Thursday, April 30, 2009

On Alex, Forks and Cats... and other things

Today is one of those days where you make coffee in the morning (as usual) and then by mid-afternoon you make another pot (not as usual) in order to survive.

And no, I'm not dealing with the pandemic flu scare either -- I am educated and well informed as you can be too. Nor am I under stress or overwhelmed with circumstances out of my control.

Rather, I am merely surviving. Swine flu has nothing on me today, seriously.

It all started this morning when this little 2 1/2 foot-tall guy was tenderly carried upstairs in his daddy's arms. The darling little stinker had WMD (Worst Morning Doo-doo) and since that can tend to wreck havoc on the surrounding air circulating our home, I knew it would be the traditional WMD if I didn't do something about it fast.

It was either change the diaper or light a bonfire of scented candles to cover the awful small. I knew the candle part wouldn't be ideal since we do have small children in the house so I opted for plan A: change the diaper.

That's when it all started.

He refused to be cleansed from his iniquity putrid, dirty diaper. Knowing my child would love to spend the day with doo-doo smeared all over his as-soft-as-a-baby's-butt butt, I denied him the privilege, crossed his boundaries and cleansed the tender skin of the harsh toxins that naturally make up WMD. I was also thinking of the house, which I know is selfish of me.

After that, everything just went down hill from there.

He mutilated his much-starved-after banana, smearing entrails of banana on his tray. Yes, "banans" (as Alex affectionately calls them) have entrails. I'll take a picture next time if you don't believe me.

Then I gave him a strawberry. A delicious, juicy, RED-all-the-way-through, strawberry. He took a few chomps, chucked a bite under the dining table (which was across the room from where he safely sits in his high chair) and then slung the rest across the top of the table, smearing the whole way until it landed in front of his sister. It left an impressive trail of nice, juicy, red juice.

(That boy has quite the throw. And aim.)

Entwined through-out the banana and strawberry feast were loud, robust, healthy, deafening shouts of "MOM!" If you want to know what it sounds like, tell the person sitting closest to you to shout "mom" as loud as they can. Then ask them to repeat that for at least 20 minutes. And then hope your phone rings so you can try to carry on an important conversation with an important person. But make sure that the person sitting closest to you continues to yell "mom."

Around that same time in the morning, the originally planned appointment for later in the day to have our gas line repaired (since our house was beginning to smell like a propane plant, thanks to some leaky pipes), was suddenly moved to 5 minutes from right then. A path needed to be cleared through the toys artfully arranged left laying on the family room floor.

By this time, Alex was standing on his high chair tray, still yelling, shouting and hollering "mom."

Now, Grandpas are a great thing, they really are. And when it comes to having 2 1/2 foot-tall people like Alex around, Grandpas are a REALLY great thing. Amazingly enough, we actually had such a Grandpa on hand to rescue Alex from his high chair and set him free to have the run of the house. Alex was happy and so was the Grandpa. They had a brief time of enjoying the morning together and admiring each other but then as soon as Grandpa stepped away from his desk, Alex returned the favor Grandpa had previously shown him and proceeded to climb up to the desk and tear apart random pieces of important things. Grandpa was amazed with Alex's speed and swift thinking in handling the opportunity to sabotage Grandpa's important desk.

(Grandpas are too forgiving and very biased.)

After that, Alex climbed up to the silverware basket and with a look of glee and contempt on his innocent determined little face, he selected a sturdy fork and trailed the cat down. I'll leave you to your imagination as to what happened next because I'm sure you understand that a 2 1/2 foot-tall person, a fork and a cat are not a good combination. Especially when it's all located behind the couch.

As I continued to tackle my day... cleaning the bathroom, making lunch, saving the cat, answering phones and cleaning the kitchen... Alex kept his schedule going as well. He made a trek to the basement and checked out Toby's computer, offering a few insights on the important business document Toby had open in Word. Or maybe that was Quick Books? Whatever it was, Alex had it done in less than 7 seconds so obviously the program isn't very child proof.

Alex was greatly interested in the kind gas people that were here to repair our old gas lines and showed his appreciation by climbing their ladder and checking out their tools.

Then he came upstairs, sat sweetly smugly next to the very-bloated-with-pregnancy-cat and held onto her tail in a very affectionate manner. It was a very strong bond. As in a I-will-love-you-forever-and-never-let-you-go kind of way.

Soon after that he became ravenously hungry for cheese and demanded a piece of the moldy cheese I was carving off of a cheese block. So I put him in his high chair, selected a pinch of healthy cheese and allowed him a good protein snack. Of course, that was all after he said "please" for the cheese.

