I had a plan. Today I was totally going to write about how the TigerCat had been gone for a week, and right when I started like feeling some feelings and stuff, I finally discovered he had taken up residence in the backyard of an elderly couple a block over. Then I was going to tell you how hurt I was when I went to go get him and he acted like he didn’t even know me or worse, like he didn’t really want to come home because THEY HAVE FRISKIES HERE MOM, FRISKIES.
I was going to tell you about how he made me feel like he was a teenager out past curfew, and I was the deranged mom who tracked him down and told him to GET IN THE MINIVAN OR ELSE. You are grounded. No gecko killing sprees for a week, young man. And he was all, eff you, Mom! I’ll come home whenever the hell I want!
Parenting is hard. Also, I feel the need to tell you I don’t really drive a minivan. Cool factor restored.
So that’s what I was going to tell you about, but then we went to get him tonight, you know, as a family, because that’s how the Torreses roll – you get one of us, you get all five. Honestly, I should have known this outing was doomed form the start.
We had come armed with a towel, some work gloves (because this dude, he bites, especially when you try to drag him away from his Friskies), and a can of gourmet cat food (not Friskies). Christian plucked Tiger from the yard and headed for home while my kids continued to shout random questions and statements to the hard of hearing elderly husband. About 4 houses down (yeah, we walked. We’re dumb like that), Christian was losing the battle and asked me to go get the cardboard carrier that the couple offered to loan us.
So I got the carrier. We dumped him in, closed the top and high fived each other. Then I headed back to collect the precious children, who were now visiting with the neighborhood kids. And this is where it went from average walk around the block to collect wayward cat to WHAT KIND OF HELL HATH YOU BROUGHT UPON US!
As I shooed them homeward, Claire made it about 15 feet before she was suddenly laid out flat on the sidewalk. Like, I think she actually skidded, she fell so hard. She had a fierce scrape on her knee and screamed like she’d been blasted by a land mine. I did that magical mom thing where you drop everything and scoop up your child and try to ease her pain, and now I can’t hear out of my left ear.
The neighbor girls, age 12 and 8, were so sweet in trying to help me collect my kids and the random things I was carrying – the cat food, a can of Off (Why am I carrying a can of Off??? Apparently we came prepared for the wrong disaster), and my keys and in the chaos someone handed Zoe the cat food, which she promptly dumped directly on her flip flopped feet. Because of course it was open. Because of course I chose the cat food that didn’t have a flip top and had to open it prior to leaving on our excursion.
So now I had one crying, bloody kneed child and one crying child whose feet were covered in “real flaked tuna and egg bits!” Are you wishing you were me yet?
I stood there frozen, no idea what to do. I just needed to get around the damn corner to my own damn house, and then you guys can lose your shit all you want, okay? The neighbor girls whipped into action, cleaning Zoe’s feet off, scooping up the splatted cat food, and shuttling Zoe and Rachel down the sidewalk after me with gentle cooing that only kids who love other little kids can muster.
What seemed like a year later, we finally made it home, applied Spiderman band aids, got jammies on, and got to bed. But that side of the block will forever remember The Day the Torres Family Rained Their Terror Upon the Street That Wasn’t Even Theirs.
And the TigerCat? We spoiled him with canned food and lots of love and manged to keep him home for a little over 24 hours, which is some kind of record. I’m willing to bet he’s back at the elderly couple’s house. You know, where things are not quite so crazy-town.
UPDATE: He came back after all. He’s now insisting twice daily real flaked tuna and egg bits. Meh. I’ll take it.