Nosy Person: “Lisa, why are you limping?”
Sarcastic Lisa: “I tripped on a pinecone while feeding a toothless cat at 2:30 in the morning.”
Truly, that’s what happened.
My son was hired to feed a neighbour’s cat over the Thanksgiving weekend; just breakfast and dinner.
So on the third night in to ‘his’ job, I woke at 2am – wide, WIDE awake. After a trip to the washroom, hoping to remedy the non-sleeping issue, I went back to bed. The sandman was JUST about to have his way with me, when………
Oh my God – I don’t think the cat was fed dinner!
I sifted through the sand in my brain trying to remember if the cat had been fed. True, it wasn’t MY job. And true, the cat WOULD live until breakfast. But it would be MY luck, on OUR watch, that something would happen to the cat.
Added to that, the poor thing has no teeth. I couldn’t very well let it suffer anymore than it likely already was; separation anxiety from her owners, and all that. Never mind not eating turkey.
By then it was 2:15 am, so knowing I would never get back to sleep worrying about the cat, I knew what I had to do. With a coat thrown over my pyjamas, and bed-head big enough to turn a racoon to stone with one look, I picked my way through the leaves to the neighbour’s house. The extreme silence at that time of morning amplifies every sound, and I was sure that one wrong step on an extra crunchy leaf would have the neighbours calling 9-1-1. Onward I plodded; down the lane, down some steps, and I was there.
I got to the house - the cat was alive - fed her some pureed cat food, and started to make my way back home. Phew. Hopefully now, worry-free, I would be able to get back to sleep.
Up the stairs I picked my way, again avoiding the leaves.
Oh God. Did I lock their door?
Up a few more steps.
Ummmm…hmmmm. I can’t remember.
I knew if I went home, I would never get back to sleep with worrying about the door – even though I was sure I locked it.
Aw crap. I better go back and check. I’m awake anyways.
So back down the steps I went.
I (stupidly) step on some SOFT looking leaves, and….stumble and twist my ankle on a pinecone hidden underneath.
And mid-stumble, I had a million thoughts race through my head, all jumbled together in one long sentence:
What if I fall and as my body flails down the steps I wake the neighbours and they see me in my pyjamas and they call 911 fearing I am a crazy murderer and with my hair looking the way it does and my arm is still bad from my fall in July (see story ‘The One Armed Rancher' - August 11, 2011) and I hope I don’t fall on it and ohmygodmyanklereallyhurts…..
So I stumbled and fumbled, and luckily didn’t actually fall DOWN the steps. After the sound of things cracking and tearing in my ankle finished echoing off the surrounding homes (I swear I saw someone’s bedroom light come on), I hobbled my way down the steps, back to the neighbour’s front door.
It was locked. Lovely. Perfect. Great. I could finally hobble back home.
And of course, because I am a precautious kinda girl, not a few steps away from the house did I have to go back and double-check. Again. Just to make sure.
Great. The house was locked, the cat was fed - I could go home and back to sleep. Hopefully.
Little did I know (and by then I SHOULD have known – what am I, thick?), that after all those early morning exploits, I would never get back to sleep.
I hobbled home, my bed-head finally settling down. My shoes and coat were quietly thrown on the floor, and I made my way to the couch; why wake the rest of the house?
And then it started.
The throbbing. Ba boom, ba boom, ba boom, ba boom. That dull thud like a beating drum vibrated from my ankle through my leg, and kept me awake for most of the night. Or morning. Or whatever it was at that point. In the great scheme of things, it really didn’t matter.
Needless to say, the boy hadn’t fed the cat dinner the night before, so my nocturnal antics were not completely unfounded. I didn’t get mad at him, however; it’s not his fault his mother is a neurotic nighthawk.
And at least I got my turkey in the oven just a few hours later.
Mine never looks like this.