If you are my boyfriend you might be thinking: Surely Katie has gotten rid of some of the animals she collected last week. And as my actual boyfriend knows all too well: you are wrong.
With my roommate out of town and all five animals in our apartment in my care, I think this is about the closest I’ll ever get to living on a farm. I’ve been up since 6:30 this morning cleaning litter boxes (times 4), cleaning and filling food and water bowls (times 8… Ralph and Weaz share), walking dogs (times 1, thank god), rubbing bellies (times 5… everybody’s on board with that one), and so on.
Adam asked me what I wanted to do today and my response was as crazy as they come: “I just need to vacuum up the hair of 5 animals and clean all the litter boxes and do all my laundry again because I just realized I’ve been washing my clothes with fabric softener for the last month and I’ve picked up a lot of stray animals. I thought they felt really soft. The clothes…” Happy Saturday!
In case you’re not up to speed on all the creatures living under my roof, meet my zoo:
Ralphie (AKA Big Momma): Ralph is the boss and don’t you forget it. She drinks out of the kitchen sink and weighs approximately as much as a small tank. She thinks she is actually a lion so don’t tell her she’s not. I found her on the streets five years ago and kept her after she gave birth to five babies in a laundry basket in my lap. You really don’t part ways after bonding like that.
Weasel (AKA The Rocket Scientist): One of Ralphie’s offspring was Weasel, the runt of the litter and my induction into true cat lady-dom. As soon as Weaz was born I knew I was keeping her in addition to Ralph, bringing my total to more than one and securing my fate as a cat lady at 22. I’m going to put this bluntly: Weaz is not all there in the head. Mitch and I have decided that she has one of those minds so brilliant she can’t function in society. Like an Einstein. But a cat. You follow?
Tilly the Two-Legged Cat (AKA Nubs): Tilly is a recent addition (as of a week ago). She has no front legs but this didn’t stop her from viciously attacking a grown man. It was all fun and games (and seriously hilarious) watching her take Adam down, but when she went at me the other night I cried like a child. The thing about Tilly is she’s not a bad cat. She’s actually very affectionate and calm when she’s just with me. (She still kind of hates Adam.) When one of the other zoo residents comes into the picture, though, she goes nuts. And being the helicopter mom that I am, I had to dive in and thwart her plot to attack Weaz. I’m not writing her off, though. I think Tilly is largely misunderstood by former owners and foster parents. Without front legs to protect herself, I think she overcompensates with her teeth and I can’t blame her for that. So long as she doesn’t feel threatened she’s fine. Still, I’ve come to the sad realization that Tilly is probably best suited for a one-pet household. But–I repeat–I don’t think this makes her a bad cat. (Don’t tell Weaz but Ralph has expressed on multiple occasions her desire to live in a one-pet household.) I’m not bailing on her, no chance. But I do think she would be happier in a quieter home, and I’m not going to force her into my zoo just because I think she’s cute.
Joey Donut (AKA Reckless Endangerment): I found Joey last week hunkered down on the center line of Tyvola with cars zooming by on both sides. I created a serious traffic hazard by slamming on my brakes and was promptly rear ended. Both cars were fine and the other driver was surprisingly cool about me being an idiot and Joey is safe now so all is well with the world. Do NOT tell Weaz but Joey is the cutest kitten of all time. (I don’t know what Ralph was like as a kitten but I suspect she was a close second.) Her full name is Joey Bag O’Donuts (thank you, Adam, for that), but I’ve taken to calling her simply Joey Donut. She is the cutest animal on the planet. (Do not judge my tie-dye shirt; I’ve been cleaning litter boxes since 6:30 this morning.)
Wedgie (AKA Terrified of All Cats): My roommate’s dog Wedgie is terrified of all the cats. Terrified. And he seems to be more scared of one-pound Joey Donut than any of the others. Just look at the horror on his face…
And that’s the zoo.