Sunday, October 7, 2012

Freaky Friday

It's been a hectic few weeks, and my Friday was the sort that makes for good blog reading, i suppose, but i'd just as soon not relive it all again. My workday felt a cross between a live-action Dilbert comic and the movie Brasil peppered with moments of Waiting for Godot and Groundhog Day.

I wanted to get the last bit of work done when Jim decided he needed to use a litterbox and chose the  makeshift one i have in my office. Its base is the top of an office box that once contained reams of office paper. I slipped a plastic liner around it and just this week thought i ought to use something a bit more permanent. So, a new litterbox was on my shopping list, and i was deliberating whether i ought to do the shopping after my work day on Friday night or just wait until the weekend.

Jim decided it for me because earlier when he had used the makeshift box, he took the overhanging part of the plastic liner and pulled it across the top of the litter. When he went to use the box again, he peed between the plastic and box. I do have the whole thing sitting on a black, plastic tray, so it was all contained, but still, there i was furiously typing away to meet deadline when the distinct sound of urination followed by the strong smell of cat urine filled the air. By the time i turned my head, Jim was more than halfway done, so there was little to do but let him finish and do my bit of shopping the second i got done with work.

I did a bit of muscial litterboxes before going shopping, as i wanted to get another covered one and thought it'd work best putting it in the guest room, and moving the one in the guest room, a small, open one, into my office since Jim seems to be the only one who uses the litter setup in my office.

Jo was outside, and Jim and Phoebe were in, so i washed the litterboxes and changed the litter while i was at it, discovering that i needed more litter so used up what was there and added that item to my list. I washed the black trays as well, which i use as bases for two of the boxes, as i saw that some urine had found its way onto the tray from the smaller box. I scrubbed, rinsed, dried, set things up, and carried out the bag with the soiled litter and makeshift litterbox with me after locking the door and having list in hand. The bag went into the bin, and i got in the car and used some hand sanitizer before setting off. 

It was supper time and i figured it would be best if i got a bite to eat before tackling the shopping. I stopped at a chain diner type place and liked a sandwich they'd had on their menu for years. A couple was ahead of me waiting for a table, and it was clear they were in the early part of their relationship. They couldn't keep their hands off each other, and she kept cradling his buttocks with her hands as they talked with the hostess. No, they'd prefer a booth, if one were available. Bloody hell, you'd prefer a room more like, i thought as i stood there realizing that my leg was now starting to throb because i hadn't elevated it as much doing my work day as i probably should have, so it was complaining. I wanted to sit down, but even if i did, there wasn't any place i could elevate my leg easily, and i was wearing a skirt, as that's easier with the walking cast. The woman happened to look at me when she groped her boyfriend's backside for the third time, and i saw a lot of mileage in her face. I don't think she's always travelled easy paths, her hair looked bleached one too many times, and her jeans were bordering on too tight to walk easily.

I chided myself for being so judgemental. I was just cross at having one of those days where nothing seemed to go right, and well, if she's finally found someone she finds wonderful, bully for her.

No, there were no booths available, so they made do with a table.

The hostess saw me next, and sat me at a combination booth/table where one of the seats was like a booth and the other a chair. I was grateful that she sat me there as i could easily prop my leg up on the chair opposite me and had a bit of room to flop.

My waitress was young and had been sat a large party only a few minutes before. I quickly found out that one of them worked at a school district and she had some sort of grievance because they hadn't honoured the time she was supposed to have for vacation. Another person at their table was hard of hearing and the person sitting next to him was trying to have another conversation so the speaker was nearly yelling.

The menu was a new menu, and the sandwich i wanted wasn't listed. The waitress had never heard of it, and she suggested a workaround, which i agreed to try. She brought me my salad promptly, and after i finished, i needed to use the restroom. The grievance lady was now just wrapping up her story, the other conversation with the deaf/hard of hearing person had concluded, and as i rose, i caught of whiff of cat urine. It was only then i realized i had seen a wet spot on my skirt when i rinsed off the black trays after scrubbing them. Only, that wet spot must have dripped on there before... before... Oh, God, i was hoping no one else smelled it, but it was a bit late in the game to say anything, so i went in hoping i could clean up and get on with things.