That arrangement went well until Alex's dear and favorite sister innocently snitched a single string of the pile of cheese on his tray. He voice broke out like a rash on a poison ivy victim.

Over lunch time, Alex refused to eat his cheesy mashed potatoes. I coaxed him. I forced him. I urged him. He refused the bites of food or would take take them into his mouth, mix a nice blend of saliva with the spuds and then smear the entire biteful out on his hand. Like lotion. He also soaked himself with the leak-proof sippy cup of water proving that even sippy cups now days aren't child proof.

When his dad came home (after I had labored fruitlessly on training him to eat his food), Toby simply looked at him and said, "Alex, you take a bite." Those were 5 magic words that Alex understood to mean, "I must shovel my food in now or I may forever lose all of my third-born privileges in this family."

Disheartened by my lack of ability to train this child to eat a small pile of mashed potatoes, the Grandpa assured me not to worry; he said it's the male image that a father has which imparts godly fear on a young child. Bummer for me since I don't tend to have a very male image.

As the afternoon rounded to a close and nap time began to appear more obvious in the horizon of this beautiful day, Alex disappeared. Enjoying the lack of stress excitement for a few brief minutes, I tried not to be too anxious as I looked for him. He had been under Grandpa's bed earlier affectionately chasing the cat the down so I wasn't too worried. I comforted myself with the illusion that he was still there and hoping that cat was smart enough not to be there.

Just then Alex came screeching across the house at top speed with wet hands. He's such a smart little inventor and his energetic spirit towards life is so inspiring. Unfortunately, I noted immediately that he was heading directly from the bathroom.

Upon investigation, the bathroom I had just scrubbed down earlier was in need of more cleaning. A yellow-tinted color of liquid blended with the water in the toilet bowl and around the perimeter of the toilet there were flecks of generous sprinkles of liquid. It all had a familiar faint tinge of a certain smell too.

Nice. What an adventurous child I have.

So, I disinfected his hands first and held him at the sink trying to control the water pressure as he lunged for each faucet handle and showered himself and the vicinity with a powerful spray of water that neither he nor I nor the vicinity expected.

After that, my mind went blank. Overall, I have vague memories of swimming against white water rapids underwater finding him at the top of the bunk bed ladder 2 seconds after I turned my back (something he's NEVER climbed before) and I have another memory of him escaping out the front door, across the porch and down the steps all within the perimeter of about 9.5 seconds.

He continually peppered his daily activities with affectionate cat care, close examination of important documents on Grandpa's desk and snatching food items out of the fridge in a blink of an eye.

Fearing for his life and concerned with the wild adventurous nature Alex had suddenly possessed, I denied him anymore opportunities to try his hand at more inventions.

With a bright smile on his face and soft, cuddly "ganky" under his chin, he drifted off to slumber land while I groped feebly to the faint smell of coffee wafting through the air in my mind's nose.

So now you understand why I'd make coffee in the middle of the day and enjoy it to the fullest with rich, creamy caramel syrup, cool whip, a shot of caramel flavoring and real fresh whipping cream. And you'd also understand why I didn't feel guilty while drinking it: Alex gives me every reason to enjoy life to the fullest.

Just look at his example.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Confessions of a Mom with Mono II

I am thinking of starting a "Moms with Mono" support group so that Moms with Mono will have a place to go for information and support on how to deal with Mono while being a Mom. Not that I think I have all the support or information that a Mom with Mono needs to cope with life but that's my point: I don't. I need a support group.

Of course, this support group would have to be located in a cyber sort of place since all Moms with Mono know how hard it is to get out of the house just to nab their two year old from the street just to get the mail so to have to GO someplace to get help for mono, would be a contradiction. I mean seriously, if you can GO to a "support group" while suffering with an infection in your body, you probably aren't feeling very sick. But with mono, you do feel sick. So you stay in your chair and surf for "Moms with Mono" support groups.

Me: Hi. My name is Courtney
Group: Hi Cooourtneeeey!
Me: It has been 2 days since I've had a fever.
Group: Yay!!! (cyber claps -- whatever those are)

I spend a lot of time in a soft chair with a warm laptop on my --you guessed it-- lap. I dream about laundry and lysoling my house and vacuuming 7 day old cookie crumbs and cleaning the toilet all while trying to slurp down coffee, which by the way, tastes disgusting now. And as I sit here, I realize I'm a changed woman: I don't like coffee anymore. This makes me sad and perpetual sadness always makes me depressed and depression always makes me crave a dark hole with a bowl of worms in it. And then I just want to eat dirt.

