Happy Mother’s Day to Me; or, Yet Another Reason I Can Never Have Children

Mother’s Day is usually fairly peaceful for me. I send my mom a card; I send my favorite aunt a card; I send my grandmother a card; I send John’s mother a card; I call my mom on Sunday. That’s usually it. Sometimes I visit, but considering that the half tank of gas required to get to my mom’s house and back now costs more than most presents I could get her, we have an understanding.

Yesterday, though, I got to be the mom.

I rounded up Spike last night to put Advantage Plus on him, as I do once a month. For those of you without pets, this involves squeezing the watery, chemical-smelling contents of what seems like a large tube onto the back of the pet’s neck, where he can’t lick it or scratch it away. Spike is pretty laid-back about this most of the time — I give him a treat immediately after I dose him, so it’s probably got good associations for him — but for some reason last night he went all squirmy on me, with the result that some of the chemical mix dribbled slightly down his neck.

I didn’t think much about this until 15 minutes later or so, when I caught him licking furiously at his shoulder, right where the stuff could have dripped. I should also point out that there are roughly 1,000 warnings on the box that say, “Do NOT let your pet ingest this liquid! He’ll burst into flame right in your living room! He’ll melt into a puddle of fur and fat! He’ll sprout wings and possibly another head, with enormous fangs, and will pursue you around your home for your negligence!”

(OK, I just made that last one up.)

I tried to dissuade or distract Spike from licking, but as anyone who’s ever met a cat knows, this just made him glare at me and lick harder. I envisioned my broke-ass self schlepping the cat to the emergency vet clinic, explaining that he’d licked up his Advantage Plus, and being charged $500 and sternly lectured for letting him do it. I saw, in my mind, Social Services coming to take Spike away from me, possibly blaming me for his amputated leg. I saw Judge Judy refusing to let me have custody of my cat again.

Yeah, I know, I really need to get out more.

So, on Mother’s Day, I did what any quick-thinking parent would most likely not do. I grabbed Spike up, plunked his furry little butt down in the bathroom sink, and proceeded to give him a half-body bath with Healing Garden Oatmeal Shower Gel, which was the first thing I saw that wasn’t made by Clinique.

I was pretty lucky. Spike likes water. At my old apartment, he would sometimes hop into the shower with me. He’s not wild about the bowl shape of the sink, though, because before I got the gel worked into his fur, he managed to knock a bottle of perfume, three kinds of hair product, some hand lotion, and my contact lens solution all the way across the bathroom. It’s a small bathroom, but this is a fairly advanced feat to perform on three legs.

Then he realized he was getting a water massage and settled in. He purred; Spike never purrs. He looked the way I probably do when my stylist is washing my hair and I’m thinking ahh, this is nice, and now getting the tangles out is all on YOU.

I’m no fool. After I rinsed him, I didn’t get the blow-dryer out. I toweled him and brushed him and generally did what felt like relieved-mom procedures, and then gave him a kitty treat for his troubles.

But it was about as close to being a mom as I’ll ever come, and that’s a good thing. If I wig out this much over my cat, can you imagine what kind of neurotic wreck I’d be if I took care of anything I’d given birth to? I’d be one of those parents who turn up as extras on medical dramas, hauling the kid into the ER every time he sneezes or stubs a toe.

So, from somebody who just lived it and that’s as close as I want to get to the real thing, happy belated Mother’s Day to all my mom friends, and all the friends with pets, too. Spike also says hello. He’s sitting next to me, probably wondering when I plan to buy him a rubber ducky.


16 Responses to “Happy Mother’s Day to Me; or, Yet Another Reason I Can Never Have Children”

  1. madamedonna Says:

    Heh. Happy Mother’s Day to you and furball, belatedly.

  2. Oh, dear. It ain’t much fun when it’s happening, but it sure sounds funny later, eh?

  3. OMG, I did that too on Mother’s Day, except it was a 4 year old human who colored herself and her bedroom wall with green marker!!!

    Thank god for non-toxic markers and Magic Eraser sponges.

    The bath water turned green.

  4. tigereye Says:

    Trust me, if this cat could find a way to Magic-Marker himself, he’d have done it by now. I keep my Sharpies out of his reach. Not to mention my car keys.

  5. fleurdelulu Says:

    This is exactly why I can’t use this stuff…I have 2 cats, and trying to stop them from licking the medicine off each other would likely send me to the ER.

  6. I can’t use the stuff either. The cats and dogs would lick it off each other and probably try to rub it on the bird, the the allergic dog would start having seizures…

    It’s just to much to even consider.

    Happy belated Mother’s Day, Tigereye.

  7. You’re lucky your cat likes water. I have yet to have a cat that will allow even one drop of water on them without hissing, scratching, biting, and running all over the house!

  8. “He’ll sprout wings and possibly another head, with enormous fangs, and will pursue you around your home for your negligence!”


    Maybe if he sprouted TWO more heads, you could call him Spikeus Cerberus… even though he’s a kitty-cat. >^”^<

  9. pandemonic Says:

    Even kitties need mothers, Tigereye…

  10. I got to watch the great-grandkittens on Mother’s Day — they’re like cotton balls on little wobbly legs, tottering around without a trace of catlike grace. It was a charming way to spend a few hours — and, as with any other grandchild, I could just watch them, enjoy their antics, and leave; cleanup, flea treatments, and all the rest are not my problems.

  11. You have now made me realize why I’m happy I haven’t got any animals either. I literally giggled. Poor Spike, poor mommy kitty. hehehe…glad it wasn’t green bathwater…right?

  12. Bunny Dixonjugs Is Daners' Bond Girl Name Says:

    I sympathize with you, my dear, I do. Molly, my adorable co-Dependant kitten decided to play with a bee this summer and the bastard stung her! Her little paw swelled up and I’m pretty damn sure I was more traumatized by it than she was. Shit didn’t phase her at all. I, however, was nearly in tears as I tried to make sure she didn’t die or something because mama can’t afford an unscheduled trip to the vet. The next morning, the paw was fine and I stopped having panic attacks.

    Damn cat.

  13. tigereye Says:

    The little monster is blissfully sleeping across my feet even as I type, with no idea that he’s being discussed across the country. I’m glad it wasn’t green bathwater, too — he’s a white cat, and I’d hate to have to explain THAT to the vet.

  14. …or lime green jello in the bathwater. *giggle*

  15. Daniel has asthma. A little Advantage-washing–you got off easy…heh…

  16. TheOtherIvy Says:

    That would have been a scary realization.

    It is fortunate he likes water!
    I have similar tendencies as a cat tender.

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