Its 2am and I’m still awake feeding helpless creatures

Warming up formula for 2am feedings, listening to pitiful cries begging me to hurry…

Wow, this brings back memories, only without the anxiety of how we’re going to pay for college.

We’re hand-feeding four baby kittens.  When they drink, their ears and tail twitch as they swallow.  It is the most adorable thing, ever.  Their faces are so tiny…. I think they resemble Yoda….only cuter.  I want to keep them all!!!!  (Uh, that’s NOT going to happen by the way, really.)

But that does remind me, I need to put an automatic litter cleaner thingy on my wish list.  Do those even work??  They seem awfully small to me, and I’m even talking about the ones marked jumbo.

Baby Kitty

Bottle feeding 3 week old kitten

Anyway, so here I am, bottle-feeding these helpless creatures.  Who knew taking care of kittens would be so….smelly?  So, I’ve got formula-milk stains on my shirt… giving my husband horrible flashbacks to when I was breastfeeding…. And the kitty pee on my sweatpants is really quite stinky, but that might be because, ever since becoming a mom, my sense of smell has developed into a superpower….

With the addition of all the towels the kittens sleep on (and pee and poop on), and towels we clean them with…. OMG, the laundry!!!  I’ve got three kids so I already have mountains of laundry…..  and deal with enough feces and other bodily fluids, I really didn’t need any MORE…but sheesh, the kittens are so cute, I kinda don’t mind.

Prior to caring for these kittens, there was a small part of me that was starting to miss having a little, bitty baby around.  I just love babies.  Before I had kids, I wanted a dozen of them!!!  (It’s not really one of my goals anymore, LOL.)

I didn’t get around to having kids until I was in my 30’s, mostly because of infertility issues. When my first child was finally born, it was awesome.  She was a perfect, sweet, snuggly baby girl who only cried if tired, hungry, or off schedule.

It was Mother Nature’s trick to make me think having another one would be easy.

My second baby girl came along with a completely different personality all her own.  She’s our precocious, witty, drama-queen child.  A family of four seemed to be the perfect number….  We were happy with our little brood.

With all the years of infertility issues, we figured our family expansion project was complete.  If I’m not taking medications for infertility, then I can’t get pregnant, right? WRONG.

It didn’t occur on me to take a pregnancy test until my entire family recovered from the stomach flu, but I did not. 

Wait, they’re all better, but the smell of french fries suddenly made me vomit uncontrollably… hmmmm, I haven’t felt like this since… OMG, no freakin’ way!

Hubby and I made eye contact in that moment as our brains were locked in an ESP Vulcan mind meld sort of way as I said, “Will you go out and buy a pregnancy test?” at the same time he said, “Maybe I should go out and buy a pregnancy test.”

Of course it was positive.

It was a strange feeling.  On the one hand, for nearly a decade I had spent so much time crying and worrying about whether I’d ever be able to have kids, and we went through so much effort to conceive our two daughters.

But on the other hand, like, how is this going to work?  how can we afford this?

Most of the baby stuff was sold, consigned, or given away….ugh, we have to buy all that crap all over again, and shit, when did I get pregnant?  how far along am I? what about that dental work and pain meds I took a couple of weeks ago???

Having a surprise pregnancy was a new experience and left me totally speechless.  It was freaky because I know the DAY my girls were conceived…..  But this time, I mistook morning sickness for having the flu or simple disgust at the seasonal job I was working.  With the hormonal irregularity that is “normal” for me, it didn’t occur to me that I could be pregnant.  I was almost 10 weeks along before I saw the OB for the first time.

So now I have a son.  Surprisingly, he’s much more of a cuddle bug than his sisters were, but he’s also all boy with his mischievous shenanigans and monkey-climbing skills.

I’ve got a beautiful family of five, feeling really blessed, and watching these ridiculously cute kittens eat and reflecting that I’ve been pregnant, breast-feeding, or potty training someone for the past 10 years.

I’m still trying to get my son to give up the pullups, and he’s 3.  Dude, get with the program already.

Blowing Dogs and Animal Control

We finally bought a house!  Yeh, I know, not many people are doing that these days.

I’m so glad to finally be out of a rental.  Our previous abodes have had busy streets with all that noise, but our new house is nestled in a small community away from busy streets.

