Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Gracie and Reilly

Today is one of those days that begs for household stuff to be done.  It is cold, rainy and quiet.  I have no pressing errands to run and frankly, going outside is not appealing.

I got up and set to the business of maintaining a household.  A couple of loads of laundry, some pots left soaking in the sink overnight and the bathrooms topped my honey-do list.  Reilly had other ideas.  She decided she needed to go out...but she hates the rain.  Standing in the laundry room, sorting towels for the next load, I feel this persistent poking on my leg.  I look down and she, with ears pinned back, barks..."Out!"  Yup, my dog talks.  "Really? am on a roll here."  "Out!" 

I stuff a few towels and things in the washer, set it and forget it.  I moved down to the mudroom closet , put on my coat, hat and grab the umbrella and the door and there is our neighbor's old dog Penny, resting on my welcome mat.  This is not unusual.  Automatically, I grab a dog biscuit from the vase on the hall table and Reilly forgets everything about going OUT.  She dances and prances for her cookie too.  I toss Penny her treat and she settles back down on the mat.  Closing the door, I turn to Reilly and give her a half a cookie and she takes off to snarf down her prize.  Off comes the coat...unbrella back to the bucket...and laundry sorting continues...for two seconds..."Out!"  Harumph! 

Knowing that Penny is still out on the covered stoop, I don my rain gear and head to the slider leading to the deck.  It is raining, right...well Reilly would rather cross her legs than get her paws wet.  But there she is standing at the door, looking up at me,waiting for the door to open so she can stick her nose out and then turn tail and run.  Being the somewhat intelligent and experienced partner in this relationship, I know what is going to happen and not wanting to be poked anymore, I seize the day and the dog...and I carry her through the raindrops down the steps to the pea stoned area under the deck.  I block her retreat and give her the command to get busy.  Oh what pathetic looks she sends my way as the rain pelts her pelt, but she quickly realizes that I do not share her aversion to rain and tah dah... she pees and poops! I run up the stairs, open the door and she practically leaps the 15 feet from the stairs to the door.  Now let the rug surfing begin.  I forgot to grab her towel which we keep by the mudroom door for jsut such she skidded and slid her wet little body all over my oriental rug...much to the amusement of Gracie the cat, who was hiding in a basket of blankets.  As Reilly cruised by, Gracie would stab a paw at her through the opening of the basket where the handle is. 

This goes on long enough for me smile, nod and to head to the sink where a couple of pots and pans from last night's dinner sat soaking.  I put on my rubber gloves, turn on the hot water, pick up the sponge and poke...Reilly is at it I turn my attention to the dog, the cat steathily approaches from behind and jumps from the kitchen island to the counter, with every intention of knocking over some wine glasses set on a drying rack to dry last night.  With a quick lunge, I saved the glasses only to have smeared them with soapy residue from my gloves.  Okay...what to you two want?  I turned the water off, took of the gloves and found Reilly a dental chew stick and I put a couple of Greenies cat treats on Gracie's scratching tower.  I bought myself just enough time to finish washing the pots, reclean the glasses and put the dried dishes away from the night before...Oh joy, the towels are done!  Back to the laundry room...this time with the cat in tow.  I open the washer door and she sticks her nose in to see what is what...I open the dryer door and she jumps in.  Okay...she'll get out when I start to toss stuff in there, right?...nope...first in went the dryer sheet...which she proceeded to shred. I got it away from her, took her out of the dryer, turned to the washer and Gracie is back in the dryer.  Okay, wet towels are surely a deterent to a cat in the tub of a dryer, right? No.  As I toss the first couple of towels in, Gracie leads with a right and smacks my hand.  Poophead. I reach in and grab her and place her on top of the dryer.  I lean over to put the rest of the towels into the dryer and she leans over, putting both her front paws on my head and then leap frogs onto my back.  Slightly amused, I shut the dryer, and hear a strange scratching noise.  Still bent over, with cat perched in the middle of my back, I look through my legs to see the dog trying to get into the litter box.  "OUT!", I bark.  At this point it is every mammal for herself.  The dog skitters to the left, I stand up, sending the cat flying into the laundry basket filled with round two of my day's wash.  Crud...I have to clean the litter box. Not to many "prizes", but once Reilly gets her nose in there...well just trust me, it ain't pleasant. 

Well, it is a good thing my next stop on the chore tour is the bathroom.  I wash my hands and set about spraying this and scrubbing that...both pets have followed me.  Gracie sits on the closed toilet seat and Reilly has secured  a cosy spot on the bathroom rugs, which I tossed in the hallway for their turn in the wash.  I set to scrubbing the tub.  We invested in a deep soaking tub...great on those days when you are tired and achy.  It is big and long enough for my 6 foot 3 inch husband to soak in... and it is a pain for a 5 foot 6 1/2 inch tall woman to clean.  Kneeling on the floor, rubber gloved and scrubby in hand, I set to work on busting through some hard water stains.  And then it happens...the cat jumps from the potty right onto my back, sending my head into the edge of the tub...not hard but enough to surprise a whoop outta me.  In comes the dog, jumping up to see if am okay...she squirmed up under me, and started licking my face.  Cat on my back, dog under my chest, little bump on my head and scrubbing bubbles up to my elbows...And it is only 10:15!  Oh...and I forgot to turn the dryer on.  Okay...time to get serious.  I toss both critters out of the bathroom, close the door.  Back to work, scrubbing this and spraying that...and from the other side of the door, I hear what sounds like the Charge of the Light Brigade.  From the master bedroom down the hall to the guestroom...back again, down the stairs and up again.  The two nut jobs I love almost as much as my kids are playing a combo game of tag and hide and seek.  Nothing is crashing so...for now, no harm, no foul! In a quick  15 minutes, this room is done.  I put the cleaners back under the sink, hang the gloves up to dry and carefully open the door.  Gracie rushes in to inspect the job and Reilly is lying on the top step of the stairs, waiting to ambush me.  Clever girl.

Next, the master bath surfaces get a spray of cleansers.  I pick up the bath mats, close the door to let chemistry do its thing and head back to get the other rugs and downstairs for some coffee. 

I love a parade and that's what we had as we marched down the first with a laundry basket, then the cat, who immediately darts into the blind spot in front of me...and the dog brings up the rear...poking me.  In order to stablize myself and avoid tripping over the cat, I lean on the wall and slowly slip my feet from one step to the next...I must look ridiculous...but it works and we all make it down to the foyer.  At this point, the cat has snuck into the dining room, awaiting her next chance to pounce.  Reilly saw her though and unbeknownst to said feline ninja, ran around through the kitchen to the other dining room door.  Operation Dominate the Cat begins and ends with me yelling," Reilly get off her"...and round two of the Charge of the Light Brigade ensues.

I definitely need a cup of coffee.  I grab a mug and pour myself a cup of our houseblend Fair Trade Love Buzz/Hazelnut mix.  And then I hear something...and then something else.  What??  I look over to the hutch in my kitchen and the cat is tossing little pyramid shaped teabags (Tea Forte') out of a basket onto the floor and the dog is scrambling to pick them up in her mouth all at once.  This is not good.  I tell Reilly to "leave it" and Gracie to get down.  They look at me like I am joking.  So with coffee cup in hand, I take two steps toward them and the both take off in opposite directions. 

So here I am writing about these two characters.  Reilly is taking a nap in her bed and the cat is sitting here right between my wrists...have you ever tried to type with a cat on your keyboard. Crud, my coffee is cold.  But do I dare move?  Oh yeah, I have to clean that other bathroom. 

The cat just disappeared and the dog is under the bed...this is gonna be interesting.

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