I’ve had a weird couple of weeks, in that I’m just not interested in very much. It’s most likely just because it’s summer, and I have to wait awhile before I can begin seriously planning my move back to NJ (even though I wish I could do it now)… or, it’s a little dash of the ol’ depression sprinkled into the mix once more. Either way, I feel kind of disappointed in myself for not forcing myself to snap out of it and change things.

I had a week of vacation last week. I had to use it or lose it, basically. My boss insisted I take my vacation in July, even though I technically have all of August to use it too (we go by fiscal year). So I didn’t have a lot of choice in the matter regarding the timing, sadly. If I could have had my way, I’d be taking that time this month instead. ANYWAY, I had my 5 days off and what did I do? Pretty much nothing at all. That’s what.

I slept in. I watched movies and TV. I read a lot. I napped. It was incredibly, terribly lame and I’m ashamed of all the time I simply wasted.

I really would have preferred going someplace, believe me. I would have liked to go up north for even just one day to go hiking and hang out around trees and/or water. But I had no one to go with me– one of the biggest drawbacks of being antisocial and single, honestly– and my family wasn’t too excited about the idea of me going hiking up there all by myself. Second, I had no money at all to spend on gas, food, entertainment, etc.

Stupid Carmax Finance. Once more, they took my monthly car payment from my checking account TWICE. This, after it happened in June and I called and thought I got it corrected… and was told my ‘extra’ June payment would be applied for July. So, technically, I wouldn’t owe a payment until August.

Yeah, that didn’t happen. I had yet another $575 pulled from my account. And like last month, it seriously handicapped me as it dropped my checking balance down to about $33 last week. I had other bills to pay. And I couldn’t pay those bills if I didn’t get reimbursed, and fast.

It was a whole fucked-up ordeal. Every time I called Carmax Finance, I talked to someone different and everyone made different promises to me. That my money would be automatically redeposited into my checking account, after I faxed over my bank statements and everything. Then when that didn’t happen, I was told they would overnight the checks to me. That didn’t happen, either. I finally managed to get my money back–by regular mail– on Thursday afternoon last week. Thursday. Too late for me to do anything really fun/good with my vacation time. I was, and am, pissed off. But hey, at least I finally got reimbursed.

Now to just see if the same thing repeats itself in August…

I don’t believe it will. This time I got a confirmation email that they deleted the second monthly payment, rather than just a verbal “OK, it’s fixed” like last time. So we’ll just see. But really, if this fuckery DOES happen again, I’m bringing the car down to Carmax and demanding that they let me turn it in. I’m so disappointed in the company regarding this whole mess. This is a company I have raved about in the past, and I love their business model. But when true incompetance happens like this, it kind of casts a pall over the overall relationship, sadly.

My life’s felt incredibly non-eventful and boring these days. I hate when people ask me what I’ve been doing lately or what’s new, because I feel like I draw a giant blank every time. I’m like, “Well, I cleaned. I did some yardwork. I basically stared into space before dozing off for a couple of naps every day.” I used to do theater, and in some ways I find myself missing it because it was a PROJECT that had a beginning, middle and a final product of all the work. Every play required about 8-12 weeks at a time, but that’s kind of the perfect amount of time to do something and wrap it up. Then, move on to the next show/project. It was never boring and routine because it changed up every few months, by nature.

I’ve thought about taking a class in something at a community college, and/or getting some kind of part-time job. My biggest issue is this guilt about leaving the dogs alone for so much time. Seriously, I worry that they are bored and I don’t give them enough of what all dogs want– time and attention from me. I’m at work for 9-10 hours every weekday. So, I feel awful when I come home to let them out and spend just a few minutes with them before going out again to do something fun. I don’t know why I worry about letting them down/boring them so much, but I do. I already think about how dull their lives are with me, because I work all day and come home and just basically either sit and use my computer and watch TV or do chores that keep me busy up until bedtime. I do make efforts to play with them and give them affection and talk to them and everything. When it’s not too disgusting outside, we take a walk, but this time of year our walks always drop off until it cools down. (The pavement doesn’t get all that cool until about 9:00, 9:30 at night, which can be too late to walk around in the dark neighborhood and feel safe.)

I’m feeling the strain of trying to be enough for four pets. I know I’m lucky since my pets are pretty good and don’t demand too much, really, but my own guilt and sadness really gets to me when I try to put myself in their situations and realize I don’t do enough with them every day. If I had a husband, a family, etc, it wouldn’t all be on me, just me, to provide everything each pet needs. I don’t know. It kind of sucks that I’m on my own with this. But hell, it’s my own doing. I did this knowingly and consciously.

I think I’m projecting stuff onto these pets, for sure. I’m bored, so I assume they are bored as well. I wish I could be more. Not just for them, but for myself.

So, yeah, I’m just in a general funk. I had two pretty decent days in a row, though. Yesterday I was in a goofy, sing-songy mood and felt like I had things under control fairly well. I was productive at work. I hung out with my Mom and sister for dinner and we watched Despicable Me, which is an adorable movie. I brought the two dogs with me to my sister’s house so there was no guilt about leaving them home alone all night… b/c they were with me. Today, I was productive again and I ended up writing a lot of my book. I had to go to the obgyn for my annual exam, but it went super fast and wasn’t painful this time. I always feel great when I leave from that horrible appointment, knowing that I’m good to go for one more year. That was the case today too, of course.