The first few days we were blessed with wonderful autumn weather, perfect for keeping the windows open.

But enjoyment of that was immediately interrupted by the sudden awareness that our yard is surrounded by noisy, barking dogs.

Why do people get dogs only to leave them in the yard all day and all night?  It breaks my heart because dogs are social creatures, and to cut them off from quality time with people and other dogs just seems cruel to me.

This conviction became tragically evident to my family in 2006.  Three months after we had moved into a rental house, our next door neighbor’s two dogs broke through the wood fence and killed our beloved cat, Cici….  right there, in our back yard.

Prior to this, I rarely saw anyone interacting with the dogs, and they were never taken for walks.  Not surprisingly, these dogs were obnoxious barkers.  They would bark incessantly at any and all things: squirrels, birds, airplanes, my kids playing in the back yard, or any neighbor doing any thing.

One day shortly before Thanksgiving, as I was walking by the window, I saw Cici sleeping peacefully on the playscape.  A couple of hours later, my 5-year-old daughter was standing in front of the window, and said to me, “Mommy, why are J’s dogs in our yard… And why do they have Cici in their mouth?”

Horrified, I ran outside only to have one of the dogs slightly snarl at me when I got close to a lifeless Cici Cat.  I picked up a big stick nearby, and they took off and hid in the far corner of the yard while I gathered Cici and put his body in a box.

Cici Cat

R.I.P. 05/04/04 - 11/20/06

I now know that I should have called Animal Control right then and there.  But no, we “did the neighborly thing” and waited for him to get home so he could retrieve his dogs from our yard. He took them back to his yard, repaired the fence for the umpteenth time, because this was not the first time they had broken through into our yard.

The next week was rather unsettling when my kids would want to play outside.  What if the dogs busted through again, but this time attacked me or one of my kids???

Eventually, our neighbor got rid of his dogs, but there seemed to be this residual underlying resentment towards US, like we’re the horrible neighbors that made him get rid of his dogs….that he never spent any time with unless he was mowing the lawn or BBQing dinner.

WTF ever.  Now my 5-year-old is talking about death and asking questions about God and heaven and angels….and OMG now she’s having night terrors because she thinks everyone’s going to die….  Thanks a lot.

Fast forward to the present.

Here we are in our beautiful new home, with the to-die-for weather……and nearly all my neighbors have dogs that they leave in their yards for countless hours or most of the day.  When my kids play outside, sometimes I can’t even hear them talking to me because of the entire chorus of barking noise around us.

It has been difficult to keep my agitation in check.  The occasional short-lived barking is understandable, of course.  And I realize there is nothing I can do about dogs barking in the middle of the afternoon when my son is supposed to take a nap.

He stopped taking naps permanently a couple of weeks after we moved here.  Coincidence?  Any mom will tell you it’s a really sad day when their toddler gives up the afternoon nap.  So, not only are these dogs annoying, but curses for no more naps!

Well, the other day, after a month of this crap, I reached a breaking point.

It was another gorgeous day, and I had opened all the windows to enjoy some fresh air.  While unpacking, I could hear a dog barking.  This wasn’t any kind of alarm bark or playful bark.  It was a non-stop, incessant, rhythmic, deep, loud bark-bark-bark-bark-bark-bark…

Well, while I was unpacking, inside this box was an air horn… The kind you can buy at the dollar store or party store.  And I suddenly felt the need to establish my superior pack leader status among these noisy, undisciplined dogs.

You want noise, do ya punk?

I went over to the sliding glass door and blasted the air horn outside for a second.  Then, for a moment, there was sweet, blissful silence.

But I didn’t move from the door.

A few moments later, the dog resumed his bark-bark-bark.  So I blasted the horn again, and again, SILENCE.  After the fourth blast, I didn’t hear ANY dog bark for a long time.  It was awesome.

At some point, the dogs did start barking relentlessly again, so I blasted the horn again.  I did this probably about a dozen times over the course of the afternoon.   And each time, I was granted a momentary reprieve from the ruckus.

Well, the very next day, Animal Control and the Local Police knocked on our door, and thankfully, my husband answered it.  I was upstairs on my computer with music blasting so I was unaware.