So I do mental exercises called TTB (Think The Best) and chant to myself, "think the best, think the best, think the best..." and such as and therefore. Rome wasn't built in a day so why should I get better in a day, right? I just worry that my java pot won't forgive me...

As I sit and rest and try to relax (yes, those are three very different things) I have learned a lot from reading, talking (phone) and more reading and deep thinking.

First off, just sitting doesn't cause a person to rest and simply sitting and resting doesn't cause a person to relax. You have to get rid of the kids set your mind to just stop thinking before you can relax and make your rest worth wasting time sitting over. (Yes, I thought long and hard over this paragraph.)

Now, for me to enjoy sitting and allowing my body to rest thus finding a way to relax, I have to feel somewhat productive. So I've taken up a few hobbies. Namely one called, Researching The Web On Any Topic That Interests You.

:: I have learned how to compost guinea pig manure and what cold compost means. Now to just be able to get out in the garden...

:: I have studied my Bible at lengths and in directions I haven't had the occasion to study in for a long, long time.

:: I have realized that my stove has not turned on in days, thus proving that the time I'd spend cooking, I'm spending resting... thanks to dear friends who have cared for us so well.

:: I have fallen asleep while laying on the deck in the sun; an invigorating nap experience. And no, I didn't over heat or become a lobster. Vitamin D is good for me, you see.

:: I have learned that sitting in one position in your recliner for 1 1/2 hours will make you feel like you just ate Thanksgiving dinner. Weird, I know.

:: I have learned a lot of stuff.

And now, slowly as I get my strength back, I enjoy the freedom to not be confined to my chair and laptop so much. I'm amazed at how good one feels when they don't have a constant fever. I am glad to see the callouses on my thumbs from opening the ibuprofen bottles are finally gone. And I don't feel the overwhelming "you'll never get better" feelings anymore either.

But, I have to say from one Mom with Mono to another Mom without Mono: enjoy each fun hour you spend playing with your kids at the park. Moms with Mono would give anything to not have to pay to spend time with their kids like that. My next milestone is just that. To stop paying for something I already spent hours in labor for: my kids.

I can tell I'm getting there. Watch out world...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"WARNING: This Building is Under Baby Monitor Surveillance"

Our house is fairly small in it's structural frame but it boasts a sound barrier feature few homes are capable of possessing. And though it is ideal for certain times of the day, there are other times when it's not so nice.

I'm thinking specifically of the 9pm to 9am time frame that's it's not so nice.

In our house, all members of the juvenile category typically take up residence at 9pm in their segregated rooms: boys go to the boys room and girls go to the girls room (we only have one girl; the plural part of "girls room" is something yet to be born.)

Then the adults have free time to relax, clean, sleep, do a project, etc. The sound barrier feature in our house is so functional you could even take up a vacuuming hobby or tackle that Tchaikovsky piano piece you've always wanted to play.

But, then when all is dark in the house and everyone is in their own respective beds and rooms, it is physically impossible (without sonar hearing) to detect any sound coming from the juvenile quarters of our home. So, unless the child in distress shrieks loud, long cries from his room or just comes upstairs, turns on all the lights, strips his night clothes off and sits at the dining room table screaming his head off while re-enacting an alien abduction, his cries are not heard. (A scene played out more than once by a certain child in our home.)

That's where the Baby Monitor comes in.

A great invention, the Baby Monitor is, keeping parents informed of all subtle and secret noises coming from rooms undetected by the natural ear yet not transmitting any sounds into the sleeping children's rooms.

And last night was the first night we slept with peace of mind knowing our home was under the listening ear of the Baby Monitor.

As the last glow of light dimmed to complete darkness, Toby fell asleep and I was attempting in my feverish pursuits to follow soon after. The quilt and down comforter and other quilt and heavy pillow sitting next to me coupled with the warm, sleeping man on the other side of me, all were helping relieve the shivering air I felt in my cozy bed. And just as soon as I began to feel comfortable and a bit dozy, a sound began to come through on the Baby Monitor.

That was when I wished we had a sign on the outside of our home saying, "Warning: This Building is Under Baby Monitor Surveillance" because all non-illiterate potential intruders would read that sign, and would never succumb to the title of "Intruder" but would remain innocent bystanders or perhaps be part of the Moonlight Joggers Association.

