Yesterday, my pets ruined most of my day. It was Sunday and I was looking forward to sleeping in a bit. Rio had other plans. The birds of Spring are chirping earlier and earlier. Rio hears them starting at about 5AM. The cats, specifically Mosley (AKA MoMo), also find this noise exciting and begin to walk/run around. This further excites/enrages Rio who works herself into a bark, followed by a leap from the bed to chase Mosley around a bit. And since she is up, she decides it is time to wake me up so she can go outside. So I sit up, look at my clock to discover the time is in fact 5:07AM, and begrudgingly trudge to the door, find some shoes and a sweatshirt and take Rio outside. Rio decided to perform her Sniffy Snifferson routine, wherein she sniffs every square foot of grass in our yard, following some unknown trail, before she will even consider a squatty tinkle. This annoys me very much. I understand the urgency of the emergency pee. Rio has had enough bladder infections that I try not to make her wait for fear that she will develop one anew. But this wasn’t an emergency. This was “hey, I’m up you should get up too because I want to see what is going on outside”. So this starts me using my aggravated voice, a whispery cursing growl, “get the f&%# in the house” and “stop f*#%ing sniffing and f#*&ing pee already”. Eventually, she does. I herd Rio back into the house, taking the Frisbee from her (because it’s “too f%#*ing early for Frisbee). As soon as the door cracks Mosley bolts out, bounding off and over Rio in his mad dash for freedom. Uggh, cats. He does this all the time. His usual routine is to just go out and turn right back around when he realizes that the outside is wet, foodless, and not climate controlled. This day he chose to run. And not just run, but to run, then stop at a far enough distance to be out of my reach, then watch to see if I would chase, then run again into the fading night. My aggravation has reached the level of peeved. I think, I’ll just leave him out here and he can fend for himself against the other neighborhood cats and possums and foxes and owls. Or maybe he will find another family to annoy. But reason and family triumph over annoyance, so I make the effort to chase him down. Katie loves Mosley. And for his part Mosley takes all the abuse Katie can dish out and keeps coming back for more, without biting or scratching her. So I can’t leave him outside. That doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it. I go from front to back, side to side, looking in all his normal hiding spaces. He is nowhere. I go back inside, awake from the effort and quietly fuming like someone built an annoyance factory on my head and it is currently working at full capacity. Another 15 minutes go by and he is still not at the door, begging to come in. I step outside and peak around the corner, there he is on the neighbor’s porch. I run in to retrieve my shirt and shoes and when I come back, he is gone. I do another full sweep and no MoMo. Now every time I come in and out of the house Rio gets more excited about the possibility of a chase scenario. Not wanting to figure out how to get Mosley out of a tree, I decline Rio’s offer to chase the cat. Now 30 minutes into not sleeping at 537AM, I spot Mosley on the neighbor’s porch again, but this time I see where he runs, into a bush. A bit of flashlight work and I have him by the scruff of the neck. I transition him to a nicer carrying position, but still with a tight grip, and carry him inside. It is now 545AM. I am wide awake and annoyed. Rio has taken up a spot on the bed that leaves very little room for me. I have to physically push 90lbs of lab out of my spot, while I attempt to find a couple more hours of sleep. Twenty minutes later, as I just start to fall back to sleep, the glacier starts. The glacier is the slow movement of Rio from her assigned space in the bottom of the bed between Sara and I into my personal space. The next thing I know, a furry brown wall is pressing against me, relegating my legs to the last 1/8th of the bed. I just try to zone out. For about an hour I sleep, or at least my eyes were closed. The sun is fully up, it is 730 and time for the cats to climb all over us, then sprint away for no apparent reason, causing Rio reactions. I tell Rio to “snooze” which used to be a neat trick she knew where she would afford me 30 more minutes of sleep before demanding to go outside. This morning I only got 5. The cats, the birds outside, the sunshine, it is all too much. Rio howly-growls (her signal that I should take her outside or that she is mad about not being able to sit next to me on the couch) and I get up and take her out. For the previous two weeks we have gone on morning walk. But in my annoyed state I decide against the walk, just a short trip out for Rio to relieve herself and then maybe a bit more sleep for Jason. Unfortunately, I what I get is another viewing of the Sniffy Snifferson show. Plus, then she demands we play Frisbee, but won’t give it back after one throw. Eventually, she does her business and we go inside. Sleep is not an option as Katie is stirring, meaning my Sunday is about to start in earnest.
But my Sunday is shot. I let the pet tribulations get to me. I can’t get out of the annoyed funk. That doesn’t mean everyone else suffers, but I’m just not happy. Katie’s fun antics annoy me. Sara’s endearing peccadillos find nerves rubbed raw by pet fur. It takes me almost a whole day to get back to feeling normal. It is hard to find a moment to reset.
This morning started almost the same. Rio up with the robin’s chirping at 5AM. I knew I couldn’t take another day of this, so I was determined not to let it get to me. I made sure Mosley didn’t escape. I actually went back to bed for a bit without a glacial encounter. I also took a walk. We have been developing this routine for over two weeks, where Rio and I wake up a bit early and take a morning constitutional. Rio still gets to sniff her way all around, but I don’t have to wait for her. I am moving, not just standing there. That small walk (a bit more than a half a mile) reframes the day. Sure I have to bag Rio’s poo, but amazing bagging poop aggravates me less than standing in my own yard. If only I’d done this yesterday, maybe I could have avoided all the aggravation.