Monday, December 5, 2011

Day of Rest

I love Sunday evenings. I find that those last few precious hours of the wekend set the tone for my whole week. Get it right and I retain a modicum of calm organization through Wednesday at least. Get it wrong, and my life goes to hell in a handbasket by 6am Monday morning.

This week does not look good.

Sunday started out pretty well. Realigned my disgruntled chakras at yoga. Got kids out biking and running for familial fresh air and exercise. Planned menu for the week, got groceries, and tidied bills and paperwork into a neat pile (thereby continuing the self-delusion that I am On Top Of It).

The evening continued in a similar vein -- boys persuaded into shower/hairwash/nail clipping routine with only their usual degree of recalcitrance. Older son made dinner. Wrangled boys into bed at a reasonable hour.

How did it all go so wrong?

I was contemplating a leisurely bath and glass of wine, when Mr. Berman noticed that one of our cats was missing. Worse still, we realized that we had not set eyes on her since Saturday morning. Wracked with guilt, I tried not to panic. I persuaded myself that since she was a stray we had taken in, she was used to the mean streets of New York, where god knows there is plenty of vermin for her to go at if she gets peckish.

Mr Berman reacted more productively. He wandered outside at regular intervals, calling her name, each time coming back looking more concerned. I decided to skip the bath in a show of solidarity, but forged ahead with the glass of wine. One needs sustenance in times of stress, I find.

As midnight approached, there was still no sign of the cat. Mr Berman was in a tailspin of guilt by this juncture. He pointed out, in an accusatory fashion, that since she is My cat, she responds best to My voice, so would I get My ass out of the door to help look for her please. Reluctantly, I dragged on some flip flops, and headed off into the night.

I walked around 3 square blocks in my pyjamas, calling her name and muttering angrily. My personal safety did cross my mind at one point, but I looked way too crazy for anyone to mess with.

As I neared home, I passed our neighbors' house, and called the cat's name one last time. In response, I heard a plaintive mew. I tried it again -- and again, she answered back. I'd found her...but where the hell was she?

I tore into the house, and grabbed Mr Berman. We tiptoed into our neighbors' yard, and realized that the mewing was coming from their basement, where it appeared the cat had been stuck for 2 days without food or water. We would have to ring the bell and wake them up.

At this point, I should mention that my neighbors are a lovely family, new to the neighborhood. They are most likely not used to having crazy, barely-dressed, foul-mouthed people ringing their bell at midnight. They are most certainly not used to living next door to us.

They were incredibly gracious, and showed us into their partially-renovated basement. The cat was stuck in a 2-foot high crawl space under the kitchen, so Mrs Neighbor fetched a can of tuna with which to tempt her out. 

The cat was not tempted. 

There was nothing for it -- I had to crawl in after her. It involved a fair amount of wriggling through dirt, and I ended up hanging ass-first out of the crawl space, calling "Here kitty kitty" through gritted teeth.

The cat crawled over to sniff at the tuna. I made a grab for her but missed, hurling the entire can of tuna all over Mrs Neighbor in the process. The cat followed with a yowl, embedding all 10 claws firmly into Mrs Neighbor's back. Mrs Neighbor, quite understandably, started to scream. After a mad chase around the basement, we caught the terrified animal, apologized profusely, and slunk back home, leaving Mrs Neighbor to pick the tuna out of her hair while Mr Neighbor cleaned the blood off her back.

We are awash in shame.

And this was Sunday evening. My lovely, peaceful, organized Sunday evening.

Roll on Monday. I'm ready.