Sunday, June 16, 2013
Is This the Asylum or...
Is it one more stop down the highway?
We have a couple of neighbours who really enjoy squabbling with each other. I think both are monumentally bored and fussing with each other lends a little drama to their deadly dull lives.
They live two doors apart. One has a cat. I live on a different floor and in a different wing. The one with a cat took a holiday last summer and asked me to look after her cat. I agreed, and three times a day traipsed to her unit to open and shut windows, feed, water and keep company with the cat who is a biter and is not to be trusted.
Her place probably would not quite qualify for an episode of Hoarders, but she's definitely not house-proud. She left for her holiday without cleaning the cat's litter box, which was packed concrete solid with soiled litter. It was so hard the cat could no longer scratch a hole in it, so he'd been using the floor in front of the box for a couple of days at least.
The odour was overwhelming. The first day I came home, got my shovel and broke up the litter in the box into manageable size blocks, shovelled it into several bags and filled the box with clean litter from my stock. Then I scrubbed down the floor, which was covered in pee and worse, and washed the matt that she had lying adjacent, which he had drug over his mistakes.
When she returned she was angry that I had changed the litter, and told me so in no uncertain terms (it's expensive!). She also didn't like the way I had fed the cat, but she had left no instructions, other than, "the food is in the pantry". She complained almost daily about my cat-sitting sins until November, when she asked me to cat-sit for her two week Christmas holiday.
Not surprisingly I begged off. Thankfully the neighbour volunteered. That was good, except on the third day the neighbour showed up at my door and said, "I don't want to do it, you do it." She hadn't cleaned the litter box for the three days she'd taken care of him. When cat lady returned she gave me holy hell (again) for not feeding cat the way she wanted. Told me I could have called her sister long distance for instructions if I didn't know what to feed him on what day. Complained about it from January until April when she asked me to take care of the cat during her two week summer holiday.
I said, "NO, in no uncertain terms! Right now I'm having trouble taking care of my own family." So she went to the neighbour and came back saying the neighbour will feed the cat and I can clean the litterbox. I asked her what part of no does she have trouble with? I am not taking care of the cat, or his litterbox. "Oh," she said.
She was scheduled to leave Friday morning. Thursday night she called me from the neighbour's. "Here", she said, "you and neighbour can work out the rotation of who is taking care of the cat on what days."
She handed the phone to the neighbour. I said to neighbour, "I told [cat lady] from the beginning that I am unable to take care of the cat. I am not cleaning the litterbox, I am not rotating days, or mornings and evenings. I am not doing it period. I told her that two months ago and have told her that every time she has brought it up. "
"Okay," the neighbour said, "I know you haven't been well. You have to take care of your health," (She is 30, healthy and is home all day, and has a young, strong husband). "Don't worry about it. We'll do it."
Today I got a long distance call from cat lady saying, "I just got an angry e-mail from neighbour asking why you aren't helping take care of the cat like you promised?"
If this is the Asylum some of us aren't getting our meds on time.