January 2011


I love my cats. I really do. They are special animals with unique personalities and glorious BLAH BLAH BLAH. I hate them.

They need food all the time, and fresh water and their litter, OH their litter. And the hair is always everywhere- I probably have cat fur-lined lungs, not to mention my poor wardrobe. I have to carry a lint roller everywhere I go.  My house is disgusting. I can’t blame them for everything but I can blame them for a lot.

I’ve given up hope of ever convincing anyone to take one of them (much less all three) so I’m going to share a story that, if I had any hope, I would keep to myself. But since I don’t!

I work long days. At the very least, I’m out of the house for nine and a half hours. Many days, it’s closer to twelve. Recently, I had one of these over-long days and was greeted joyously by only two of my delightful dumpling kitties.

Not that Kiki (my slightly neurotic and anti-social cat) ever gets up to greet me at the door, but I became concerned for her safety when she was not perched on the back of my navy blue lounge chair as usual. Nor was did she dart into the bathroom to get water from the faucet when I went to wash my hands. Nor did she come running when I refilled their food bowl.

By this time I knew exactly where she was. A few times a week, Kiki is allowed to stay in my room overnight. This is a special treat for her as she detests the other cats and loves only me. I put her out when I get up in the morning, but this particular morning she’d obviously managed to sneak into my bedroom while I was getting ready and, because I leave my door shut to avoid as much cat fur in the air as possible, got shut in. For eleven and a half hours.

One cannot have the realization that one has locked a cat in their room for eleven and a half hours and not be fully aware that accidents may have occurred. I predicted that my laundry basket was probably her makeshift litterbox. And sure enough, when I walked into the bedroom, my dinner in hand, I noticed an odd smell. It smelled rather like the peach and pear cobbler dish I’d left sitting on my bedside table from the night before. But stronger.

Since the smell wasn’t overwhelmingly awful, I figured I’d go ahead and eat before I determined the home of Kiki’s new litterbox. Kiki, by the way, was curled up peacefully at the foot of the bed, looking perfectly pleased with her current state of affairs. Clearly starvation had not yet set in. Needless to say, that cat was out on her ass in no time flat. And by out on her ass, I mean I threw her out into the living room while cursing vehemently.

Anyway, I decided to sit on the bed and eat my food.

Mistake. RIGHT where I sit and eat and sleep and spend a vast majority of my time at home, Kiki had peed. I was up almost instantly, but that did not salvage my khaki pants from a pretty serious soaking. Being that I’d just worked for eleven hours, I was both tired and my usual lazy self. So I stripped off the pants, grabbed some towels, layered them over the pee puddle and sat at the other end of the bed while I ate my dinner. Y’all, I realize this is disgusting. But I hadn’t eaten in quite some time and I already knew I had a long night ahead of me in repairing this situation.

It wasn’t until after I’d eaten that I discovered the poop.

She’d kindly taken my blanket and burried the feces within it. And because part of me had sat in this region upon entering the room, it was nicely smushed into the fibers of the blanket. And it no longer smelled like peach and pear cobbler. FML.

You can only imagine the words that flew forth from my lips at this discovery. I was wildly furious and further disgusted.

But when one lives without a man, one must do things one would otherwise make her husband do. So I cleaned up the poop. Stripped the sheets and started them washing. Rolled up the eggcrate mattress and deposited it in the garbage can outside. Felt to see if the mattress was wet (thankfully, it was not). Sprayed febreeze on the mattress anyway. Washed the sheets a second time. Dried them. Put them back on the bed. Collapsed.

I’m sure it will surprise no one to hear that Kiki has not been allowed anywhere near my bedroom since, and my resolve is firm about continuing that trend.

As they say,  ‘A man who lies down with dogs will get up with fleas.’ Or in my case, a woman who lets her cat sleep in her bed will soon be sleeping in a makeshift litterbox.

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It has been TEN YEARS since I graduated from high school. TEN YEARS since I met my college roommate, Dear Friend and subsequently Funky and Fabulous friends. TEN YEARS since I first shook hands with the man I would eventually marry and, last year, divorce. Y’all, I still feel 18.

My ten-year high school reunion is happening this summer. Obviously, I will fool no one who is the occasional reader of this blog, but I have a plan for appearing to have accomplished what some might have thought I was capable of accomplishing in ten years but I haven’t even come close to yet:

I’m not going.

One of my loyal friends will spread the rumor that I’m happily unattached and busily touring the states promoting my YA novels that were published under a nom de plume. Stephenie Meyer perhaps. We are not dissimilarly featured, she and I; I might convince a few folks.

Of course most of Stephenie’s back story will have been fabricated. I live and work quietly in Auburn, am not a graduate of BYU or the mother of three boys with a handsome Hispanic man (ok I’ll admit none of this is probably actually true, I’ve read just enough about the real Ms. Meyer to sound foolish to those who really know what they’re talking about). Anyway, the point is, I’m ME but I’m also secretly wildly successful. And of course they’ve all heard of me and envied me from afar but didn’t realize they were envying ME. And after that night, they’ll say to themselves, “That Liz, I always knew she was going to have an amazing life. I sure do wish I’d kept up with her, I might could have met Taylor Lautner” OR “I bet she wrote Edward Cullen after me, I always knew she liked the quiet, pale, super-smart type” OR “Wow what a sell out. Why didn’t I think of that?”

Then at the 20 year reunion when I show up they’ll all probably have figured out it was all a dirty falsehood, but it won’t matter then because I really will be a successful author who read a bit of her novel to the Creative Writing department the Friday night before and had to take a special break from her book tour just to see them. And my utterly wonderful husband will be by my side, lovingly gazing down at me as I talk about our two great, smart kids who I’d have every intention of enrolling at ASFA if we didn’t love New York so much. And we’ll all laugh about the ten-year reunion that I skipped while pretending to be Stephenie Meyer, and they’ll all think to themselves, “She really didn’t have to do that, Liz is such a star, it just takes everyone different lengths of time to reach their full potential” OR “She’s just as hot as she was twenty years ago” (PLEASE?!?!?) OR “Her books are so much better than Stephenie Meyer’s, thank god…”

And for those of you who actually think I’d skip this reunion and pretend to be someone I’m not, you’d better rethink that. Of COURSE I’m going. I may have to find the bar before I feel like talking much, but I guarantee we’ll all laugh about the disaster of my life. And if I can make people laugh, I’ll feel pretty successful after all.