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Our house seems to be a converging point
for several occurrences of bad luck these days, and I have to say I
feel like whining a bit.

First off, our cat’s having a tough time. Not Maddie’s
new kitten, but our 16-year-old, as-old-as-our-marriage cat. Her
teeth aren’t doing great, so we made an appointment for her
to go in and get them cleaned under anesthesia yesterday. Because
it’s general anesthesia, she wasn’t allowed any food or
drink the night before, so she spent the evening rather miserable.

And she was more miserable than she otherwise would have been,
because we came home from church Sunday to a stiflingly hot
upstairs. Yes, our upstairs air conditioner decided to go on
strike. On a Sunday. In June. In Texas.

We spent the evening trying to beg the cat
to come downstairs where it was cooler, but try to teach an old
cat, well, anything, and you’ll realize the futility of our
begging. So she lay there all night, slowly dehydrating in

Solitude, because of course the rest of the family camped
downstairs where it was cool rather than the 95-degree bedrooms
upstairs. (Yes, I checked. 95 degrees. Inside. Really.) We made up
the fold-out twin bed in the library for the girls, and slept on
the two non-fold-out couches in the living room ourselves.

I use the word “slept” lightly, because there really
wasn’t much of that going on. The library has two-story-high
windows with only sheers over it, so the girls were chatting and
laughing until it got good and dark around 10 p.m., at which point
Maddie’s kitten began howling loudly from the adjacent
half-bath where she’d been confined after spending the
previous two hours terrorizing the entire downstairs with her
evening antics.

That stupid kitten meowed until midnight, at which point I finally
fell into an exhausted stupor. At 3 a.m. Maddie went to use the
bathroom, and I luckily heard her stumbling around and dove across
the room before she could let out the cat. Unfortunately, it still
woke the cat, who began singing again. Constantly.

What with the big windows and all, the girls were up early and I
was awakened at 5:45 by Maddie holding the kitten over my chest and
saying, “Kitten wants to snuggle you, Mommy!” before
dropping Kitten on me. Fortunately, Kitten’s got good claws
to cushion her landing.

We took my cat in for her cleaning, only to be called a couple
hours later by the vet: “We did a pre-anesthesia x-ray to
check on her congenital heart murmur, and discovered she’s
got gall stones.”


The vet promises to email me the x-rays after the teeth cleaning,
saying I’d “get a kick out of seeing them” before
hanging merrily up. I spent the entire morning threatening,
begging, and cajoling my homeowner’s warranty to get someone
to come look at our a/c on Monday rather than “later in the
week”. The guy shows up close to lunch, looks around, and
says he needs to send a specialist out to fix the problem.

Later in the week.

I say “thank you” as politely as I can, and wave
good-bye as I scratch desperately at my back.

Did I mention I have chiggers?

Chiggers, for you people lucky enough to have never encountered
them, are microscopic insects that burrow under your skin and
torment you for days before finally decomposing into your
bloodstream. Think mosquito bites times ONE HUNDRED. I have a
lovely bouquet of them all along my bra line – they love
tight spots – as well as across my stomach and back, and even
my armpits. Apparently I got a little closer to nature than
I’d thought on our Saturday morning family outing.

We brought the Cat home from a successful teeth-cleaning, learning
that as the doctor prepared her x-rays to send to us, she also
noticed that Cat has kidney stones.


So here I am, trying not to think about scratching, and praying the
a/c “expert” shows up today as promised. Cat is lying
crabbily on our upstairs bedroom floor, steadfastly refusing to
leave her regular domain and still a little woozy from
yesterday’s anesthetic. Maddie and Cora are both punch drunk
from their erratic sleep of the past couple nights, and I’m
trying desperately to get us packed for our road trip Saturday

I know it could be SO much worse: we could only have one air
conditioner in the first place, and spend the day and night in
abject misery. It could be one of the kids really sick instead of
the Cat. And my chigger bits could suddenly develop bulls-eye rings
around them instead. So I know it could be worse, really I do.

But I can do just a teensy bit of whining, right?


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