Wednesday
Jun162010

Seeing Red

If I blink twice, it will have been a year since we moved into this house. In the eleven months since we tripled the amount of space we had to live in, we've tried to make a little headway in cleaning up the disaster zone that came with buying a foreclosure. First we focused on the kajillion plumbing issues, then some of the landscaping, and then we set our sights on the painting. OH, THE PAINTING.

The painting is still very, very, very far from done and likely will stay that way until the weather turns miserable and cold again. We did, however, manage to kick some ass in the room that mattered most--the master bedroom. In case you weren't around when we moved or you have forgotten, the master bedroom was half painted in dried cow blood when we moved in.

I wish I were kidding. I'm not.

It's a huuuuuge room and the painting was so horribly randomly awful, I couldn't even be in there for five minutes without getting a serious case of The Rages.

It took three gallons of paint to cover the walls and since there was tons of that awful red splattered on the ceiling, we had to paint that, too. That took another two gallons. It wasn't the worst painting task we've taken on in this house, but that's probably mostly because it was easily the most rewarding. See? MUCH BETTER.

The walls are off-white while the ceiling and all of the accessories are robins egg blue. I have a plan that I need to execute for getting some art on those walls, but that's not what is currently bothering me in that room. What's currently bothering me in there is that there is a spot, next to the TV, where the soothing whitish color has chipped off, revealing the anger-inducing red beneath.

It. drives. me. batty.

I notice it daily, but never at a time when I could go dig up a can of paint to fix the spot. It'll take ten minutes, tops, but I have to actually start in order to get it done. In fact, I would go fix it right this second, but Alexis is sleeping in that very bed, and you are out of your mind if you think I'm willing to risk waking her up in order to put an end to the madness that is that red spot.

It taunts me. It mocks me. It tortures me. I'd still rather look at it than deal with a cranky 4-year old.

Earlier I was helping Alexis with the nightly tooth-brushing/pajama finding/book reading project when I noticed Ali acting crazy in the bedroom. She was leaping into the air and attacking the wall. Nay, she was attacking the spot.

With a chuckle, I listened as Mr. Husband told me that she tries to attack that spot all the time. It's a little too high for her to reach, but apparently she leaps into the air and smacks at it wildly before crashing back to the floor. I picked her up to show her it wasn't anything worth having a fit over, and she went BALLISTIC.

People, she had a full on temper tantrum as she tried to murder that one inch chunk of awful red paint.

Somebody please invent a paintbrush a cat can use. Ali spends her days in that room and it sure would be handy if she would touch it up for me.

Tuesday
Jun152010

Monday Can Suck It

Lately Monday has been rearing her ugly head and smacking me around. Bad. That's the only explanation I have for how it came to be that two Mondays in a row, every set of keys we own ended up in Mr. Husband's car. I stood in the kitchen when I should have been starting the car, fully realizing that it would take him two hours to get a car key to me, as a short person stood staring at me all sorts of confused. With the knowledge that it wasn't worth him taking the time to bail me out, I decided to work from home.

With the Demon Child there.

While Alexis is generally a good kid, she spent the weekend in quite the funk. Her mouth often writes checks her butt can't cash, and she frequently finds herself on the receiving end of my fury because of it. This weekend she was especially bad. So bad that not only did I revoke all of her television privileges for the rest of her life, but I also went for the jugular. I don't even remember what exactly she said on Saturday afternoon that sent me straight over the edge, I just know that she wasn't even slightly shocked when I silently walked over to her beloved dollhouse and moved it to the top of the fridge, far out of her reach.

Taking away her dollhouse is like taking away her oxygen. It took me a long time to figure out that was the only thing that would really make her feel pain, so I save it for the worst of her offenses. It works. Well.

On Sunday I still hadn't forgotten that I was disappointed in her behavior, so she didn't get her dollhouse back. Tears were shed, promises were made, and I told her she had to be good the rest of the day and I would think about letting her have it back.

And then Monday morning rolled around and the Demon Child needed entertainment while I churned out some serious work. With a shower of threats and guarantees that one false move would land her dollhouse back in jail, I gave it to her.

She nearly passed out from The Happy.


