This is a story about cat poop. And marriage. And Skeletor. Keep reading. It’s all gonna make sense by the end.
Today, the Four-nado (that’s my four-year-old daughter) woke up at 6:00 am making all sorts of unreasonable demands. She wanted to play and she wanted pancakes. The nerve of that child! At around 7:00 am, I fell out of my bed and attempted to plod down the stairs to oblige her. I didn’t make it to the kitchen. Instead, I tripped over Skeletor – my couch-barfing, husband-startling, child-biting, marriage straining, Gross Cat Skeletor – and nearly broke my neck.
As I’m sitting on the bottom step wondering if I should call for help or just keep sitting there until my everything stopped hurting, I noticed that Skeletor had done something especially disgusting this morning. She left a tiny turd on my carpeted stairs. Gross Cat’s odors are horrendous. I probably would have just sat there forever waiting for death if not for the smell.
Skeletor’s litter box is always clean. It’s one of the conditions that I had to agree to in order to keep her in the first place. She has never missed the box unless she was trapped in a closet or something by the Four-nado. It was an odd poop, because it was teeny weeny, and Skeletor’s poo usually looks like something a grown adult human could have done. I know this story is grody, but this is Gross Cat that we are talking about. Stay with me.
More about the poop.
When I picked up the poop in a napkin, I realized what must have happened. Hanging out of the turdlette was a bunch of hair. MY HAIR. You can’t really tell from my photos, but I have ridiculously thick waist-length hair. It gets everywhere. No matter how much I sweep or vacuum (admittedly it’s not that much) giant tumbleweeds of my hair roll around all over our apartment. A spaghetti Western could be filmed in my master bath. Somehow, Skeletor had ingested several strands of it. My guess is that it fell into her food bowl. Poor kitty.
I imagined my poor darling Gross Cat running around this morning with my hair hanging out of her butt, dragging around the turdlette until it eventually fell off. Whatever was going on, we all slept through it. She must have been miserable, but she didn’t complain. And when she complains, she wakes the entire household and all my maidens, too. I should probably disinfect everything.
Imagining this cat dragging her poop around the apartment made me think, oddly enough, about marriage. About how we internalize things we shouldn’t, and then we carry them around for far too long. They make a mess, they hurt us, and they hurt the people we love.
Let me tell you about the hubs. I love to talk about him.
My husband thinks he is funny but he rarely is. He is loud. All of the time. I’m quiet. We have different parenting styles. We come from different ethnic backgrounds. He is from New York City and I’m from Texas. Neither of us likes the food that the other one cooks. We compromise by eating out a lot. He talks to his family on the phone or via group texts all damned day and most of the damned night. I talk to mine when there is a reason to. It’s not that I value or love my family less than he does, that’s just how we are. We are as different as right and wrong, night and day, hot and cold.
If I had to describe Mr. Rosa in Disney prince terms, I would say he is a lot like Prince Phillip. I bet you don’t know which one that is. Lemme ‘splain. Prince Phillip as in Sleeping Beauty. You know, the badass, dragon-slaying, insurmountable obstacle overcoming rock star. The only Disney prince worth kissing. That’s my husband, and the dragon he had to slay was me.
We had a rocky start. We almost didn’t make it.
I was as mean as a snake more often than not, super jealous of his close relationship with his mother, lacked the ability to trust in anyone or anything, and had a habit of getting rid of intimate partners as easily and as thoughtlessly as I would get rid of a toilet paper bookmark. I’m also a little bit insane. To this day, I don’t know what he saw in me, or what made him fight so hard, but he did. Then I did. And now we are a family and I am the luckiest woman alive.
I know that I’m still dragging some nasty stuff around, and I sometimes make a mess of things. Prince Phillip can be a dick sometimes, too. But he hates cats and he agreed to let me have one just to make me happy. He is learning to love Skeletor because I love her. (He still doesn’t let her on the bed, though.)
It’s all dragons and crazy and cats and cat shit. Sometimes the shit lands appropriately in the litter box and sometimes it’s all over the place. At the very least, you have to give the cat credit for trying. You have to give yourself credit for trying, too.
You also have to find a way to let go of your shit. Especially old shit. Old shit that has nothing to do with your current relationship has to go bye-bye or you will both go cray-cray. Prince Phillip and I have been together for over six years and married for more than three. We have some lingering shit that we made for ourselves in the beginning of our epic love story that we are still working on. It’s hard, but it’s so worth it. He is worth it.
He killed a dragon for me.