Day One

I feel a huge sense of relief today…an accomplishment. I managed to get four boys to four schools, and collect them again, from four different locations, without a single glitch. If ever there was a day that would give me total satisfaction in the organizational department, it was today. For today was the first real day of the school season for me; the first day that all four spent the whole day in school, and summer is definitely over.

At first, after drop off, I had that funny feeling not knowing quite what to do with myself. I suddenly had so much time to do everything I needed. I worked out, went food shopping, got all remaining supplies for school and started writing a travel review, all before 10:00 in the morning. I peaked so early that when I arrived home with the bags I was so exhausted, I felt an urge to go back to bed. But I didn’t. I would have tried, but I couldn’t stop noticing that the dog was still scratching herself, something I observed for enough days in a row that I would be a bad pet owner not to take action.

Off to the vet. Fleas it was. And apparently she needed two vaccines that will stop her from getting any respiratory problems or common viruses in this area. I swear, the saw me coming. The guilt of the flea infestation….they could tell me she had to have her teeth cleaned and her ass wiped and I would have handed over the credit card. I did pay for a thorough flea bath, oil, oral and topical flea medication and felt very confidant about ridding the house, and her, of the black buggers. While she was at the vet I cleaned and vacuumed the entire house, used flea powder on everything she could have possibly sat on, until the entire place smelled like the inside of a car after the carwash.

When I went back to collect Scarlet, the vet casually asked me if I had any other pets in the house? Uhhh, yea, our cat, Ziggy. Oh, he said with enough of judgement I knew something was wrong. Apparently once one animal has fleas, all animals living together will have it. It made me itch. I must bring the cat in asap and exorcise the demons off him as well. That would be an easy solution but for the fact that I currently have no idea where Ziggy is and I’m lucky if I find him before sundown.

The vet didn’t like this answer and once again, the guilt of being a potential bad animal owner began to torment. I must must find my cat and prove our loving connection, and my ultimate control over this mysterious creature. I spent the rest of the bloody day, my first day of term time where I’m supposed to get that list done, trying to find my enigmatic cat. It wasn’t until the kids came home and started making a lot of Hamm noise that he appeared in the garden. Slowly, slowly I crept up to him using my youngest son as bait in front of me, and grabbed that kitty hard. I put him in a travel box and off to the vet we went.

Two shots, 3 pills, oils and a flea bath later, he was ready for collection. Trouble was, they were supposed to call me with that reminder and didn’t. I was at dinner basking in my glory of remembering everything that day – all kids happily tucked up in bed, homework done, sports practices done, lessons done, everything and everyone accounted for…go me!…when the call came through on my phone. It was 9:30pm and the late night closing crew at the vet wanted to know why I hadn’t picked up my sad, dejected kitty, and that they would now have to kennel him till the morning; the Badge of Dishonor will be waiting for me at reception.

That huge sense of accomplishment I felt by 8:00 am had now slipped into the bottom of my Pinot Noir glass not allowing me to sip it down. Day one: at least everyone bathed.

About Jennifer

Jennifer is from Beverly Hills and has lived between London and LA since 1994. She's been a writer for over 20 years in the world of film, tv, travel and magazines and has been a class rep eight times and counting...
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