Friday, November 16, 2007

here's my middle finger, honor that, bitch!

We have a kitten named Eloise who is just about the most charming thing on the planet.

When she's not in her manic kitten mode, scaling walls, chasing her tail, attacking Legos and then making them move with her back paw and then attacking them again! because she had to! they were moving! and the like, she will climb up into any available lap, her motor going, and fall asleep.

Yesterday, Iris showed up asking if we could wash her mom's blanket, because Eloise had snuck into the apartment just as Iris was opening the door, made a beeline for her mom's bed monk's mat on the floor, squatted down, and peed. (And again, for you newcomers, the Iris saga begins here.)

So of course I said sure, and Iris handed over a bag of soap nuts that her mother wanted the blanket to be washed with, because why would our cruelty-free, biodegradable, HE, all natural detergent be acceptable? Then she went back home to get the blanket. This gave me enough time to share the news with Stupid Daddy so we could privately shep nachas--did I not say this cat was charming? I mean, really, of all the spots she could have chosen--before composing ourselves again.

The problem was, Stupid Daddy answered the door when Iris returned, immediately took the blanket upstairs and started a load of laundry without my knowing and before I had a chance to tell him about the soap nuts, which were sitting on the kitchen counter.

We all knew this was going to turn into a big deal, but our washer is a front loader, so the damage was done. Iris was panicked that she was going to get in trouble, but I told her to tell her mom it was my fault; she did what she was supposed to, but I had failed to communicate the information to Stupid Daddy.

After the blanket was washed and dried, Stupid Daddy returned it to Iris' house. Later on in the night, Iris delivered a note from her mom and also told us that she had indeed been blamed for the grave and horrible mistake I had made. I can't locate the note at the moment, but it went something like this:

Thank you for washing and drying my blanket. [In her every interaction with me, she paves the way for the insanity by beginning with something "kind"--some sort of "thank you," or the scraps of some nasty-ass vegetable she found at the farmer's market and wants to "share" with us before bitching about something we've done wrong, or like that time she brought over some chocolate before complaining about how I had intruded on her "sanctuary."] My skin is sensitive to smells so I wanted to use the soap nuts. I need to have that honored.

Namaste,
[mom]

What the fuck did she think? That I had intentionally ignored her request just to be mean? And what, is washing her laundry going to be a regular thing going forward?

Whatever. Deep breaths, it's over.

Except it's not over! This morning on the way to the school bus, Iris delivered another note from her mom (spelling errors have been corrected):

Thank you again for being so willing to wash my blanket. I do not come from a place of anger in the intent of this letter yet I do not sleep on a mattress that was protected. I sleep on a foam mat I do not feel to be so clean any longer due to cat pee and will be appreciative of a new one.

Namaste,
[mom]

Let's assume, for a moment, that the cat pee did in fact make it to the mat. A reasonable person might have a) flipped the mat over, b) asked if we had any products to get rid of cat pee, or c) said, Look, I know it was an accident, but my mat got ruined. Would you mind helping to cover the cost of replacing it?

This woman, however, is completely bonkers, so of course she chose d) none of the above.

But it's not even clear whether there is any real damage. Even her language casts doubt: "...a mat I do not feel to be clean any longer...." I'm sure she doesn't feel her apartment to be clean unless Iris sweeps it every single afternoon, even though they always take their shoes off before going in and never have any visitors (well, except for Eloise). But that doesn't mean it actually needs to be swept.

And check out how unbelievably aggressive she is, too: "I will appreciate a new one." As if it's a given that we're going to replace it, because she is now dictating that it will be so.

I called her landlord this morning to ask for his advice, because I know that he is a reasonable, thoughtful guy and I also know that she is constantly badgering him to fix pressing problems in her apartment like loose screws and a dinged stove top.

He told me he sees her as the "petty tyrant" in his life (a Carlos Castaneda term; remember, folks, I'm in Asheville)--the person who pushes his buttons so he can learn how to stay "even."

He suggested I ask to see the mat to determine if there was in fact a stain or an odor, and if not, to tell her simply, "I understand that you feel replacing this is important, but I don't see any damage and I don't think it's reasonable."

Which was excellent advice, I thought. I'm going to sic Stupid Daddy right on it.

6 comments:

BrianJ said...

good luck stupid daddy...(gulp)

tiny tin bird said...

Perhaps you could craft a passive-aggressive rebuttal with this tidbit from the Dalai Lama:
"I like the cat, they're very clean, but they sometimes smell.You show it genuine affection and it shows it back." He said then purred like a cat. "They show great affection to us, this has nothing to do with religion. We need that affection and we have the capacity to show that affection."

Erin said...

What a freakin' lunatic! Btw, LOVE the "shep nachas," going to put that to much use.

family-of-five said...

that kitty cat is beautiful. beautifuly. a lovely photograph. and she's obviously very smart, pissing off (on) the proper people and all.

family-of-five said...

there's not supposed to be a y in second beautiful, sorry.

m~ said...

Love the Carlos Castaneda reference. Your cat sounds delightful.