And then the Demon Child proceeded to have her best behavior day I can recall. EVER. She quietly played with her dollhouse for hours. She cheerfully splashed in her pool for several more hours. She silently sat at her craft table and colored picture after picture after picture. Never once did I have to tell her to alter her behavior, not even to tell her to leave the cat alone, which I could have sworn was a phrase that automatically falls out of my mouth every quarter hour. I mean, I thought I had set a timer, but then there she was, acting like an absolute angel and I didn't sound like a tape recorder AT ALL.

She used her manners. She was pleasant. She was my bestest bud ever.

I spent the evening showering her with praise because ZOMG! I want to keep that version of Alexis forever and ever and ever! AND EVER!

Monday may try to beat me down, but a well-behaved short person can make the day better than perfect.

 

Monday
Jun142010

Too Good to be True

If I were a writer for a reality TV show, I would want it to be a show about adopting a kitten. There are very few choices in life that carry as much risk for Major Drama as that one. In my estimation, you have a 70% chance of adopting one of Satan's spawn. Everybody has met a cat that spits venom and makes humans quake in fear of its evil, but even the worst of the worst started out cute and fuzzy.

Take, for example, my friend Barb's cat Collette. Collette was a long-haired demon beast who generally didn't care about humans, unless they happened to leave their ankles unprotected. Then she was likely to silently ninja attack the ankles by clawing, biting, and generally beating the crap out of you. Just when you figured out that she really was trying to kill you and you reached for a weapon, she would *poof* and disappear to some top secret hiding place that I could never find. Collette as a kitten was pretty much the cutest thing you ever did see, and then she went on to loudly profess her hatred for mankind for over 20 years, once again proving that evil never dies.

We've been pretty fortunate in the cat department. Prince didn't like Mr. Husband, but otherwise was friendly and well-behaved. (I might have paid him a ton of money to hate Mr. I Love All Animals.) Coal was super sweet. His only major annoying habit was that he was a litter flinger. Little dude believed in burying his crap DEEP, even if it took him all day to fling the litter all over the basement as he tried to dig a hole to China. And then there is Powder. Mostly Powder is a good cat, but he does have a touch of that Vengeful Assassin thing that a lot of cats have. Piss that cat off and he WILL get even by pissing right back. Literally. I spent an hour cleaning a laptop bag last week because apparently he is appalled by this thing where I am a working mother. His worst offense of all time involved an unauthorized by His Highness the Cat honeymoon for which he took his anger out on my wedding dress.

Oh, yes, he did.

We do not speak of that incident in detail because heads explode.

Anyway, I knew when we picked out Ali that there was a risk that she was only being cute and sweet to dupe us into adopting her. That's what they do, you know. Cats meow and purr and give you big sweet eyes in the shelter, but the second you bring them home, they start leaping from chandeliers, tearing furniture into a million pieces, and attacking every little thing that offends them. Considering cats think they're royalty, everything offends them.

And this is where I admit I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. People, Ali is good. Really good. So good that when I filled out a post-adoption survey from the shelter about her, I was forced to admit she doesn't have any really bad habits (SO FAR*KNOCKING ON WOOD*PLEASE DON'T MAKE ME REGRET SAYING THAT).

We have caught her clawing at the carpet a few times, but she was easily trained to go find one of the zillion cat scratchers we have scattered all over the house.

She does think she's allowed to jump up on the dining room table and steal food, but if you so much as glare at her, she runs for cover.

I'm not even going to mention the 23498657134 things she hasn't done so far because Karma will hunt me down and slap me silly if I go all jinxy jinx up in here.

Not only is the little striped beast good, she gets along with everybody in the house. She and Cody play for hours and hours and hours each and every day.

She and Meg are homies, albeit homies who are hard to photograph together.

And then there is Powder. I fully expected Powder to be all, "WTF is this thing? I should be the lone ruler of this house. TAKE IT BACK WHERE IT CAME FROM," when it came to Ali. But he's not. In fact, she somehow has managed to convince him to share his cat perch. Actually, it's not just his cat perch he's been sharing, he's been sharing His Spot. NO ONE touches his spot. NO ONE. Any time another cat has so much as glanced as his spot, he has hauled his fat butt up there and promptly whipped out every wrestling move he knows, which is quite the arsenal. I once saw Coal limp away from the tower after being on the losing end of a suplex and a piledriver.

And, yet, THERE SHE IS.

AND HE'S LETTING HER.

I swear that kitten shoots magical fairy dust out of her ass. It's the only explanation for how she has everyone liking her.

It's part of a trap, isn't it? I should just start sleeping with one eye open.