Love & Anger

In the year-plus since my mother-in-law was moved to a memory care center, we’ve been kind of…giddy…I guess you’d say. We’re certainly not happy that her Alzheimer’s has brought her, and us, to this stage. But now that we are no longer in charge of her daily care, we’re experiencing this sense of “WE MUST DO ALL OF THE THINGS!” Because we spent so much time having to turn down invitations, or scheduling any outings well in advance so as to make sure that family members could fill in for us, everything is suddenly POSSIBLE, and so we’re giddy with all of the possibility.

Just in the last couple of weeks we’ve been to King Richard’s Faire, to a family BBQ, to the theatre with friends, and to Maine. Which maybe doesn’t sound like a lot to most people, but when you’ve spent most of your evenings and weekends pretty much completely housebound, getting to do two things in the same week is an embarrassment of riches.

The problem with this is the effect it’s having on our cats (Foot Foot and Mephisto, also known as “The Assholes”). They have grown quite used to having us around all of the time. And they’re NEEDY. You would not think this, as cats have the reputation of giving no fucks about the people with whom they live. The Assholes are not like this. We rescued them as ferals, and “socialized” them to the point where they are psychotically devoted to us (well, in point of fact Foot Foot is psychotically devoted to Kevin, and Mephisto is psychotically devoted to me). They greet us at the door, they hit and headbutt us when we are not paying sufficient attention to them, and they engage in unprecedented displays of assholishness when displeased.

The Assholes

The Assholes

So we’ve been out a lot lately, and this displeases them.

We went to see The Decemberists the other night. They were playing at a venue out in the “Waterfront District” of Boston (an area which used to be pretty bleak and remote until it was determined that it was the New! Hip! place to live in recent years, and has been developed accordingly). We dickered somewhat on transportation. We both work in town, sort of in-between Back Bay and the South End, so a trip to what used to be known as just Southie (which is NOT the same as the South End, so don’t get those confused if you find yourself visiting here, folks) is something to be strategized. We reckoned that we could leave the car where we usually park (the garage under the Christian Science mother church), walk to the Back Bay Orange Line stop, take the Orange Line to the Red Line, get off at South Station, and have a pleasant stroll down to the Pavilion. A mile-and-a-half stroll, to be exact. But whatever – we’re healthy, it was a nice evening, so this is what we did, rather than drive to the lot across from the Pavilion.

Have you seen The Decemberists? They’re really good, and as my family in Montana likes to remind us, Colin Meloy is from Helena. They’re really good, and they play for a long time. Like, a good dozen songs from the outset, and two encores. Awesome!

Two things kept me from completely enjoying myself. One – I had contracted the gack which had been going around my department for days prior to the event. I had begun to expectorate like an opened fire hydrant, and was getting hoarse and chilled. Two – we had been away from the house, and The Assholes, for well over 12 hours. As the set went on, I felt myself getting more and more sick, and more and more concerned about The Assholes. And when I say “concerned about The Assholes,” I mean “concerned about what The Assholes are doing to express their displeasure at us.”

The Decemberists premiered a new song! I thought, “This is so good! I love them! I wonder what The Assholes are doing!”

Colin Meloy made a joke about Donald Trump! I thought, “He’s so funny! I bet we both shopped for Christmas presents for our grandparents at Hennessy’s! I practically KNOW HIM! The Assholes are probably SO MAD at us!”

They played The Rake’s Song! I thought, “Oh, wow! So many DRUMS! The stage lighting is all RED! That’s what The Assholes are feeling right now! RED, RED RAGE!”

By the time the show concluded, it was almost 11pm. If we’d parked right across the street, we probably could’ve been home by 11:30. But we had to walk back to South Station, wait for a train, then wait for ANOTHER train, and then walk to the garage under the Christian Science mother church. We didn’t get home until 12:30…..some 17 hours after we’d left the house, and The Assholes. As we got out of the car, I said, “They are going to be SO MAD. So, SO mad.”

“Yeah. They are.”

They were practically right at the door when we opened it. Mephisto looked wild with righteous indignation. Foot Foot glowered. I promptly rushed into the kitchen to fill their bowls, and chattered and cooed, saying, “I KNOW we were gone a very long time, but I TOLD YOU THIS when I left this morning.” I left them eating, and went into the bedroom to change.

And that’s when I saw them. Two perfectly-formed, perfectly-placed turds on my side of the bed, just under my pillow.

It could have been either one of them. But I’m going to guess it was Mephisto.



Hey! So one of the things I did a few weeks ago was go to this software conference I go to every year. We have a band where we play covers, only we rewrite them so they’re about the software. That’s me on drums.

I didn’t suck nearly as bad as I thought, and The Assholes didn’t poop on anything when I got back, but that’s because Kevin was home with them.

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