I'd apologize for the visuals, but it's not like I made them up. I didn't even oversaturate the photo. In fact, I bleached the photo a bit.
Winter does a number on everything from my dried out crocodile skin to my ability to sleep to my gloomy, withering soul... Wait, no, I'm missing something. I was going to blame absolutely everything on winter again, but this particular bitch-fest is really, at least partially, the fault of my exceedingly co-dependent male cats.
Until recently, our three cats — Oskar, Onion, and Lula — were allowed full run of our bedroom. They lolled about all over the bed and hid bits of garbage under my pillow and thieved socks and bras. They loved our bedroom. They got really territorial about it, though. Onion decided that every time I said no to him it was his turn to twitch irritably and then pee on my side of the bed. Lula decided that she would declare her very sexy sexiness by peeing on Aidan's side of the bed. And then there was just the simple overwhelmingness of all that cat hair. When I realized that I was habitually rolling balls of cat fluff off the edge of the mattress before climbing into bed one night, I also realized that we were living like those old people hoarder types who curl up next to filth without even seeing it anymore.
The cats had shed their last hair in our bedroom. They were shut out.
Lula has moved on seamlessly, contenting herself now with peeing on the Palinode's pants when they're left on the bathroom floor, but the two males have not responded to this turn of events very well at all. When we are in the bedroom, one of them willl start out by making small, beseeching yips at the door. When that doesn't work, the yips are escalated to small howls, and then louder howls, and then truly sorrowful wails. Oskar and Onion even tag-team it, switching off yowling duties to trot down the hall to take potty and kibble breaks. And then, just when I am muttering Fuckers can die into my pillow, Onion starts in with his nails-on-a-chalkboard routine, dragging his unnaturally huge claws down the length of our door from the doorknob. This signals one or the other of us to thunder out of bed, through the door, and out into the hallway to boot some cat arse, dispersing them hither and yon so that we can at least get enough sleep to maintain our collective sanity.
And then, another of hour of sleep. YOOOWRRRRR. Scraaaaatch. Fuckers can die. Stomp stomp stomp. Boot. Another of hour of sleep. YOOOWRRRRR. Scraaaaatch. Fuckers can die. Stomp stomp stomp. Boot. Another of hour of sleep. YOOOWRRRRR. Scraaaaatch. Fuckers can die. Stomp stomp stomp. Boot.
Their love for us, ever constant, sustains them. They are nothing if not devoted.
This is where the kazoo comes in.
I got this kazoo at a BlogHer conference from Elly of BugginWord, and being that I have a strong affection for elementary school music class instruments — I also own a recorder and a ukulele — I've kept it handy. Strangely, though, I had never used it until the other day when I picked it up off the kitchen table and blew a few bars of "Scotland the Brave", an occasional earworm of mine since I played it for an organ recital in grade five in the hopes that its repetitive practice at home would convince my mother to pull me from the class.
It only took a couple of toots on that thing before Oskar FREAKED out. He freaks out a lot, having come from an abusive early kittyhood, but this freakout was of a different tone. He ran to the doorway, tail low, and scanned the apartment for evildoers. I blew through the kazoo again to show him from whence the evil was emanating so that he could relax about the rest of the apartment, but it only pushed him further over the edge. I found him cowering behind a chair in the living room looking like his little kitty mind was going to implode. Onion was merely less than impressed.
That was my a-ha moment, Oprah. That night, the kazoo came to bed with me. If the losers were going to keep me up all night, I was going to loose fresh hell on one of them and irritate the other enough to make the caterwauling a lot less tantalizing.
Now, you probably think that this story is going to end with me going to bed with and blowing a kazoo in the middle of the night, creating a saucy reference to oral sex in the process, but it's not going there, at least not today. You see, when it is four in the morning and I'm drooling out Fuckers can die into my pillow, my first thought isn't Kazoo!. It's to run across the room while making my footsteps sound as murderous to two idiot cats as possible. I'm more concerned about instilling the fear of God with my mighty fierceness than humming a few bars through a red kazoo.
I'm thinking that maybe tonight I'll tie the damn kazoo to my hand or something when I go to sleep so that I won't forget to wreak kazoo vengeance on those damn douche canoes, because the lack of sleep, combined with the Virus That Never Ends and winter's continued onslaught against my poor skin, is killing me. No one should have to wake up with blood on their face from their bleeding fingers after four hours of entirely interrupted sleep, unless they're being tortured, but even then it's unfair.