of water. He helpfully reminded me that it was WATER SEALANT we were trying to remove, and WATER will not dissolve WATER SEALANT. (Duh - am incredibly stupid sometimes. Will probably make some horrific errors in judgement with the Bean, as well. Have now added TAKE INFANT FIRST AID to To Do list.)

Chip got her to the vet. The vet? Amazing. Kind. Stayed very late to help our poor cat. You need to understand that Phoebe has very fuzzy feet. Like bunny slippers. Like Hobbit feet. Or your Uncle Hal’s ears. She has these ginormous tufts of cotton-like hair just sprouting, willy-nilly, between her paw pads. Makes for great entertainment on a hardwood floor. And apparently, the perfect medium for scooping up horribly large amounts of bright green floor polymer – and then forming into solid chunks of green rubber. At one point, they had to put Phoebe in some kind of a pillowcase-like BAG with four holes for her FEET so they could then proceed to TRIM ALL THE HAIR OFF HER PAWS and then SCRUB HER POOR LITTLE PEET UNTIL THEY BLED. It was really awful, actually. I’m not going to tell you which of us cried at the Vet – but yes, there were many tears. At this point in the story, I had now joined Chip. I raced from downtown Seattle to home in horrific traffic (only took me 90 minutes! To go 22 miles!). The vet also gave us cat laxative to coat Phoebe’s insides so that any of the goo she consumed will sort of, um, slide through. And not get caught on anything.

This is the point in the long and drawn-out story where I’m supposed to tell you that we got home and all was well – Phoebe was fine – everyone was happy and we all sang La La La and watched The Grinch on ABC. But, um, NO.

When we got home, we discovered that the paw prints on the carpet had magically TRIPLED in quantity. Because Fergus had now ALSO escaped. And was SITTING ON OUR BED, LICKING AND SHAKING THE LIFE OUT OF HIS PAWS. Annnnnnd it was at this point in the proceedings that Yours Truly finally lost it. Wigged out. Couldn’t take it. I mean, come ON! BOTH OF THEM?

I love these cats like I love members of my family. They ARE members of our family. They are precious commodities that may drive me absolutely batty - but I would totally move heaven and earth to make sure they were safe and happy.

Amidst my wigging, Chip really stepped up to bat and got things under control. We pulled off whatever green goo we could from Fergus’ feet. He isn’t as hairy as Phoebe, so that was helpful. Also – he’d walked on the stuff much later than she had, so he didn’t have as much. We gave him & Phoebe generous doses of the laxative. I cried. We fed them their crunchies. I cried some more. And then I threw up. Because – WHY NOT?????? I finally left the house a while later, because the fumes weren’t doing me or Bean any favors.

In the light of this morning, I'm feeling better. Chip is better. Fergus and Phoebe are both doing better. Fergus gets his turn at the vet today. (I know he’s laughing at the sad state of Phoebe’s paws. Oh, little man – you have no IDEA what you’re in for.)

The flooring guys came back today - and besides them LAUGHING THEIR BUTTS OFF AT OUR HUBRIS, they informed us that the polymer was still too tacky, and they couldn't lay the floors today. They will be back sometime tomorrow.

The way this is going, I'll be LIVING at the La Quinta until January. (Okay, maybe not really - but it feels like it. Whiny, whiny me.) My plans for the weekend involve an assuredly futile attempt to remove bright green polymer rubber from carpet. That, and loving my husband and our two ridiculous CRAZY escape-artist cats, just glad that everyone's okay. Well, as long as I'm not still living at the La Quinta. In which case, I'll be lying on a hard hotel bed, thinking of all of you and singing La La La, life is weird.

--I don't think I've ever written "polymer" so much in my lifetime. Polymer. Polymer. Polymer.

--How stupid is it to call it THE La Quinta. That's, like, The The Hotel Place. Or something. Am stupid and know nothing about Spanish, despite my continued attempts to read about Green Eggs and Ham (No - Juan Ramone DOESN'T WANT THE STUPID HUEVOS VERDES CON JAMON.)


tearese said...

oh, how traumatic! I hope everyone is okay. This post appeared while I was reading the comments from the last one!

Tessie said...

I'm stressed just reading this. Ack.

THE La Quinta. It's like THE Ohio State University. That always irritates me when I'm watching football.

Artemisia said...

Oh, poor kitty feet! Poor kitty momma! I hope today is much, much more dull and uneventful.

Heidi said...

Oh, I'm so sorry--I'm glad they both seem to be fine. How are you holding up?

Whimsy said...

Thanks for all the well-wishes. I'm really doing much better. Chip was doing work from home yesterday (hence the 3:30 discovery), and again this morning - so he's been able to call me with Cat Updates. Both of them appear to be fine, which helps me to feel considerably better. Now to just get back into my own bed...

All Hail The The La Quinta!

stacie d said...

wow this is all tragically hilarious! events like this make me so glad you have a blog!

oh and i'm glad everyone is doing well...humans, felines & fetus.

Chip said...

I kid you not, the door was shut personally by me all day. (You shut a door, and that should be all there is to it.) How Phoebe got out was an unbelievable mystery, but she is Super-Panzon so it would eventually make sense. 2 hours later when El Bandito-Mokito got out, it made sense to me that we had a door that conscientiously shut, but never freaking latched.
(I cried for them)
(These punk cats are not supposed to make me feel so emotional, cuz I'm the strong/logical one. But my wife is right, they are a part of the fam, and I can't imagine life without them)
The felines still seem fine as we now fall asleep at 10:43pm tonight. I love you beautiful. Thanks for being strong.

ailene said...

I read this post awhile ago, but didn't comment for some reason... I'm glad to know that things are going better now though!

parkingathome said...

Oh my god what a great story! I really need to delve into your archives