Annie and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

I’m not one to complain, but this is just unbelievable. I have to share. And in this mood, what the hell else am I going to blog about?

Yesterday, as you may know, was Father’s Day. Since my dad died four years ago, that’s a rough day. Which is fine; everyone has personal things they have to deal with. That in and of itself isn’t worth mentioning. I’m just setting the stage. I mean, this is so bad I feel like at any moment Ashton Kutcher is going to show up in his ridiculous trucker hat. I owe that guy a slap.

So yes, Father’s Day is rough. June 18th, the day my dad died, is also rough. This year that happens to be today, one day after Father’s Day, which is especially shitty. But hey, at least I can get it over with all at once, right?

Well, last night right before we went to bed, our plumbing did a little belch and gurgle and all of a sudden both of our bathtubs were full of suspiciously odorous dirty water. Our bathroom floors got wet, and we had to turn off all of our plumbing. Dishwasher, washing machine, sinks, everything. I had to drive to the gas station to use the bathroom since we don’t have a fence and I didn’t want our neighbors to catch me peeing in the back yard. Talk about awkward silences.

We called the plumber, who, by the way, advertises 24-hour service but is full of “bathtub water” because they don’t even answer their phones at midnight, much less come out. So we put towels under the doors, but when I got back from the gas station I was highly aware that our entire house absolutely reeked of sewage. Unsure if plumbing gases are hazardous in an enclosed space over eight hours, I decided it would be best for us and the cats to open all of the windows overnight.

But our cats are inside-only cats, and I was afraid that even with screens on our windows they might find a way out. I would be absolutely heartbroken if I lost my cats. So for their own safety, I locked them in the garage overnight with food, water, litter, and beds. I went to sleep super late, knowing I had to wake up extra early to meet the plumber.

In the morning, when I got up shortly after my husband left for work, I was made painfully aware that I had forgotten to take a sticky bug trap out of the garage first, which I had set out because of a fly problem because of the sewage. Snaps, my little one, got stuck to it. I have no idea if he spent the whole night like that or if it just happened in the morning.

Chunks of his hair were all over the bug trap, and the hair on his tail and several paws was all matted down with the glue that comes on those traps. He was scared, shaking, and absolutely miserable. Not that I would ever want this to happen to either of my cats, but the fact that it happened to Snaps is all the worse, because he not too long ago had a very traumatic experience at the vet. (They had to take out the clear box of torture.) The poor little guy has been through enough.

I called Hub-a-dub, very upset and not knowing what to do, plus feeling like the single worst person in the universe for leaving that thing out there with them. Sweet as my husband is, he came home – and picked up a bottle of baby shampoo on the way. Meanwhile, I was waiting for the plumber in my extra stinky house with a very full bladder trying to look up how the crap to fix my broken cat.

Oh, and did I mention that the big cat, Buttons, is very unhappy with me for locking her in the garage overnight with her annoying (and probably panicked) little brother? Cold shoulder is an understatement.

I found what to do online, and Hub-a-dub arrived with the shampoo even though he desperately needed to be at work because something was due at noon. We needed to rub vegetable oil on Snaps and then wash him with baby shampoo, but he hates being held down and our plumbing was broken, so we couldn’t use the bathtub. (Seriously, where’s Ashton Kutcher?)

So we ended up filling a big plastic tub with lukewarm water (the water worked, we just couldn’t put any of it down the plumbing or we’d get more backflow) and taking the sad, sticky little guy out to the garage for a forced oil-rub followed by a shampoo and bath-dip. Needless to say, that was not so much fun for any of us. And since we only had one tub of water, we could only rinse him so well.

The plumber came and we laid down $200 to fix the sewage. Could be worse; at least it’s fixed. Although the plumber did track dirt and love-only-knows-what all over our floors. Of course. And the husband had to leave immediately to get back to work.