The sound was identical to a steak knife chopping a bedroom window lock. Or similar to a screw driver hacking a hole into plexi-glass window panes. I never heard the aluminium window blinds hanging on both children's bedrooms windows for security purposes give their signature metallic rustle. I also never heard gun shots either so I assumed if the intruder was indeed using pre-historic measures to enter the premises of our home, I predicted I had ample time to address the situation in a post adrenalin frame of mind.

That's when the sound stopped.

The warm, sleeping man laying next to me let out a guttural sigh in his sleep about 7 minutes later. It was identical to what the potential intruder downstairs would've made and in a mad frenzy, I almost grabbed a broom went in stealth mode and snuck down stairs just to make sure the intruder didn't take another breath really wasn't an intruder after all but then I remembered that the sound didn't actually come from the Baby Monitor but rather from the warm, sleeping man laying next to me.

My heart resumed normal beating.

Several minutes later, the chopping sound began again. Apparently the potential intruder had taken a bit of a coffee break between attempts at breaking open my children's windows. I laid there wondering how long it would take for the steak knife to get dull or the aluminum window blinds to send me their signature signal.

The sound stopped.

Several other mysterious noises transmitted clearly over the Baby Monitor for the next few hours. A machete scraped a metal lock somewhere in our basement. The classic metal on metal made me realize the intruder had upgraded his tools-for-the-trade and would soon make an appearance.

Alex cried a time or two and in my fitful sleep I failed to recognize the risk his life was in considering that if an intruder would be lawless enough to break into a sleeping home, he'd be cruel enough to pluck hair from my baby's head leaving him to writhe in agony.

With each vocal sound heard over the Baby Monitor, the warm, sleeping man laying next to me would jump from his pillow and loudly declare a string of unintelligible long words at the Baby Monitor. A sense of urgency would overcome him but he'd always fall back on his pillow and toss himself back into a fitful slumber of sleep.

At one point, Alex made himself known loud and clear on the Baby Monitor and shivering under the blankets held tightly around my neck, I poked the warm, sleeping man next to me who was uttering garbled English words at me that I didn't understand. I plead with him to check on the youngest member of our prodigy who was being heard routinely over the baby monitor but my requests were met with noncooperation.

He stubbornly refused since he's a second born, you know.

As my fever progressed into the night, my mouth became perpetually parched. Weird dreams playing over and over in my head finally thrust me to the edge of my bed in a sitting position. I groped to the bathroom and then to the kitchen for a cool drink.

Disgusted that my second born husband was too stubborn to go down and check on our wailing child earlier, I clung tightly to a heavy bathrobe and stumbled down stairs, shivering with a fever.

Amazingly, all was well in each child's bedroom.

As I was just turning around to leave the girls room, a wild haired and wild eyed man dashed into the room. His manly composure signaled he detected certain danger yet he groped undirected around the room.

It was Toby. I scolded him quietly, expressing the fact I would've never come downstairs to check on the kids if I would've known he was going to do it anyway.

He apologized profusely, explained he never heard me ask him to go downstairs. He seemed quite sympathetic towards his feverish wife so I excused his behaviour and forgave him because I'm just that way.

As we headed back upstairs, he scratched his head and with a confused look on his face said, "I came downstairs because I thought I heard something."

A wonderful thing, that Baby Monitor is.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Confessions of a Mom with Mono

Mono is a funny sounding name for a virus that I've done very little research on. I'm not sure if I'm a) scared to find out what I'd read or b) would feel helpless once I did know more or c) just too tired to read online for that long. For whatever reason, I'm not well read up on the topic.

But, I have lived, breathed, slept and sweated a mono-type virus for the past 3 weeks so I think that's why I'm self certifying myself to write these Confessions.

Mono attacks the immune system (I do know that) but how and why, is unknown to most (if not all) people. I have never been in contact with someone who has a virus like mine nor do I randomly drink out of random cups of random people's drinks when I'm randomly in public. I don't even drink out of public drinking fountains, for that matter. Mono is typically spread through saliva so you tell me how I got mono if I haven't been kissing random people or drinking out of random cups.

Mono has a constant fever pattern that is physically draining although the pattern is inconsistent. Some days I wake up sick; other days I wake up well for a couple hours. Some days my fever is only 99; other days I have a hard time keeping it away from 102. Coupled with that is extreme fatigue, a pounding head ache, frequent dizziness and growing physical weakness that seems to get worse every day.

