Hello all. I’m having a really hard time, here. You all know I caved in to pleading and sad eyes and told the kids they could keep those two little fuzzballs (kittens) they brought home the other day. One of the ones the neighbor girls’ mom wouldn’t let them keep has already been killed by dogs and wound up on OUR front sidewalk when we came home from town the other day, which really upset the kids, Daughter S. more than the rest. Of course, she’s the one I really did all this for- she’s the one who was devastated when our last cat disappeared, and still misses her a lot. She’s the one I was trying to make happy.
Ok, two things- 1) One of The Dictators apparently has a serious problem because the potty accident I cleaned up in the bathroom behind the toilet had blood in it. Or looked like it did. And 2) I don’t want my house (yes, I’ll say it again- my brand new, clean and shiny, everything restored and nothing smelly, stained, ripped, gouged or broken, house rebuilt after the fire) ruined by being repeatedly shat on by these two little kittens.
I know- they could and would learn to use a litter box. But how many messes and how many permanent poop stains am I going to have to have before they do? And how are they supposed to live until they do- locked at all times in the bathroom where there’s no carpet to ruin, except when they’re being held?
I told the kids earlier, I’m not one of those people. I can’t deal with inside animals. I can’t stand to walk into my house and have it smell like dog or cat! Most of the people I know who have inside animals, their houses smell when you walk in, either of just smelly dog, poop, pee, or litter box. Of course, now that I say that, I can think of a few examples of people I know whose houses don’t seem to smell like animal. I don’t know how they managed to train them so they never seem to have an accident, or how they managed to clean up the messes the animals made while they were training them so that they didn’t create a permanent smell.
I’ve already gone down that road- my house before the fire was a hellhole disaster area. Between animal accidents and food spills, the carpet was beyond stained, no matter how hard I tried to clean it, and even when the house was clean it still smelled funky when you walked in the front door. If there was dirty laundry anywhere in the floors or even clean laundry in baskets, the cats we’ve had in the past would pee in it, which drove me FLIPPIN’ INSANE! I know the house had been lived in for 13 years and a certain amount of wear and tear was to be expected, but still…
I worked my butt off to get in the habit of keeping this house clean when we moved back in after the fire. For the first few months I spent all my time in the mornings before I had to go to work, cleaning and straightening and trying my hardest to develop habits and patterns and routines that would allow me to keep this “new” house from becoming like the old one. And even now I’m already slacking off and things are not as perfect as they were at first and it terrifies me, because I’d rather die than live like that again. I’d like to blame it on the fact that we have internet now and I have this blog that I love and enjoy writing and spend too much time on. And Facebook. And whatever else I do online. Or on the fact that I have a lot of days where I have to go to town early or take the kids to an appointment.
But I can’t. All I can do is be brutally honest with myself and say that it is my fault only, because I’ve made those things a priority over cleaning, and because I haven’t developed a chore assignment chart for the kids and made them help, even though what feels like a half-dozen counselors we’ve had over the years have been nagging and begging me to do so for ages. I can get them to do stuff sometimes, when I leave notes threatening to ground them for life if they don’t do the chores I’ve listed for them to do. But sometimes they don’t bother. So obviously, I don’t have the discipline to train an animal or a child or myself to do anything right, and since I can’t, maybe I might as well not ruin my carpet trying! Maybe I might as well take the lazy, selfish way out and just break the kids’ hearts and get rid of the stupid cats and just say this house does not have inside animals, period.
So what do I do- be a cold, hateful, selfish mother who cares more about her new house than she does about her kids’ broken hearts or do I just invest in some really good carpet cleaning techniques until the blankety-blank cats learn to use the box? Daughter S. is already acting depressed because I told the kids in a fit of anger that they’d better say their goodbyes before they leave for school tomorrow, because The Dictators might not be here when they get back.
I don’t know what to do. I don’t even like animals that much. I can’t get attached to them the way some people do. Sometimes I have enough trouble being attached to my kids! I’ve had our three dogs for years and if they all disappeared tomorrow I might be ever so slightly bummed for a brief moment, but then I’d think “Hallelujah, they’re gone!” and start planning what I could do with my back yard!
Well, I’ve succeeded in getting myself in a major pickle, as well as a serious blue funk. I told the kids we could keep the cats, even though I never wanted them. Now we’ve had them for a few days and I REALLY don’t want them. Where do I go from here?
Until next time,