When you run a home business and your last client of the day is at the door just when you are levering yourself painfully down the stairs with a cat-pee-soaked duvet on your head, it helps if it is someone who’s known and liked you a long time. Just saying.
What it was, was that I was one appointment away from my week’s break, hammered by a succession of low-pressure fronts rolling though the area like so many squashy phantom pain amoebas, and had just seized an open half hour to crash backward on the bed. Various cats — Mr. and Mrs. Catmium-Ferguson, the Bast siblings — can be found upstairs at that hour. I stuck a massage ball behind my neck. I moaned quietly and spaced out. The edges of the room became fuzzy and I began to float.
Lilly Bast, a shy woodland sprite who usually cowers under the bed in dread of Nickel Catmium (Bengals is crazy, after all), suddenly began to growl continuously while running back and forth underneath me. Leapt on the bed, digging as if for ore in the duvet. Leapt down again. Continued to hurtle in crazy spirals. Finally leapt up one more time, burrowed in the duvet, turned around, squatted, and let loose.
She’s really the Engineer’s cat, but he was out of town. I glumly pictured myself stuffing Lilly, who hates the vet and hates carriers and hates medication, screaming into a carrier to go see a vet who would tell me to give her something for a bladder ailment.
At the moment, though, I just had to wash a duvet, a duvet cover, a blanket, and two sheets. And do an hour massage.
As I passed the stairs Nickel Catmium, who loves to perv on this particular client’s clothes (something about the faint scent of her skin lotion), zoomed past me from a station in the passage, and I realized she had been squarely between Lilly Bast and… the… litter box.
(She rolled charmingly in Gillian’s bra. I never get video of this.)
I went upstairs when we were done, placed food, water and a litter box in the dormer beside the bed, and watched as Lilly ate, drank and peed a gallon with no sign of any distress. Just did NOT want to pass that crazy Asian bitch with her full tank.
Lilly’s Princess Penthouse is now a permanent feature. At least the Engineer is the one in danger of arising and planting his feet in the litter.
An old beau of mine used to joke that he wanted to set up a company in New Jersey so that he could market a cleaning product for occasions like this called “Pis-Cat-Away.” I’d buy a vat.