The set up they had in the restroom was only with hand dryers, so there was no paper towelling i could use, and i had taken off my sweater because it was warm in the restaurant and had left it at my table. And, as i discovered when i looked down, the wet spot had since dried or been blotted by my sweater, so i wasn't exactly sure where the spot was. Or even if my skirt still smelled like it, or if it was all in my sweater now.

I returned to my table to find my sweater in the same place i'd left it, but everything else had been removed save the placemat. Salad dish, silverware, napkin, beverage all gone. The busboy must have thought i had left but then saw my sweater so stopped clearing things away. The large table was being served and half of the people were complaining about their order. Condiments added that weren't requested or left off when they should have been on.

My sandwich arrived looking very different from what i had described as what i had wanted, and what the waitress thought this would be, but i was really hungry and wanted to remain as low profile as the cat pee would allow me. Which i felt sure everyone on the planet could smell except me, now that i was desensitized.

A party had been sat right next to my table, and when i sat down, the smell of mothballs wafted over from them. Oh, good, that could cancel out any cat pee odor. Children at another table kept kicking their shoes off and even though their parents said it was time to go, the parents stood talking to another couple seated at a nearby table for the better part of 20 minutes.

If Rod Serling had suddenly appeared, it would've felt quite normal. Or at least have confirmed that i had indeed entered the Twilight Zone.

After paying my dinner check, i made my way to the big box store for the kitty litter and cat pan as my preferred local place was closed. I used the motorized cart thinking it best for my leg, only i hadn't figured on the aisles being not quite wide enough for me and a regular cart meeting up. I'm sure on paper, it's large enough, only just, and that's if both hug the edge as they pass. But there had to be some specially priced items in a cardboard tower in the aisle and the guy pushing the cart was a large man and clearly used to walking in the middle so as to avoid knocking anything over. I knew i'd laugh about it later, only just at that moment, it wasn't funny. I expected a Greek chorus to arrive any moment to sing about the fandango the large man and the cat pee lady in the motorized cart were undertaking.

Then i looked at the contents in my cart's basket. Kitty litter, tinned cat food, a litter pan, kitten kibble, and two bags of cat treats. Bloody hell, no wonder why i smelled like cat pee. I'm sure they all thought i was a loony and one of those crazy cat ladies.

Once outside, i transferred my items to a regular cart and pushed it to my car. I drove home as quickly as i could, grimacing as i depressed the clutch. Oh, the things we take for granted, like unfractured fifth metatarsals, clothes that don't smell like urine, and popular sandwiches offered for years on a menu.


  1. Maybe you'd have been better off going sailing....or even just sitting in the cabin; with or without the smell of cat's pee!

  2. Yes, i know, Cro. Only the doc told me i can't to sailing with the walking cast, and we pulled the boat from the water the weekend before last.

  3. I must admit that the smell of cat pee just makes me ill. It...lingers. But, you must know that now. And I have another horrid confession to make. For some reason, I had it in my head that Jim was your husband. And his preoccupation with litter baffled me. I kept reading just because I was sort of horrified and sort of fascinated and then...well, village idiot that I am, I eventually figured it out.

  4. Oh, dear, Maria! No, Jim is an orange tabby. My husband is Himself. I give the real names of animals i know, but i don't for most people to respect privacy requests.

    I can't stand the smell of cat pee, either, and thought the lingering odor was from when i walked with the used bag of litter to the garage. You know how after you walk away from something smelly, the smell lingers in your nostrils, even if you're well away from it? Then, when i put the sanitizer on my hands, that smell pervaded, so i thought i was safe.

    thanks for readingdsxsxsxsxsxsxsxsxsxsxsxsxsxsxsxsxsxsx
    the xsxsxs's are from Jim as he just walked across the keyboard.

  5. "and i saw a lot of mileage in her face"
    I love that phrase