Monday, September 26, 2011

Confessions: I love Mondays

Today I have a day off babysitting.  That means I can study and write all day in the comfort of my own office chair, on my own laptop, without having to stop and wipe a runny nose, break up a fist fight, or turn the volume down on the TV.

I think I'm going to feel a little forlorn.  As I was trying to fall asleep last night (I'm always trying to fall asleep - insomniac - but that can be another post), I was considering a week begun without two little boys.  That's the think about babysitting for 4 and 1/2 hours on a Monday.  Starts the week of with a bang...literally.  The door banging, the toilet seat banging, a little head banging on the steps - subsequent screaming...and the week is rolling.  Bring it on.

I was trying to fall asleep, wondering what I should do to start off a week without a round of babysitting, when I remembered one small fact about my current existence.  Two little boys are not the only thing I'm babysitting. In fact, humans are not the only thing I'm babysitting.

Our neighbours have gone off for the month on a dreamy European adventure.  That's nice.
They leave behind two dogs and three cats who need to be fed and watered every day.  Sounds simple, right?

Okay, well it's my job and let me tell you, it's not that simple.

Things you need to know:  I really like cats and dogs.  I've never owned a cat or a dog (but I have adopted a few as my own in the past).  I officially have an allergy to cats.  I don't actually react to cats.  That could be disturbing if I knew about other types of reaction besides rashes and sneezes.  (Do you think my brain patterns could be affected by cats?).

The first time the neighbours asked if I would take care of their animals while they went off on holidays, I was over the moon.  Two dogs and three cats to myself for an entire week?  Woohoo!

That was about six years ago.

97 cans of dog food later.  128 cans of cat food later.  38 bags of kitty litter later.
Throw in a few mice, rats, fish and dead rabbits in the garden (wild ones, they smell).
I've dealt with live maggots, kitty spew on the carpet, used kitty litter falling out of the bag, and a power failure which killed the fish (seriously, it wasn't my fault.  sorry about your fish, though.).

Not to mention the time the dogs disappeared, and Dad was driving me around the suburbs.  I was hanging my head out the window calling out their names, and I really didn't care if anyone thought I'd just come out of the loony bin.
Turns out one was just next door, and the other was on our own property.  Talk about over reacting.

I've learned a few life lessons through this experience.  Never trust a dog.

And so, as I was walking down the road yesterday, carrying a dead wild rabbit on a shovel, trying not to breath, or spew, or look at the rabbit, which was squashed, and had holes in it, and was really floppy...

as I was carrying this thing over the to neighbours, to return it to one of the dogs, in an attempt to keep said dog inside her own fence rather than watching her escape and go chew this thing by the side of the road...

as I was carrying the bag of fur and bones, and imagining the dog getting run over by a speeding land cruiser, imagining breaking the news to the neighbours (I'm SO sorry, your dog is dead had a little accident)...

...the rabbit fell off the shovel.

I was going to write more here about the complex process of manoeuvring the rabbit back onto the shovel, but it doesn't make for light reading.

Since I'm not going to put up a photo of my little babysitting charges (mothers and fathers may sue - this is a public blog), the below picture will have to do.

That basically sums up my Mondays right now - little boys, and dogs.  Note that I didn't include a picture of a rabbit carcass.  You're welcome.

Image: Ashley Cox /

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