Sherry Carter, Reformed Engineer

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December 2012

The Joys of "Motherhood"

Yes, kitties and puppies. No good deed goes unpunished, isn't that the saying? It's true. Trust me on this. I adopted Lily. Sweet, white and black kitty. What did that heifer do but vanish. She was gone. Hasta la bye-bye. I was frantic. Afraid she'd managed to get trapped in the air conditioning ducts. Nope. She wasn't there. I checked. It was hard getting my head wedged down that narrow, rectangle hole in the floor. My ears are still pinned backwards to the sides of my head. I finally figured out she'd crawled through the dryer vent to get outside. Harlot.

Two days later Morgan, my outside dog, was going crazy about 0500 (that's 5:00AM, for you non-military time folks). Who was perched atop the eight foot tall chain-link fence? Lily! She looked fine. Not a single laceration, ecchymosis, abrasion to be found. (I'm a nurse. What else do you expect me to call Ouchies?) I was delirious with joy. My baby is home! Unfortunately after I moved into Sherry's house Lily began to gain weight. Oh, good. She's happy here, I thought. Look at her eat. My happiness soon turned to dread. I called the vet. The long-time receptionist answered. "Lisa? It's Jann. Remember I have that appointment for Lily to be de-sexed? It's too late!" I cried. Cried some more.

One gorgeous Saturday morning Lily presented me with eight kittens. EIGHT. KITTENS. Oh, Lord have mercy! thought I. Three white and black like Lily, five solid black. Cuuute! "Okay. No problem. When they're about eight weeks old I'll take them to the vet. He'll help me adopt them out," I told myself while breathing 47 times per minute. He has a 3-story "house" made of thick, coated wire in the waiting room. The sign on it says, "If your children do not behave you must take two kittens home!" or something along those lines. The waiting room is always silent no matter how many people are there. Kids sit like statues on the chairs. I can't figure it out. It's not natural.

Then came the good deed. I rescued a dog. An exceedingly pregnant dog. I'm talking teats draggin' the ground, stomach-the-size-of-a-basketball pregnant dog. One of my patients was getting close to "going Home." Her daughter couldn't handle her mother dying and the pregnant dog. She called the Houston Pound to come get Bella. Houston doesn't keep animals long. A few—three, maybe—days. If the animals aren't adopted. . . . What could I do? I couldn't leave knowing Bella and her puppies were doomed.

I brought Bella home Saturday night. I returned home from work Monday evening to discover twelve puppies being born. TWELVE. PUPPIES. Oh, Lord have mercy! Unfortunately two black ones returned to Heaven immediately. I cried a lot, had a funeral, wondered what in the world I was going to do with ten puppies. Added to the eight kitties. It took half an hour to get my heart rate below 200. I looked skyward, held out my arms and asked, "What're Ya doin' to me?! I can't have eight kittens and ten puppies!" To which I heard laughter echoing down from above.

The, "They're so cuuuute!" phase has turned to, "Have you finished those bowls of food already?" Do you have any idea how much food can be gobbled up by eight kitties and ten puppies on a daily basis? The more pertinent question is, Do you have any idea how much. . . refuse can be produced by eight kitties and ten puppies on a daily basis? I can fertilize the entire Midwest of the United States. Twice. Two feet thick. E-gad. I don't need pooper-scoopers, I need a bulldozer. And a military-issue gas mask. And a Haz-Mat suit. With booties. Don't forget the booties.

Okay. I admit it. Sometimes they're still cute. The "runt" of the puppies almost died. I nursed him "back to life" all night one Thursday night. Prayed and prayed over the little baby. Gotta keep him. His name is Micah. He doesn't look like any of the other puppies. Another puppy, a gorgeous deep pewter color, doesn't resemble any of the others either. His name is Isaiah. I'm keeping him too.

The other day Micah and Isaiah kept begging while I was eating a peanut butter sandwich. I always give MacKenzie the crusts. The "Little Ones" decided they should have some. Okay, I thought. Y'all have never had "people food." Let's see what happens with peanut butter. So I put a little peanut butter in their mouths. Their eyes got as big around as stoneware dinner plates. Their little pink tongues were lapping at 50 mph. They haven't asked for more. Wonder why not.

