I have always said that "a little bit of love goes a long way" but had never really lived it. Until yesterday. Then, like a ton of bricks, I got slammed into the true, living embodiment of what "a little bit of love goes a long way" means.
We spent the last 10 days at the beach. Lovely. Wonderful rotating friends and family filled 10 days! Anyway, as usual the fun had to end and we cleaned the house and got ready to leave. The big kid left with his girlfriend (is that actually possible? I mean he is only a little guy. Oh, yeah, I forgot. He's 18 :( ) and the hubby and one child left to run an errand on the way home. That left me with 3 lovely kiddos, 3 cats, a dog, and a bunny. Oh, and ALL the stuff to take home! Needless to say my bus of a car was totally full.
Now, the trip home should only be 1 1/2 hours at the time of day we were travelling. It usually is a movie and a few minutes of "how long til we get home mom?". But, as things go, yesterday will be held in my memory of worst trips EVER! Amazingly, the other trip that I hold in that category involves the same living creatures!
After an hour of arguing between the kids about what movie was playing, how much leg room (or how little and really?, it's a huge car), or that the cats were meowing too much things seemed relatively quiet. So, the picture is this: I am driving. Passenger seat has 3 cats in separate kennels and the loving, sweet dog who smells on the floorboard in front. Middle back seat has a child on each side and a bunny in a kennel in the center. Far back seat has my little guy and a bunch of stuff around him. And of course, the back is packed to the point that I have a tunnel in the middle to see out the back window. Kids FINALLY settle down and I am in the driving zone. Suddenly one of the kids says he smells something. That simple sentence can strike FEAR in any mother but let's add to that that we are in a ghetto part of the town! Quickly we realize that one of the cats has had an explosion of sorts. Not good. I have to pull off as there is NO possible way that I am driving with that next to me for another hour.
Pulled off. Gathered bag, paper towels, baby wipes, and courage. Did not think this through obviously. Opened the kennel door and the cat makes a desperate attempt to GET OUT of the kennel. Yeah. So now the offending problem is all over the inside of the kennel, the cat, ME, MY SEAT, the son who tried to help, the console of the car, well, you get the picture. And it was a horrible picture! I quickly cleaned kennel as best I could. Bagged the evidence and shoved cat back into kennel. Had just enough baby wipes (that is funny, because I don't think there are enough baby wipes for that kind of problem!) to clean up. Dear son saw trash can and we dropped the toxic waste in it and made our get away.
I will never again complain about driving home sandy, cleaning the bathroom, or driving by the chemical plants! After driving like an idiot for another hour we got close to home. I called the hubby and let him know "we were coming in hot!" Open the door, get out of the way, say nothing, open a bottle of good wine, and unload the car. Just stay away from the front seat. He did just that (minus the wine); car was unloaded, seat covers removed and placed in washer awaiting my clothes and my son's clothes (precaution). I then had the wonderful pleasure of BATHING A CAT! This has never been a top 1000 on my list of to do's but it had to be done. She was surprisingly good. I think the fact that the entire household was watching and laughing distracted her. The big kid took her afterward and dried her off, cooing at her the whole time (much to the horror of the girlfriend who does not like cats).
Then I had a nice steam bath and started laundry.
I really understand "a little bit of love goes a long way" now. I have just a little bit of love left for that cat right now. And it will get her a long way. While this was an awful thing for me, I wonder how bad it was for the cat. It must have been rather stressful for her too. And thinking back to my worst trips ever....the last one on record, 5 some years ago, also involved this same cat. In the same car. But with all 5 kids, my parents, their dog, and more stuff than there should have been. It was worse. Way worse. I lost a t-shirt in that one! Somehow I still love that cat. Amazing isn't it?
Go live. A little bit of love does go a long way. See if you can find that out today. I don't however, recommend travelling with a cat to find that out!