I come back from running errands this morning and apologize to W.
“I’m sorry,” I say.
That’s the apology. Standard issue.
But then I feel the need to expound.
The kids often ask me if I’m whistling. “No, I’m just trying to release some steam so my head doesn’t explode,” I say.
I must have been a tea kettle in one of my former lives.
I give W my “I believe in” speech just like in Bull Durham, even though my rant has nothing to do with baseball or believing in anything, let alone whether Susan Sontag’s works are overrated or Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.
This is what I say:
“Let me tell you how my brain works. I think in a very linear way. My brain goes from A to Z with no stops in between. A, B, C, D and that’s it. No, A point two or C and a half. A, B, C, D. I have a lot of stuff that I need to take care of. And, I have everything mapped out in my head as far as what needs to get done and in what order and what I need to do to make sure that everything gets done. So, when something happens that’s unplanned — and I know with kids and pets and jobs and life there are a lot of things that come up unexpectedly — I get thrown off. I know that I shouldn’t get so freaked out, but I do. I realize that it’s only cat pee, and I tell myself that, but I still get frustrated.”
Flash back to first thing this morning: Our boy cat Moon mistook an armchair for a litter box.
I have plans to fix up the downstairs of our house with some new paint and some new furniture, so the cat peeing on old furniture is a wrench in my mental gears. Clunk.
Plus, cat pee stinks a lot and it’s gross and nearly impossible to clean.
I use these words to describe how I’m feeling:
I work from home so I’m always around when the animals have accidents in the house.
I continue with my speech, as I have a full head of steam:
“When we decided to move in together, I did not agree to take care of all animal feces, urine and vomit. I would have agreed to 50/50. 60/40, maybe. But I know for a fact that I never said that whenever an animal poops, pees or vomits in the house, I’ll take care of it. I am not the designated poop picker-upper or pee cleaner. I never once said that when there is poop or pee I’m your go-to guy.”
W laughed. Hard.
I laughed, too.
She wants to get a cat whisperer for Moon. Maybe we will. She’s confident that we’ll be able to work through his urination problems.
I walked away feeling better about things. A little more moored and tethered.
“Shit,” I hear W say.
“What’s the matter?”
“I just spilled my soda.”