The little cat is still sticky (slightly less than before), plus now he’s oily. He’s leaving little oil smudges every place he sits down. I can’t give him a second bath by myself (it’s definitely a two-person job), and Hub-a-dub won’t be back until late tonight. I don’t think Snaps’s tail will be normal again until he grows new fur. He’s just so pitiful, and I hate that he’s all jumpy and skittish now. The worst part is that this actually is my fault, unlike the vet appointment from Hell. I feel just awful.

So now it’s the anniversary of my dad’s death, and I have two miserable cats, oil spots all over the house, and two very unpleasant bathrooms to clean. I’m actually a little impressed by how much went wrong.

Ever have a day like this? I think I’ll move to Australia.

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  • Dahnya Och

    Poor Snaps! He looks positively miserable in that picture! Does he like to be held? A big, fluffy towel and a few hours in your arms should help with the oily residue.

    I sympathize with you on FD. And, while my Monday has been no where as bad as yours, I completely sympathize with you there as well. Just remember: it’s only a day. When you go to sleep, a new one will be there!

    (insert a lot of virtual hugs here)

    • Yeah, he’s not a very cuddly cat, never has been. He will sometimes sit on me, but he has to initiate it. He loves to be pet, and he keeps walking up and starting to get in my lap, but then he gets spooked and backs away. I’m afraid holding him in a towel will just traumatize him even more. =(

      Did you lose your dad too, Dahnya? If so, virtual hugs right back at you (or for whatever it is that makes Father’s Day hard for you too). I am indeed looking forward to tomorrow.

      • Dahnya Och

        Well, then I’m out of other options (and I highly suggest NOT Googling oily cat – yikes.) I know dish soap will help break up the oils if baby shampoo isn’t doing it… but you want to be careful. His skin will already be irritated with two baths in a day.

        I lost my dad… to drugs. Long story short, he left when I was two (apparently a child costs more than weed) and didn’t even come to the hearing where my ex-step father adopted me when I was seven. That isn’t the part that makes me bitter towards FD though… it’s the string of step fathers that followed (Mom’s been married seven times now). I’ve had so many men want me to call them dad over the years that I’ve just stopped caring.

        And now you know more about me than you wanted to! 😀

        • Oh wow, I’m sorry to hear that Dahnya. And it’s not more than I wanted to hear at all; I asked! It’s amazing how holidays like this are so special when you have a reason to celebrate them and so bitter when you don’t. Lots of hugs.

          He did finally climb into my lap for about 5 minutes, which is better than nothing.

  • aww that’s awful!! if there’s anything I can do, lemme know. Poor snaps!! poor stinky house! And I’m sorry about this time of year. *big hugs*

    • Thanks Feebs! Hopefully this fulfills my quota for the year and now through December will be smooth sailing. A girl can hope, anyway.

  • Karen

    If you are able to give him another bath, try using an Oatmeal based shampoo. It should cut the oil and the sticky stuff, and still keep his skin from drying out. I love you very much. 🙂

    • Oatmeal based shampoo, awesome. I will go get some of that tonight and try a better bath (with working plumbing) tomorrow. Thanks Karen! Love you too. 🙂

  • Amanda Myre

    Holy crap. That is one horrible day. Plumbing disasters are the worst! And the poor cats. And the timing. Yeesh. I have nothing useful to say, but I hope tomorrow is several orders of magnitude better for you than today.

    • Thanks Amanda. Today is indeed better. (And really, how could it not be?)

  • -j-

    I haven’t ever had a day like that! No one has ever had a day (or two, actually) like that!

    Can I just say that ‘full of “bathtub water”’ made me laugh aloud? There’s something to be said for tapping into your own gallows humor.

    Sending hugs your way, Annie! xo

    • Hehe, thanks J. My humor has a dark side too. 🙂 Making jokes about it feels much better than getting mad.

  • Wow Annie. You had more than your fair share these past few days. Hopefully that means all the bad luck has been used up for this week and it’s nothing but good luck from here on for a good long while. Hope Snaps feels better.

    • Thanks Regina. He seems much better, although his fur is still messed up. He will be getting a second bath tonight once the husband and I are both home.

