Henrietta and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

October 19th, 2005

Remember this book?

If you don't, you need to run and get a copy, pronto. This is the best book to read when you're having “one of those days.”

Which I happen to be. I am having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day—but it hasn't been as bad as Henrietta's. I mean, it's true I woke up with a zit–I am thirty eight and a half years old, and I have a zit. Seriously. What is freaking UP with that? I am supposed to be getting WRINKLES, not zits. WHY AM I STILL GETTING ZITS LIKE A TEENAGER?????

Oh, and there is a hurricane coming and my good friend Jen was supposed to visit me here this weekend, but now they are evacuating the Keys, so even if she snuck in, everything will be boarded up and closed, so it will just be us sitting in my dark house (because of course the new generator? Still not hooked up) with all my porch furniture piled inside and the shutters all closed, playing Spoon while listening to Hot 97, while the cats meow endlessly.

Which is so not how I envisioned Jen's first visit to my new house.

And, hello, if we get evacuated, which it looks like we will, where am I supposed to go with two cats???? Obviously I could go to my apartment in New York, but how am I going to get there? DRIVE? In a car with two cats who hate each other and a husband who refuses on principle to eat fast food because that is what he had the night before 9/11???

And none of the airlines have room left for TWO animals in coach, I already checked, and I can't stick one of the girls UNDER the plane. Henrietta would have a stroke and Gem would just escape and end up living in the underbelly of the plane and they'd never let me in there to try to get her out, like that girl on CNN, so I'd just have to hope for the best until she finally decided to crawl out, probably in Memphis or some other far away place that I can't get to fast enough to keep her from disappearing into some airplane hangar, never to be seen again.

Why are airlines so nice about kids and so mean about pets? They would never say to a parent, “Sorry, too many kids in coach, yours will have to ride underneath with the baggage.”

And I realize cats aren't people, but I love my cats WAY MORE than some parents I could mention love their kids (don't worry, I'm not talking about YOUR parents…probably).

Oh, and I finally read the revision letter one of my editors sent me about the book I was supposed to be finished rewriting already, but haven't actually started revising yet, and contrary to what I thought at first glance, there is a LOT OF WORK INVOLVED!!! Whole scenes have to be thrown out or at least reworked. WHY GOD WHY???? I really thought I was done with this book.

And the cover I THOUGHT they were going to be using for SIZE 12 IS NOT FAT got rejected by sales, so now they have to come up with YET ANOTHER new cover. Which means I have to redo all my newsletters. Again.

And a friend came over and took a sniff upstairs and went, “Oh, you have mildew,” and I said, “I DO NOT,” and she said, “What do you think that smell is?” and I said, “You mean that rich, pungent smell of old house that I love so much because it reminds me of happy times gone by in my rad college dorm, Edmondson, part of the Collins Living Learning Center, as well as the cabin I lived in at Bradford Woods during 5th grade camp, and which is one of the reasons I bought this house?”

And she went, “Yeah, that smell. That's mildew.”

And for some reason my dentist is STILL insisting I need braces, even though I told her the same thing I told the dentist who said the same thing to me when I was 14: “No. That will never happen. EVER.”

But none of that is as bad as what happened to Henrietta today.

I should probably mention that Henrietta hasn't been having the best month, let alone day, because she has finally figured out that there is another cat living in this house. It was easy to keep it a secret from her because Henrietta never goes downstairs, due to being too lazy/having all her food/litter box etc upstairs.

But for some reason the other night she decided to take a stroll down the stairs, and she caught me in the living room with Slutty McSlut-a-lot (aka Tom aka Gem aka Jemima) sitting on my lap!!!!!

I'd like to point out that Slutty and I came to a mutual understanding the day after her first mange treatment, when I walked outside to find Precious, the other neighbor's cat, bonking Slutty on the head, repeatedly, with her paw. Normally Slutty puts up a pretty good fight against Precious, who is twice her size. But she was so knocked out by the mange shot that day that she was just laying there. It was pathetic.

So I scooped her up and took her inside to spend the day with me, since He Who Shall Not Be Named In This Blog was busy trying to get someone to hook up the generator (did I mention it is still not hooked up?).

And sometime in the afternoon, a thunderstorm rolled around, and Slutty got so scared that she crawled into my lap—basically ON my laptop—and wouldn't budge. And every time it thundered, she tried to bury her little head under my arm.

And that's when I decided that even though Slutty is a slut, since she's been trying to steal my husband for the past six months, she's a very cute slut. Also I decided to start calling her Jemima—because the name HWSNBNITB gave her, Gem, reminds me too much of Jem and the Holograms—and she and I have had a nice relationship ever since…even though as soon as the mange shot wore off and she felt better, she clawed a hole in my purple silk Betsey Johnson sundress.

Anyway, the night Henrietta caught me with Jemima, there was this totally uncomfortable moment where Henrietta and Jemima (I should mention that Jemima's previous owners, by the way, have a new cat, which is why Jemima moved out, Jemima not having any patience for members of her own species–although she seems to love dogs—and that Jemima's mother told us we could keep Jemima if we want to, for which we feel very humbled and grateful, as she is a ray of sunshine in our dreary lives) just looked at each other, with no reaction.

Then Henrietta turned her back on us and went into the kitchen and slowly and deliberately and RIGHT IN FRONT OF US, ATE EVERY LAST BIT OF JEMIMA'S NON-DIET food!

Obviously, I had to take action, as Henrietta has a slight weight problem (unlike what SOME people in this house thinks, she is NOT fat). So I grabbed Henrietta and made her go back upstairs, where she has her OWN food.

Since that night, Henrietta has been coming downstairs and eating Jemima's food EVERY CHANCE SHE GETS. HWSNBNITB calls it, “Visiting the Food Court.”

And then, as if that is not bad enough, Henrietta sits by my side of the bed and cries ALL NIGHT LONG, like this: “Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow,” over and over for NO REASON. She is not hungry, thirsty, or lonely. Her litter box is clean. Jemima is not even IN the house, as she prefers to be outside at night, maiming locusts.

So what is with the “Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow,” ALL NIGHT LONG????

Clearly she is suffering from early kitty Alzheimer's, which is why today, Henrietta went to the vet. Besides the endless crying for no reason, she also had to have her ears checked, because she's been scratching them a lot.

Well, let's just say that Henrietta was so scared about having the vet look into her ears (which were fine), that while he was doing it, she pooed herself…and the poo was BRIGHT GREEN!!!!!

(This was on account of all the tartar control Pounce I have been giving her, which has g
reen stripes in it. And the Pounce didn't even work, because her tartar is so built up, she STILL has to have it removed. Also, it might possibly be contributing to her slight weight problem, but what is a little paunch compared to clean teeth?)

Henrietta has had a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad day. Which, of course, means I have, too.

She is currently under the bed, her paws wrapped around the plastic jar of tartar control Pounce, since she likes to knock it off the bedside table and roll it around on the floor, in hopes of breaking it open. It has only broken open once, but I guess, when you're a cat, hope springs eternal.

Thank goodness for that, because otherwise, it all just might get to be too much to bear.

I just wish there was some kind of tartar control Pounce jar equivalent for this 38 and a half year old human to hold onto. Because I could really use one to combat MY terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

More later.

Much love,

Meg

PS I Just reread this, and I realized I have a zit AND I need braces. I am not aging, I AM REGRESSING!!!!
But why can't I get the GOOD stuff of teenagehood, like excellent muscle tone and no belly fat? IT'S NOT FAIR!!!!!