It began gradually last Monday when I put away the stacks of CD's that had been sitting in the living room for several months, then I threw away all the junk mail and scoured the half bathroom that is located just off the den. I started to do a general straightening up in preparation for our Thanksgiving house guests. Turtle sauntered behind me, sniffing disapprovingly at the scent of cleanser in my wake.
The cat doesn't like it when we clean. It makes him suspicious.
By Wednesday afternoon he was nearing insanity as the non-stop cleaning clicked into high gear. He watched me wash the floor in our main bathroom, casting his head back and forth with each stroke of the mop. When I started scrubbing the shower tiles the repellent smell of the bleach drove him away for the safety of MDH's lap only to find MDH was busy cleaning too. No lap.
Turtle: What the fuck is going on around here? You people never clean.
Things peaked when MDH removed the suitcases from their usual storage spot in the guest room and put them in the basement. We travel a lot so Turtle assumes that if the suitcases are being touched he is soon to be whisked into his carrier and off to the vet for boarding. MDH said Turtle danced closely behind him all the way down to the basement with the luggage, mewling and squeaking the whole time.
The cat was concerned.
The cat hates the luggage.
Turtle: Please don't leave me again! Meow. Squeak.
MDH: We're not going anywhere buddy. Calm down. Save your strength or later. You'll need it.
I think carrying Turtle's food tray and dishes down to the basement is what finally put him over the edge. He followed me down, like he did with MDH and the luggage, mewling and squeaking. I patted his head and said some nice things in baby talk to him, but I don't think it was very reassuring. Now he seemed pissed.
Turtle: What the fuck? This belongs upstairs. Meow. Squeak.
Me: Dude, you have no idea how much worse things are about to get.
We had stopped cleaning at about 7pm so Turtle had had lots of time before our guests arrived to calm down and get used to dining arrangements in the basement (there's a kitty door cut into the basement door because that's where his litter box is located). We stayed up later than normal waiting for Dan and Steph so he also got lots of good lap time in.
Turtle: I'm so glad you've stopped cleaning, it smells funny and makes all the laps go away.
Me: Dude, you have no idea how your world is about crumble.
It snowed on Wednesday night so it took a lot longer for our friends to arrive than we originally anticipated. They finally pulled into the driveway around midnight. Dan, Steph and their dog Lupini.
Yes. A dog.
I should say right here that Lupini is one of the most sweet natured doggies ever, lest I would not have included him with the invitation to Dan and Steph to spend Thanksgiving with us. I figured I'd put Turtles food in the basement for a few days and he could use the kitty door to come and go and escape from the dog as he pleased. I thought they might even be playing with each other by Friday afternoon.
It didn't quite turn that way. I don't want to say they didn't get along, because Lupini was fine. In fact he was a perfect gentleman. Turtle was scared out of his mind and suddenly puffed up and swelled to about 10 times his normal size and made noises I've never heard him make before.
Lupini was ready to play, but understandably confused by Turtles reaction to his exuberant advances.
Lupini: Hey Lady, what's wrong with your dog?
Lupini got his ears boxed with angry kitty paws and then Turtle retreated to the basement for the rest of their visit.
Turtle had a really bad Thanksgiving.
Lupini on the other hand seemed to enjoy himself immensely. He got lots of yummy table scraps, a nice fenced yard to run around in, and there were 4 more hands petting him than normal.
When they left on Saturday I had to physically pick Turtle up and carry him upstairs to prove to him that the dog was gone. He spent the next several hours sniffing every surface the dog had touched and squeaking pathetically.
He's sitting on my lap now while I'm typing this so I assume he's forgiven us.
PS - Thanks Dan & Steph for the kitty toys. He especially likes the springy blue thing.