  • Mary

    Wow! That is certainly day from hell. Glad everything is ok now and plumbing is fixed. Also understand about Father’s Day. I also have issues as my dad officially died on June 17th seven years ago. There is nothing easy about that day.

    • Wow, on the same day this year — that’s awful. I feel your pain. Thanks for stopping by, Mary.

  • TrudieMarie

    When several kittens were found crying, because they were covered with tar, on a restaurant roof recently, it took two days for the shelter to get them clean. They used Goo Gone, Dawn, scissors and Polysporin because of the burns from the tar.

    I can’t imagine even trying to put a cat in water. I know your brother does it all the time, but I never gave our cat a bath. He always smelled wonderful. I can certainly understand that it would take at least two people to do it. He’ll forgive you soon, ’cause he knows you were just helping him. Everyone leaves those sticky things out, at some point. I’ve been stuck to plenty of them at my mom’s house! They even make some that are so strong they’re for snakes! Yuck!

    My guest bath toilet tank cracked last week. I’m glad I was home. That’s nothing like your ordeal, though. What in the heck happened, anyway?

    I don’t like Father’s Day either. Lots of love.

    • Those poor kittens! Luckily, the sticky thing wasn’t as bad as tar. (Oh my gosh.) Last night we gave him a second bath with the oatmeal shampoo Karen suggested, and now he’s pretty much back to normal. And since I stayed up until 2am the night before scrubbing the bathrooms, all that’s left is the grease spots on the floor and things will be back to normal.

      That sucks about your toilet! Did it flood everywhere? We had a clog in the main vent pipe under the house. If I understand correctly, that’s pretty much the only thing (besides roots) that causes backflow like that.

      I’m glad Father’s Day is over. Hope you get your stuff sorted out too. Love you!

      • TrudieMarie

        Nope, it didn’t flood everywhere, but it would have if I hadn’t noticed it! I hang clothes on that bathtub rod to finish drying all the time, thank goodness. I was pretty confused to be stepping in water until it was figured out. If I had been gone it would have been awful.

        Wanna go toilet shopping? Fun. doesn’t have a replacement tank, nor does the company.

        I bet Snaps smells wonderful! Love you, too!

        • Lol, I think I’ll pass on the toilet shopping. =) And yes, Snaps is fluffy and soft again, and he smells like tangerines or something. I’m glad you caught the leak before it exploded!

  • Oh Annie, this reminds of me of an episode of Gilmore Girls (did you used to watch it?) when Luke would disappear every year on the anniversary of his father’s death. He called it the “dark day.” Maybe the time of Father’s Day each year will have to be your dark day. 🙁 Certainly it was this year. So sorry.

    • No, I’ve never seen Gilmore Girls, but I do like the sound of a “dark day.” I think there’s something to be said for just allowing yourself to sink into something like that. Maybe because the day was so utterly horrible this year, I actually felt so much better the next day. Thanks Nina.

  • Melissa Crytzer Fry

    Oh, Annie… Poor Snaps! Poor you! (I had two vet appointments from hell that have made my kitty, Macho, less than macho when he gets into the crate. I’m going to come out and say that this was ALL on the vet, herself. LONG, sad story, and I NEVER want to take him to the vet again). I hope the skittishness has gone away (I’d have been worried about the same thing if my cats got out. Lots of things to eat them here in the desert).

    Hope it all worked out in the end, you poor thing – and that the week has gotten progressively better. So sorry about the loss of your papa. This was just added insult to injury, I know. But what a great hub-a-dub ;-).

    • Ugh. I don’t know if I entirely blame the vet for my incident; I think it was more of a no one at fault situation, although I am like you and hoping to never take him to the vet again. Only in an emergency. To me, vaccines and check-ups aren’t worth that level of stress on him.

      But yes, the week has gotten much better. And it’s true, I do have a great hub-a-dub. The best, even. =) Thanks Melissa!

  • Aw, man. Maybe days like those are like jury duty. Everybody has one coming, but after you’ve endured it you are in the clear for a good long while. Hope kitty is better, too!