After I got home for the day, I opened up my book file again and was all set to write some more stuff because I as doing so well today with it. I only got a few sentences in when I saw Moose run down the hall to my bedroom, stay in there a couple minutes and then come running out again, and I had a terrible suspicion that he had just peed on my bed again.

This is the worst thing, you guys… He has now peed on my bed three times. Always right where I sleep, near the pillows. The first time I was just shocked and horrified that he did such a thing. The second time, I noticed it just as I was getting into bed and freaked out that it happened again. Each time he does this, I pull the sheets off and immediately wash them. I know it’s kind of pointless, but I have yelled at him and put his nose in the spot where he peed. I just get so angry…! Then I ignore him for several hour after that, and he acts sooooo mopey and pathetic.

Anyway, yeah. Tonight he DID pee on my bed again. I know he had just done it right then and there, because I checked the house thoroughly when I got home, searching for any sign he had peed on anything while I was at work. Nothing. And then when I ran to my room after he left it, the spot was still warm. That son of a bitch…!

I went online after throwing the sheets in the wash and shutting the bedroom door so no one could go in there unsupervised and looked up “dog urinating on my bed.” And it absolutely seems that he is doing this to assert some dominance over me. He’s challenging me. He has begun to claim the bed as His Own Bed, and not My Bed. I’ve created this beast, because I encouraged him to sleep with me every night since I love how we cuddle. But I shouldn’t have done it, obviously. It sent him a message that we are more like equals because I am allowing him to sleep where he wants, and in MY spot. This ends now.

So, instead of writing, I ended up over at Petsmart, buying a crate. I got him a soft, collapsible crate that will be good for moving/travelling, too. It’s like the one Malcolm had. I still have Malcolm’s crate, actually, but I let a stray cat stay in there once and that cat fucked the crate up. Made a giant mess of his litter, excrement and food, and shredded the floor. I have cleaned it out a couple of times now, but it still looks and seems completely beat up and used. I know animals have a better sense of smell so I imagined Moose would smell the ghosts of animals past inside the crate and act up because of it. So, I decided to get a new crate.

I set it up at home with a new bathmat in the bottom (way cheaper than a crate liner in Petsmart; the bathmat cost $7 where the crate pad was $20+.) and enticed him to check it out. Moose was hesitant to go inside, and I didn’t push it. The two cats went in right away and settled in, of course. Hurley explored it and once he did that, Moose finally decided to check it out, too. He copies Hurley so much.

Moose knows he is in trouble. He isn’t trying to get my attention tonight, and he’s just sleeping in his old dog bed under my end table, all forlorn-looking. Good.

I’m not looking forward to tonight, when I crate him for the first time since his first week here in my house. He will whine and carry on quite a bit. But he’ll eventually tire out, I’m sure.

It sucks I can’t have him up on my bed anymore, but I know I have to do this and set this boundary, hard and fast. I cannot have him challenging me/pissing on my BED of all places.

At the same time, I have to put boundaries in place with Gremlin. He’s begun a few behaviors that annoy the hell out of me, and as it turns out, are also likely him trying to assert dominance over me. One is he tries to dig under my sheets and claw around under there and keep me from staying asleep at night. The other thing is he jumps on my lap and kneads my belly and thighs while purring really loud. He never did this until about a month or so ago. He never did it to me as an actual kitten. It’s weird.

But NOW it’s escalated. He straddles my right arm, and stands still and twitches all over as he stands there. It’s confused me so much. I hate it though because he extends his claws in and out as he twitches, and he’s putting little holes in my clothes and his back claws are scratching my arm. On Monday, he finally did what I had been praying he wouldn’ t do: He humped my arm. It was suddenly obvious that his twitching was much more pronounced, his pupils were dilated and he was purring a strange, new purr. I read up about it and sure enough, people report this happening with neutered cats when the cats are reacting to something new in their environment, or trying to assert dominance over the owner.

So now, Gremlin’s banished from my lap when I’m sitting down. And tonight, he too will be banned from my bed. I’ll miss him even more than Moose, because he is so affectionate and sweet. He’s been sleeping on my other pillow for over a year now. We hold hands/paws as I fall asleep. But yeah, I will apply the same rule to ALL the pets. No one is allowed on the bed anymore. Not even sweet baby Hurley. Fortunately, he’s so adaptable and he doesn’t like to sleep up there, anyway–he only visits me. And Simon… he’s just off sleeping in a corner someplace, doing his own thing, so he won’t notice the difference.

It’s time to go to bed. I have to put the just-finished-drying sheets back on my bed now and do this thing. I’m glad I have earplugs and an eyemask to help me sleep through any whining, crying, pacing in the crate, cats clawing underneath my door to try to get in…

Anyway, hopefully everything will get better with these guys and they get the message, loud and clear. I do plan on being consistent and keeping his up, of course… I absolutely MUST be the leader around here. That’s final.

And I hope that I have more good days than blahhh days, and find something to make me feel like I’m participating in something, doing something new. I can’t take this lethargic boredom much longer.


One response »

  1. I’m sure the funk you’ve been in and feeling guilty about the seeming lack of attention the pets are getting isn’t helping matters, either. You’re doing great, though. You’ll get things turned around. And if it makes you feel any better, a popular (and very good) book on “childproofing your dog” specifically states that “your dog should be able to get by on just 10 minutes of your attention per day”. I think it applies to all animals. Granted, it’s in reference to bringing home a new baby and being busy caring for that new baby, but still… it’s a good rule of thumb. So, no more feeling guilty! I KNOW your pets get way more than 10 minutes of your attention!

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