Apparently, the air horn is a violation of the noise ordinance.  Apparently, I’m supposed to report relentless barking, but they can’t define relentless.  Apparently, some consider the air horn to be cruel to the dogs.  Apparently, quite a few neighbors were upset at my noisy disruption.

I’ve been asked to cease and desist usage of the air horn.

So, even though I am an avid animal-lover and currently hand-feeding 4 abandoned 2-week old kittens left by one of the numerous feral cats in this neighborhood, I am evidently cruel to animals because I subjected the neighbors and dogs to the ear-piercing air horn, poor dogs.

Their barking at all hours, including the middle of the night, is just fine and not a nuisance at all.  Evidently my priorities are screwed up.  So now I must go and order Bark Off from Amazon…..

So, in closing, as Bob Barker used to say, “Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered!”

Rot in Prision You Perv

Just got some interesting news.  It has made me feel all weird and icky inside.

Last week, US Marshals arrested a sex offender that I knew a long time ago.  To me, he was “Daddy David.”  I knew him back in 1974-1975 when he was my teen-mom’s boyfriend.  I was only 4 years old.

Fuck man, I was just a little kid.

My control-freak mother thought it better to trap us in a physically abusive relationship with a child molester rather than send me off to live with my father.

I rarely ever got to see my father.  He had his own world caving in all around him, being drafted into the Vietnam war and losing his legs just a few weeks after getting there….and turning 21 years old a few days after that….facing the rest of his life in a wheelchair with disabilities extending beyond just the physical loss of his legs.

But people didn’t really know about PTSD back then….how violent outbursts aren’t a question of moral character but rather a delayed reaction of the terror and the horror that scarred their brain.

People didn’t support the troops back then either….the kids who were forced over there, but shunned when they got back and called “baby killers” when all they did was stumble over a trip wire and get sprayed with shrapnel while their body parts were violently ripped off.

How could a baby-killing man, with mangled hands, missing two legs and nearly deaf, how could he POSSIBLY take care of a little kid?  Where could he turn for assistance in making a claim that he would be the better parent?

Like, he might let me watch too much TV… or eat Chef Boyardee RollerCoasters while sitting on the good furniture… or run over my toes with his wheelchair! What if there was a fire?

And OMG, since he had a bunch of sisters and a brother and active healthy parents, there’s no way he would have enough help to be entrusted with custody of a child, right?

At some point, an overworked family court judge took one look at my hot, young mother and one look at my disabled, baby killer father, and the next thing I knew, I rarely ever got to see my father anymore and my mother draggged me off to California with her… so we could all live happily ever after with Daddy David.

Because living with a man who would punish me by sticking my head in the toilet if I didn’t flush and who would put his dick in my mouth even though I was freaking out that he might pee down my throat…..all that was okay, because, at least, I was with my mom… and that black eye she had was just because she walked into a door.

Anyway, thinking about my early childhood makes my heart physically ache to this day.  And I’m 40 years old.  It seems like I should be over it by now.

How the hell do I warn and protect my children from pervs like him?  How do I tell them that most of the time, the monster ends up being a caregiver or your best friend’s dad or a respected church elder?

Like, when I was a teenager, I had no strength to stand up for myself or my dreams.  So when my best friend’s dad/church elder/family friend, tackled and pinned me down, pressing himself hard up against me while sticking his tongue in my ear and lips and licking my face and neck, when he was done, I just got up and pretended it didn’t happen.  It was easier to be a pathetically naive, emotionally manipulated, immature 15-year-old and not tell anyone.

I want better for my kids.  If some beloved figure takes advantage of their naivety and vulnerability by suddenly turning into a smelly, old, perv-man, I hope they have the strength to fight back.  And I want them to have the security in knowing that if anyone violates them, they’re allowed to get so fucking enraged that they pick up a baseball bat and beat the shit out of that fucker because if they don’t, I might.

I will always have their back.

I will never tell them, “Well, it couldn’t have been that bad since you didn’t tell anyone right away, and… are you SURE you weren’t wearing tight jeans??” like was said to me.

How can I protect them from the night terrors and the anxiety attacks and the feelings of hopelessness? How do I deal with the baggage this brings to my marriage, to a man who is a rock and doesn’t take any shit from anyone, not even his mom…. or me sometimes, even when it’s deserved.

Whoever said time heals all wounds was lying.

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There is an update to this story at – In Perv News: Number A668345