Opening the fridge takes effort. Screwing lids into place is hard. Locking doors is a strain. Rolling over in bed is a huge job. Walking hurts, even slowly. Talking is draining -- my voice takes muscles I don't have. I feel so weak.

Little accomplishments are noticed though -- like tonight I made mac and cheese for supper and felt like the world's best gourmet cook. And I did it all while the ibuprofen I took 8 hours before was wearing off. I even washed the pans. But, even though it seems like success, that's physically exhausting to the point of it not being worth it. I pretty much just have to go to bed after that.

Mono also attacks your brain (I do know that from personal experience). Everything is a big deal and either leaves a Mom with Mono in tears or slumped in a dark hole of depression or both. Like at night when my husband puts the kids to bed, as soon as everyone walks out of the room, I burst into tears mourning the passing of another day in my kid's life that I didn't make any worthy investment in. The guilt. The fear. The sadness. The loneliness for a fun family night. It's a heavy load. And the brain power it takes to process these feelings has completely deserted me.

Spiraling into a whirlwind of what I'm sure are pointless fears, I find myself growing steadily lower. And then I start worrying about things like if I'm pregnant or not and finally after worrying about it for 2 days, I breathlessly take a test. I've never prayed so hard that the double lines would not appear. Shoving the memory of the frequent 102 fevers into the back of my head, I wait anxiously, telling God, "No baby should have to go through this! No baby should have to go through this!" I have never been so relieved after finding a negative test result. That to me was actually a little confirmation that God is still good and does know what's best for me. And for my children.

Rain or shine, the weather doesn't really effect a Mom with Mono. It's all alike to her. It all seems grey and gloomy. Although sunshine does feel good on a warm day, the brightness of the sun and the blue sky seem insignificant to the dark day it feels inside a Mom with Mono: if you can't enjoy it with your family, what's the point?

Resting and drinking fluids are easy to do for mono victims. I am so thirsty and so tired and could drink all the time and sleep forever. Of course you can't rest much when you drink a lot so the balance is usually soon found when dealing with mono.

And then come the aches and pains of laying in bed for so many hours out of a day. It feels like slats or springs or hard object are protruding from my pillow-top mattress and needles are sticking in my feet. So angling my legs in a different direction, I find temporary relief only to learn a little later that both feet are sleeping. If I google mono-type viruses, I'll find out if bad circulation goes with the virus. Otherwise, I see now how people get bed sores from being in bed for long periods of time.

It may be recommended to exercise which is something that would feel good to do in this warm, spring air. Yet even when I feel like doing it, and then do it, I spike a fever and suffer for several days, slowly getting back to the point I was before I exerted myself. Rest and relaxation are all a person with mono can do... poor circulation or not.

And finally, remembering that even though I may be helpless to care for myself, helpless to care for my children and helpless to care for my husband, God is not helpless to care for me AND all I care about. I confess thankfully that I am finding moment-by-moment comfort in that.

Disclaimer: I do know that I do NOT have the Epstein Barr Virus Mono and there is a bit of a difference between that and what the doctor diagnosed me with: a Mono-type virus. From what I understand, my spleen is not effected like it would be with the "main" mono virus which is caused by the Epstein Barr Virus.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

On Fevers, Fortuneless Fate And Felines

I don't tend to focus on my feelings when composing a blog post but today's post is the product entirely of intense, aggravated feelings.

Now that you've been warned, read on.

So, I had the flu. No big deal, right? Having the flu SHOULDN'T be a big deal but for me, it was. The main reason was because I had 3 quite healthy children in my house every minute I was sick.

Okay, so I thanked God for their health and I didn't want to discredit their healthy approach to life but man, it was hard to keep up with their approach.

Miracle of miracles, somehow the day had ended with a completed laundry project. That in and of itself is an incredible feat. Even for a healthy person. All my laundry was done, folded and put away. And as I patted myself merely on the back and thanked the good Lord for helping me achieve such an unreachable goal, I decided to tackle the avalanche of toys in our house.

Now, even for a healthy person, that is not an easy task. So to be unhealthy and achy and sore, this experience was unlike anything I had experienced in a long time. Actually, I think I've read books about people who scaled impossible mountains but it's been awhile since I had such leisure reading time so I could be wrong about my recollections of such unbelievable success.

By sheer instinct, I tackled the toys.

After telling Janae 5,000 times a certain number of time to pick up a certain toy, I realized she'd pick it up (if I was lucky) and them move it to a new location (if I was luckier.) But, the toy was never put away. That's the key word here folks: putaway. I noticed a lot of toys were also being moved but not putaway. (I know that's two words but for the sake of simplicity, we are combining them into one single word.)