Then they were sitting inside a shoe box. Sitting like people sit. Facing one another. Gnawing on arms, necks, slapping at each other like prissy girls fighting. I thought, Isn't that cuuuute? I gotta get a video of them. I picked up my cell phone, aimed and—They saw me pointing the phone. They stopped playing. Naturally. Brats.

Then it came time to be flea sprayed. (No. Sprayed with flea & tick killing spray. Not sprayed with fleas. Duh.) Holy frijoles! I sprayed them with the "fine mist." It smelled pretty good to me. Apparently they did not share my aroma-pleased nostrils. They catapulted themselves around the room at lightning speed. (Shouldn't that be dogapulted?) Ricocheted off walls, bed frames, each other. Into the bathroom, circled the toilet, crashed through the shower curtain like eager freshman players at a homecoming football game. Back into the bedroom to start the circuit over. Back flips. Front flips. Pretzel flips. Stop. Drop. And roll. Made the ultra-talented Gabby Douglas Olympic medalist look wimpy in comparison. I was so exhausted watching I had to take a three hour nap.

It's still my intention to take the kitties and puppies to the vet to be adopted out. As soon as a smidgen of my sanity returns. The kitties are thirteen weeks old the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The puppies will be eleven weeks old the Monday after Thanksgiving. Doesn't sound like a very good Thanksgiving. I'm a shovelin' fool: shovel food into huge metal dishes. After they gobble that all up, I'm shoveling . . . um. . . well, guess. . . out after those huge metal dishes are empty. It's a crappy job, let me tell ya.

Bella will stay. The woman from whom I adopted her doesn't want her back. All she wants is to be petted and loved. (Hm? Bella. Not the woman.) MacKenzie is fifteen years old. She's getting "long in the tooth", whatever that means. Her rust-colored muzzle is now gray. Her eyes have cataracts. (Shouldn't that be dogaracts?) She can't hear unless I yell. (Or she's ignoring me. Nah. Can be that.) She hobbles around on stiff shoulders, hips, elbows, knees. She needs Poise pads. She leaks more than those "unnamed sources" in Washington D.C. I suspect she'll be joining my other furry kids in Heaven in the very near future.

Speaking of Poise pads, I purchased some diapers for MacKenzie. Not doggy diapers, human diapers. Have you priced doggy diapers? They smack the photo of a smiling dog on the package and hike up the price 9420%. It's ridiculous. What dog smiles when a diaper is hangin' off its bum? Are you kidding me? Besides, a diaper is a diaper, right? I know how much she weighs so I bought diapers for that size kid. Ta-Da! It worked! Who'd a-thunk?

I quickly discovered MacKenzie is a Night-time Pooper. There's nothing quite as eye-opening as a full diaper. On a forty pound dog. Who is sitting beside the bed. Staring at you. Eyes streaming, breathing through clenched teeth, attempting to hold back the heaves, I cleaned poor MacKenzie. And tossed the diaper. Wrapped individually in fifteen Wal-Mart bags. That still wasn't enough. "Sorry, garbage truck dudes!" Next plan? Those blue linen savers/Chux people put on hospital beds to save the sheets. I'll staple them to every square inch of the floor, line her doggy bed with them. I got this covered. Uh-huh.

As for the diapers? I thought I might use them. What? I'm 52 years old. Things don't hold as well as they used to. I don't know what it is. I'm fine until I walk into the house. Then it's as if the Hoover Dam is at overflow stage. I wiggle/hop with legs crossed three times to the bathroom. Sometimes it's all good. Sometimes it's oh, no. (Go ahead. Laugh. Just wait. It will happen to you. Promise.)

I sure hope Father God isn't attempting to teach me patience through all this. I have plenty of patients. (Patience. Patients. I'm a nurse. Get it? Ha-ha-ha-ha! I crack me up!) No, seriously. I don't want patience. Patience has to be learned. By being drug backwards through a Devil's Head cactus patch while singing the 350 verses of Just As I Am. I'm fine. Honestly. I'm such a patient person already it's frightening. See? I'm sitting perfect still in the vet's waiting room. I haven't moved in forty five minutes.

I always wondered what Noah did with all the excrement those bazillion animals produced. He must've gone through ga-triple-zillion Wal-Mart bags. Aha! That's what's causing the Global Warming Effect! Noah's Wal-Mart bags! Recycle! Recycle! Recycle!

Until next time, may you be filled with God's tender mercies.


Jann (Sherry's sister)





 







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