The ‘whining’ category

Fewer Animals, Please

June 21st, 2019

A bear ripped the lid off our composter. We can’t fix it or replace it, so we just keep stuffing food scraps in there. Basically, it’s a bear snack bar in our yard. You’re welcome, wildlife.

Then the other night, Jon caught a spider the size of his fist in our living room. He trapped it in a ball jar and released it outside, after which we spent an hour googling spiders and getting totally creeped out. At first, we thought it was a brown recluse — we were freaking! — but then, over time, we realized it was actually a river spider, a non-venomous but totally gross, big-ass spider that frequents these parts.

I suddenly remembered when, earlier this spring, I was walking through the low part of our yard and looked down to realize I was tromping through a field of spider babies. Millions and millions of very active spider babies. I am not arachnophobic, but it was a little creepy. Even creepier to think they may have been river spider babies who are now much larger and still in our yard.

Then there are the ticks. Always the ticks.

I love living in the woods. But I am getting tired of animals. Actually, the wild animals are fine. It’s the ones inside our house I am completely over.

I have been an avid pet person my whole life, and so has Jon. But when you have small children, things change. Suddenly, you start to question whether you really want a dog if you have to clean dog poop out from between your daughter’s toes at 7:45 in the morning because the dog pooped on the rug (after he had already gone out) and she of course stepped right in it, a situation she found mildly hilarious. I am not a morning person under any circumstances, but cleaning dog poop off a rug and from between toes first thing makes me homicidal.

The kitty litter is the utter bain of my existence. (They go outside! Why, cats?) And the cats themselves, who are terrible. One of my cats is bona fide mentally ill and I’m pretty sure half raccoon. She loves to beat on my neighbor’s cat, and recently she actually cornered my neighbor and attacked her. My neighbor had to get on antibiotics.

Buda is my favorite, though. The other cat, Luka, has few redeeming qualities and the most high-pitched, frantic cry I have ever heard out of a feline. She torments me all morning begging for food as I’m trying to take care of all the things I have to do to get the kids out the door. She’s also quite stupid, so even if I feed her, she often doesn’t realize I’ve done so, and continues to cry.

Jon and I frequently fantasize about when all our pets are finally dead. We try to hide our feelings from the girls so they don’t realize their parents are cold heartless psychopaths, but this morning, after the rug-pooping  incident, Phoebe innocently asked, “When Rocky dies can we get another dog?”

“Under no circumstances,” I answered bluntly.

I remember being about her age when we got our two cats, Amigo and Fig (both girls). A friend was over, and we spent what seemed like hours lulling the kittens to sleep on a pillow with soft pets and cooing. This was a cherished childhood memory for me forever, but now, it is tinged with malice as I think of my poor mother, who was stuck with one of those cats for like 27 years.

What I’m eating

Fresh local strawberries and the first few snow peas and greens from our garden

What I’m reading

The bananas trial of super-duper misogynist, sex criminal and cult leader Keith Rainier continues

Oh, wait, this just in: he guilty. No doy.

Also, Juneteenth and why you should care.

What I’m listening to

The Radiolab podcast series G about the pros and cons of IQ tests and their anti-bias issues

What I’m working on

Work has been on overdrive. This is just a fraction of the project work I’ve been involved in writing that’s gone live this week:

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