Today my neighbor backed into my car in her SUV and broke my grill guard. Then I got run over by a child on a bicycle, almost mauled by a 260 pound Mastiff, violated by a labradoodle named Frodo, and then had to catch, pick up, and return an immobile elderly woman’s partially-blind, raccoon-sized cat to her, which I am intensely allergic to.
It’s been one of those days.
I’m approaching a house with my clipboard in hand, going to offer the homeowner a roof inspection. Before I step foot on the lawn, the largest dog I have ever seen—an English Mastiff—appears in the driveway and starts barking louder than any creature I’ve ever heard. I’m not kidding, this dog was the size of a Clydesdale horse. Its bark could frighten a velociraptor and make a bengal tiger cower. It was huge. And it was angry.
I am the biggest dog-lover in the Northern Hemisphere; this is just a fact of life. In my experience, you can get any dog to warm up to you if you just refrain from acting intimidated, and just give it a minute to stop feeling territorial. This dog was different. This was a komoto dragon covered in fur. It was the beast-dog from The Sandlot. It probably ate entire pigs for breakfast. I was unsure about approaching it.
The owner appears after forty or fifty seconds of death-threat barking to see what all the commotion is about. I call out, “Will he like me if I just go up to him?”
“No,” she shouted.
I later learn that this 260 pound Mastiff mauled the neighbor two years ago when she walked over to bring the neighbors a pie. Moving on.
Moments later, Trent and I are in the driveway of someone’s home while their two children, ages 8 and 10 are playing outside. The eight year old boy is riding around the driveway on his black mountain bike, and the girl is playing with their three Doberman Pinschers and two german shepherds inside the fence.
Two of the Dobermans are not excited about my being there, and are not having any part in accepting my friendship offerings, snarling and snapping and barking ferociously at me through the wooden fence. Being a dedicated dog lover and also a winner by heart, I refuse to give up on my quest of gaining their love and affection, and hunch down by the fence, balancing on the balls of my feet, trying to get the angry canines to sniff me through the fence and decide that I would be their friend.
Suddenly, a powerful, deliberate force smashes into me, knocks me completely over and off my feet and pummels me to the ground.
The eight year old boy has literally crashed his bike into my body, nailing my lower back and hip and knocking me to the ground. I lay in the gravel, slowly looking up at the boy in disbelief and agony, wide-eyed and confused as to why he would drive his bicycle directly into my body with such great force. He looks terrified.
“I—I—I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to do that! Really! I was—I was just trying to squeal my tires and drift my bike!!” he desperately tries to explain.
This boy had the type of dad who would beat his ass if he knew his child had assaulted another human being with his Huffy, so I accept his apology and decide that any child who drives his mountain bike straight into another person is clearly mentally challenged anyway, so I forgive him and pardon the incident, hoping I would not be partially paralyzed.
I limp up the hill with my throbbing backside, onto the next house. I knock on the door, and an old woman pokes her head between the curtains in the window to the left of the door. “Come to the other door!” she hollered, so I trot over to the side door that was the entrance to the sunroom, and I wait.
I wait for probably 2 and a half minutes, but the woman never comes. The only sign of life is an enormous, grossly obese cat that is blind in one eye that had thudded off of a chair and approached the door to investigate my presence.
The cat would clearly not be opening the door for me, so I return to the window near the front door. The woman’s face appears again. “Just come into the house!” she hollers.
I open the sunroom door, being careful not to let Garfield outside, and then open the next door leading into the kitchen. There I find a 300+ pound elderly woman named Mary, chain-smoking cigarettes and listening to the radio. Mary is extremely overweight and cannot really move around. She spends most of the day in her chair, popping pain pills and smoking Marlboros. We chat for at least fifteen minutes about her gay neighbors Jerry and Cory, and Cher’s transvestite daughter “Chaz,” and then I inform her that I need to catch up with my husband who is probably waiting for me.
“Don’t let Puddin’ get out when you go!” Mary reminds me. I assure her I will be very careful not to let her enormous cat outside, and I block the kitchen door with my leg as I open and close it behind me. As soon as I swing open the second door leading outside however, a grey and white flash darts between my legs out into the yard. It was the blasted cat.
I spin around in disbelief at the door I had closed so carefully behind me in the kitchen, where I had left the cat inside. There at the base of the door was a tiny cat door. “Gosh dangit!” I shout. How does a cat so morbidly overweight move that fast? I quickly stick my head in the kitchen and call to Mary.
“Mary, I didn’t realize you had a cat door—your cat has escaped into the yard! Do I need to catch him?” I asked.
“Would you?” she said pleadingly.
“Um—yes. Yes I will,” I assured her, and run back out into the front yard.
“Puddin’! OH Puddin’,” I beg. “Come to mama.”
The enormous cat is posed in an apprehensive position, munching on grass near the sidewalk (fatass). I scuttle around the yard for a few minutes, and finally snatch the huge fur-bag up in my arms, and carry it’s gigantic sagging feline body back into Mary’s house.
I’m really, really allergic to cats.
I deliver Puddin’ to Mary, and immediately make a bee-line to her kitchen sink to scrub my arms up to my elbows with Dawn in a desperate attempt to rid myself of any cat dander that would surely cause me to go blind and collapse my wheezing lungs within minutes. I rub-a-dub-dub for a good thirty seconds, and finally leave Mary’s home.
By the time I make it back to the truck, my wrists and forearms have broken out into an itchy rash, and my left eye is blazing like a forest fire, watering away and burning as if I had sprinkled Cajun seasoning salt directly onto my corneas.
There’s always tomorrow.
Me: “Everyone is so obsessed with Jersey Shore. I don’t understand. I feel like I need to watch an episode to see what all the fuss is about.”
Trent: “I’ve seen episodes of it babe. You would be—pissed.”