I had my mettle slightly tested this first week of a month-long gig taking care of two/three dogs and a feral/friendly outdoor cat. Well, I didn’t really have my mettle tested, but I found out that I could have had my mettle tested.
So here’s the story. I have returned to the second home where I stayed on my Great Adventure. Last July, this setting offered me respite to stop and breathe after the whirlwind of selling and leaving my home. It’s a very private property surrounded by trees and nature. There is a main house where Husband and Wife live with doggie Ted and a smaller house where Mother lives with two doggies Twiggy & Ventura (names always changed to protect their privacy) with Kitty outside.
Wife and her Mother are vacationing and I am living in the smaller home with two doggies and when Husband leaves on business trips, I am also taking care of third doggie, Ted. Slighty complicated, but that’s the setting. [I will post more about Ted, Twiggy and Ventura later!]
I feed Kitty twice each day on the front porch. (He sleeps in a heated kitty house but loves being outside during the day.) He is always there waiting for food and is an affectionate cat. I arrived here Tuesday evening and on Friday morning Kitty was not there for breakfast. Kitty is ALWAYS there for breakfast. I texted Husband who said he would look for him and I left for work.
We texted later and it seemed that Kitty had gotten into a skirmish of some sort and he was lethargic and skittish and there was too much cat hair on the porch. For the next two days we texted coordination of care for Kitty as we watched over him and kept him in the warmer garage at night. A trap was put out the first night to see if a raccoon was the culprit, etc. [He’s fine now but needed some watching and TLC for a bit!]
I did become aware that if Husband had not been home, I would have had to step up and assume total responsibility of care. It’s one thing to write down veterinarian information on my form, but it’s another thing altogether to have to deal with a medical crisis with someone else’s pet. I hope I will never have to call in to work for a pet emergency. But this brought the possibility closer to reality.
Then as that mini-crisis ended, I was cooking dinner last night and the smoke alarm started beeping. No big deal. I waved a towel at it; put a lid on the pot. Beep…beep… beep. Sigh. Got a chair. I’d never seen this kind of alarm before. Beep. I found the button to push to reset; it was disguised, but I found it and pushed it…several times. Beep. I tried to pry the cover off. I couldn’t twist it, I couldn’t pry it. I didn’t want to break it. Beep. I waited. Beep. Waited some more. Beep. Stood on the chair and tried everything again. Beep. I knew the inevitable had arrived. Beep. I had to do what I HATE to do. I had to ask for help from a man—the Husband. Something I had to do rarely—well, somewhat rarely—in the 26 years I lived as a single female homeowner. Beep.
But I felt embarrassed. I texted Husband—again—who of course texted back to wave a towel and push the button. Sigh. Beep. He didn’t understand that I wouldn’t have contacted him if I hadn’t already done those things. Beep. He came over and pushed the camouflaged button and realized that it wasn’t working well (the battery had just been changed one week before). He twisted it off (Hrmph!) and took it with him to take apart.
So, the question remains: what would I have done had Husband not been in residence? I would have had to keep working on it until I figured out how to get it off the ceiling even if it meant breaking it. I wasn’t prepared to break the alarm knowing that he was home. Again, as embarrassing as it was for me, I was very happy to have back-up in both of these two situations.
P.S. I’ll post more on doggie antics later.
P.S.S. This was this morning’s sunrise when doggies didn’t want me to sleep in.
P.S.S.S. That is Twiggy in the driveway—after she sat on my head while I was in bed. Literally. HA!