A Day Run Amok OR How to NOT Neuter Your Cat

Have you ever had one of ‘THOSE’ days? You know, the kind… you wake up to the sound of the alarm after a late night, crawl out of bed feeling a bit out of sync with your day, put the coffee on, glance over at the clock on the stove, and wander into the bathroom with a vague sense of uneasiness.

Bathroom routine complete, you reach to put your toothbrush away and it hits you…OMG!!! The wide-eyed, deer-in-the-headlights face looks back at you from the mirror, spins, and disappears off to the side as you race back to the kitchen to confirm your worst nightmare. OMG!!! the clock has to be wrong, it couldn’t possibly have taken an hour to get out of bed!

Frantically wasting minutes checking other clocks in the house you discover, sure enough, somehow the clock managed to get set an hour later than it should have. Wonder how that happened!?!

That was the start of this morning, but not the end. Oh no, must be one of Murphy’s famous laws, just when you think it’s bad, cover your head because a piano is about to land on you.

Today is a big day for Stretch and Monkey. They have a very personal appointment with the vet and I have a lot to do before I can head out to the big event.

So, throwing clothes on I race outside to bring the horses in and it’s raining. DAMN!! Then I recall that, due to the late night, I didn’t clean the stalls. Well, I was planning to be up an hour early, right? So, I grab the muck rake and careen down the shedrow with the wheelbarrow bouncing in front of me. I should be able to clean both stalls and, if necessary, leave the wheelbarrow parked in front of the barn and dump it when I get back.

Five minutes later I realize that a day of accumulated manure and wet shavings from one 18 hand horse does not leave room in the wheelbarrow for rejected materials from a second horse and I race to the manure pile with the  overflowing wheelbarrow shedding a trail of manure balls along the way.

On the return I almost trip over one of the male cats that, at midnight last night and per the vet’s instructions, I locked in an empty stall. What the heck! I look around and, sure enough, there’s the other one—the stall door is still locked. Now I spend another 10 minutes catching them and locking them into the tack room. If they think the escaping cat trick is going to keep them from having a very personal visit with the vet this morning, they are wrong!

Seven minutes later the water buckets are full, hay is in the stalls, and the two horses are contentedly munching away. I grab the cat carrier and note that (surprise!) the latch is missing. Coaxing one cat into the box as I reach for a piece of baling twine is a piece of cake—finally something goes right! I turn around to get the other cat and…. like smoke, he has disappeared!

OK…. this day is officially not going well. To prevent another escape, I take the cat-loaded carrier into the apartment, tripping over the female cat that is exploding with milk from her latest litter and already in flaming heat again, sit the carrier in the bathroom, and slam the door—female cat on the outside, male cat on the inside. The next ten minutes are spent desperately looking for the other cat, the one that is always sprawled within ten feet of the front door and now seems intuitively to know when it’s in his own best interest to don his invisibility cloak.

Urgently wandering around the barns and shaking a feed container, in vain I call Stretch’s name with absolutely zero results. Unless you count the appearance of the other wild female cat in the neighborhood. The one that sneaks her three month old kittens in at night to eat the food I put out and is probably already pregnant with a new litter from one of these males. I have a very strong suspicion that they are her grandsons. UGH!

Finally I give up on Stretch and check my watch. ARGH! I’m already past my planned departure time so I hurry back into the apartment to see female cat (aka: Little Mama) sniffing at the bathroom door and hear the sound of claws on wood from the other side as the male strives valiantly to get to her.  I put her in the bedroom, carefully close the door and head for the bathroom but…. the handle won’t turn. The door is locked. By this time, nothing surprises me and resignation rules supreme so I trot off to the storage room to get a Phillips screwdriver. At least the fates forgot to put the screw heads on the inside of the door.

In two minutes the door knob is on the floor and I’m in. Monkey (yes, my cat is named Monkey) gets shoved, head-first, back into the carrier, I lock the carrier door with a hair clamp and leave him fuming while I tear through the house pouring my coffee, gathering truck key and purse, and lugging my deaf and almost blind dog to the truck so she doesn’t get covered with mud.

Racing back to the bathroom, I grab the carrier (cat still safely locked inside) and head for the truck. Carefully tossing the carrier into the back seat I hop into the truck and start the engine…… start the engine…… start the engine…. OK. I pause, take a deep breath, and start the engine again and, just like the first three times it roars to a start and immediately dies. I leap from the truck, pulling the hood release on the way, lift the hood and look at all the ‘stuff’ the manufacturers hide under there. I poke a few things and prod a few others and try to start the truck again. No luck.

Finally, in disgust, I slam the hood down, open the truck door to let the dog out, take the carrier into the tack room and release the cat. Obviously the neutering was not meant to happen today. FINALLY I realize that–at least temporarily–the cats have a reprieve.

TODAY the fates have defeated me. TODAY things didn’t go as planned. TODAY I will stay home, nurse my pride, fume and plan. BUT…I call the vet and rebook the neutering for next week…


Do you ever have one of THOSE days when everything goes awry from the moment you open your eyes? Do you wonder what you did to deserve such concentrated attention from the Fates?

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