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Monday, September 25, 2006

Tears on my Pillow

Alternate Title:

The Incredibly Sad Story of Why I Will Not Be Taking Home A Blue, Nay Any, Ribbon From This Year's Artificial Wreath Decorating Contest

Last night I worked on my wreath, which I might as well tell you about now. With 20 points on the line for "originality of theme", I went for it. I submitted as my theme... ready now?

Local Litter.

Which is to say I have spent the last two months gleefully picking up trash all over town. My husband hasn't wanted to be in public with me since the day at Thruway I got giddy over a discarded Capri Sun that was in really, really good shape. I don't understand why he didn't want to marvel over its shininess, but whatever.

So my wreath: one side of the tire thrown on my lawn as the wreath form, then chicken wire fashioned into a trash can over the lower 3/4, while still maintaining the center opening. So like a U shaped trashcan. And then my litter woven in and out of the chicken wire, but neatly, and so that the words on receipts showed, so that people might wonder if they had been the culprit. It was rocking. You're going to have to trust me on this.

Knowing that my dogs are prone to mischief and chewing random and ill-advised objects, I decided to put my wreath last night in the basement. Hadley's down there, of course, but one 10 pound cat is nothing like three 50 pound dogs. Right? Right?

This morning, I went down to check on Hadley while the oldest ate his breakfast and the youngest was still drowsing. The wreath was in the same place I had left it, but it looked... different. I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Then I realized that sometime in the night, Hadley had added something.

Let me back up a minute and tell you that when Hadley came to live with us, we went out and dropped huge sums of money buying her a carpet tree, a litter box shaped like an igloo with spiral staircase, and toy after toy after toy. And one of the those toys was a twelve pack of those little mice that the oldest selected. You know the ones, right?





Yes, exactly. So the cat has twelve of those, in grey. And it looked like she'd put one mouse inside my wreath, between the chicken wire and the tire back, laying in there with the litter. Well, make that part of one mouse. I could see that she'd torn the thing in two - only the rear end was in my wreath. But then I saw the entrails coming out the top, and that just didn't add up. Toy mice don't have little guts inside, generally, I feel.

So I'd like to say that I was calm and collected as I assessed the situation, but the truth is I began shrieking like a ninny. Then I grabbed the tire as far from the mouse patootie as I could and started shaking it, hoping the damn thing would slip through the chicken wire. But it wouldn't and oh God I shook it forever, shrieking the whole time.

Let me note at this time that at no point did the oldest come to see what was wrong.

And eventually I just kind of flung the whole thing - still shrieking - out the basement door because I got it into my head that mouse guts were going to be spraying all over the basement if I kept shaking it and that didn't seem very hygienic.

And yes, I know it was a gift from the cat, and yes, I know it was a sign of affection, and yes, I've probably scarred her little feline psyche forever, but I just don't do mouse guts.

And that is The Incredibly Sad Story of Why I Will Not Be Taking Home A Blue, Nay Any, Ribbon From This Year's Artificial Wreath Decorating Contest.

The End.

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