That was it. I had enough. It was over.

I charged across the basement to a neat roll of trash bags and declared war on all the toys. As many toys as possible were going in a garbage bag.

Now, when my little kidlets saw my anger righteous indignation towards the cavity of toys (ie., toy box), they became quite concerned. In their effort to save as many toys from being cast into everlasting darkness, they began picking up toys quite rapidly and shoving them safely in the crooks of their little arms.

Lest you think I am a hard hearted mother who routinely throws her children's prize possessions (ie., toys) away, don't come to such a harsh conclusion so fast. These toys were not going to be thrown away. They were not even going to be GIVEN away. They were being permanently put away until I was ready to deal with their avalanching powers again.

But, my poor children only saw the trash bag. And the toys going into the trash bag. So, of course, they imagined the worse: a massive dumpster heaped high with bags of toys... watching the dumpster roll away and head towards the local landfill.... huge graters rolling over their bag of toys at the local dump... shredding their toys to tiny slivers of plastic and shards of doll hair leaving only their precious memories locked safely in the sorrowing little hearts of my children. (Wow, my poor kids could honestly have nightmares over this.)

I, on the other hand, imagined the best: a clean room. And not just ONE clean room but two! And not just two clean bedrooms but a clean family room! Which of course would mean the whole house could stay clean! And toy free!

Boy was I giddy.

In the process of time, I stressed explained to the children that I was putting the toys away that they never played with. After they saw that their favorite toys were remaining and that life wasn't quite as bad as that plastic garbage bag threatened it to be, things went much better after that.

I was just finishing in the boys room and noticing the pleasant aire my children now possessed since their home life had suddenly become much more predictable and somewhat Proverbs 31-ish without the reoccurring experience of one stubbing their toe on a stubborn tow truck or tripping on a stray jump rope or sinking their heal into a sink hole of sharp legos, when suddenly, my hand lighted on a damp comforter. A smelly damp comforter. A smells-like-cat-pee damp comforter.

It was at that moment in time that the earth's axle quit spinning. Time stopped. Air ceased to exist. Water dried up. Blood pooled to the top of my head. And I had a heart attack. Right there in my son's bedroom.

As I took a deep breath, everything began to turn again. A flame of energy sparked my temper. I was livid. I was angry. I was mad. A stupid cat had invaded the cleanliness of my home and I was helpless in her evilness on my abode. I was seriously quite mad. This point can't be stressed enough. But I tried to stay calm. You know, take it in stride like perfect mothers do all the time.

When the clock started ticking again, things proved to be far worse than initially thought. The cat's URINE had not only showered on the blanket but it had also penetrated another comforter. And an entire set of clean sheets. And the center of a once-clean mattress. All was saturated in the cat's URINE.

Truth be told, I had 3 more loads of laundry to do. And in my flu-ridden body, I had no energy wherewith to summon the lofty goals of duty. But, duty called and I attended it's beckon.

As I washed laundry and scrubbed the mattress and washed another load of laundry and continued to scrub and color-safe-bleach the mattress, my kind and ever thoughtful cat loving sympathetic husband asked if there was a repellent to put on the mattress. You know, so the cat wouldn't "do it" again.

Expressing a little more feeling than intended I assured him there was a repellent.

"It's called lead and you put it right in the cat's head," I blurted out, "They never do it again after that."

Now, the only thing (and when I say only, I mean THE ONLY thing) that kept me from using the repellent right then was because I knew if I shot the cat in the head, it would end up a bloody mess. And another mess was not what I was looking for. Plus, I didn't know how to load the gun and I naturally assumed my usually helpful husband would be unwilling to help me learn that task right then.

So, for the next two days, I shopped for pet urine cleaners and washed the mattress and dried it with a fan and re-washed it again. And set the fan up to dry it again. And made sure the cat didn't visit it again. And finally put the bed back together.

As the fever cleared my brain, life began to seem a little more livable again several days later. Actually, now that I think of it, the fever is back and I'm not better like I planned on being. And the mattress never did get 100% clean. And the cat still roams the house freely. But, the one redeeming factor is that I can look back on that fateful day though. And looking back is a whole lot easier than looking on to it. Especially when such harsh feelings of murder possess your usually kind hearted being and drive you to imagine the worst terror techniques with which to plague your cat with for peeing URINE in an inexplicable place.

But we all survived. Even the stinking cat.