Sunday, November 12, 2006

Why I Don't Have Kids

I awoke this morning with a hangover. Plus I was cold. The temperature had dropped about 20 degrees since I'd gone to bed with the windows open, so I lay there half awake, shivering and trying to decide whether to get up and close the windows or just go back to sleep, while my kitty alternated between two of her favorite spots: my pillow and the nearest windowsill. Shortly after Luna hopped onto the windowsill and I rolled over and pulled the covers over my head, I heard the window come crashing closed.

"Ohmygod, LUNA!" I screamed, bursting into tears as I realized that the reason her butt was dangling off the windowsill was because her left front paw was stuck under the now-closed window. Then Luna started screaming -- a sound I hope you never EVER hear coming out of someone you love -- and squirming while I opened the window to free her.

As soon as her little foot was free, she jumped down and dashed under the bed, leaving a sporadic trail of poop in her wake. I followed her and then sat on the bed crying while my sister and her boyfriend (who were visiting) tried to coax her out so we could assess the damage. Luna hissed at my sister and then darted out from under the bed, at which point I was able to scoop her up and cuddle her and say god only knows what sort of nonsense to her. And Luna, who is definitely not a lap kitty, sat cowering in my lap for a solid 15 minutes before taking up her usual position next to me (not ON me).

Careful examination of the window-smashed foot revealed exactly zero damage. She's not limping, she's not licking her foot excessively (well, she's not licking it any more than she's licking the rest of herself), and she doesn't wince when I touch her foot. If I hadn't seen it happen, I'd never know that an open window came crashing down on her.

If you think that's stopped me from worrying about her, you obviously don't know me very well. "Do you think she's okay?" I asked my sister and her boyfriend about 50 times this morning. "I think she's fine, Meg," they responded.

"Do you think I should take her to the vet?"
"I think she's fine, Meg."
"Do you think she's in shock and it only SEEMS like she's fine?"
"I think she's fine, Meg."
"Look at her pupils. Don't you think they're too dilated?"
"I think she's fine, Meg."
"But what if she has internal bleeding?"
"Internal bleeding?! In her FOOT?"

Apparently my hypochondria extends to those I love.

With the exception of an hour-long brunch, which I spent wondering aloud how my kitty was doing, and an evening break to see Borat, which I HATED and thought was reprehensible even though I was laughing the whole time (just in case anyone's keeping track of my karma), I've spent my day curled up next to Luna on the couch, petting her and asking her if she's okay and addressing her alternately as sweet kitty, sweetie, sweetheart, sweetpea, sweetness, honey, and sugar. If I'd been thinking more clearly I might have blessed her heart. But mostly I've been stroking her paw and glancing at the window and marveling at the fact that the little bones in her little foot are not completely shattered.

Cats are resilient. I know this because approximately twelve people, including the vet, have told me so today. It's the cats' moms, I guess, who need looking after. Luna herself stretched her window-smashed paw out and rested it in my open palm this afternoon, as if to assure me that she's okay.

And I KNOW she's okay because I just watched her hop down from a windowsill and land solidly on the paw that a mere twelve hours ago was trapped under a window. But still. I keep checking on her in case the trauma has finally caught up with her and the bones that weren't broken thirty minutes ago have completely fallen to pieces while I wasn't looking. I haven't entirely convinced myself I don't need to stay home from work tomorrow to keep an eye on her either.

Can you imagine how crazy I'd be if I had a HUMAN child?


Anonymous said...

Actually, unless the child is young...very young (no real command of structured sentences, etc.)'s a lot harder to have empathy for them when they get hurt as "kitty" did.

this from a parent...who shall rremain anonymus at the risk of one of his children seeing the post and not feeling sorry for him in his later 'depens-ridden' years.

Chris said...

I, for one, think you'd make a FINE mother. Of course your kids might revolt seeing as they won't have a TV.

Coaster Punchman said...

I'd skip the human child thing if I were you - that way you have more money for other things, like more cats!

I almost shed a tear at the beginning of your story, and am very glad it turned out ok.

Did I ever tell you I was a cat in a former life? That's why I'm currently a hedonistic, self-serving, reticent lazy ass. It's great.

Melissa said...

I have to say that I, like Anonymous up there, would feel worse for an animal who has been hurt than for a child. I think it's because so many more people care about children than animals and I, alone, need to make up for this. That said, I saw a man in DC this weekend hold his less-than-1-year-old child up over his head while walking down the sidewalk and I thought I was going to freak out at how irresponsible this seemed to me.

Flannery Alden said...

Kids are pretty resiliant too. You'd be fine. Though I would recommend getting a TV.

lulu said...

Poor Luna! and poor Megan too! I get like that about Bob too, so I understand. My reason for not having kids has more to do with DCFS frowning on leaving a bowl of food and a bowl of water and going away for the weekend.

Phil said...

Like I tell my kids, "Maybe you won't play with that anymore now."

vikkitikkitavi said...

You post seems to indicate a value of human child life over feline life that I find extremely disturbing.

Megan said...

Anon - Dad, is that you? Kidding! Yeah, at least with a child you can ask if they're okay and they can tell you to chill out.

Chris - Fine as in reasonably decent or fine as in fucking awesome? And they'll never know what they're missing, but don't forget that they won't have bacon either.

CP - Luna is actually jealous of other kitties. For real. But I'd have more money for cute outfits.

Melissa - Animals are innocent whereas people are not. Although kids are still pretty innocent.

Flannery - Yeah yeah, a TV is probably forthcoming. Before kids, even.

Lulu - Not to mention that having kids involves giving up alcohol for 9 months or so!

Phil - Ah, you must come from the same school of parenting as my mother, who once watched me fall down an entire flight of wood stairs and then yelled at me for wearing socks on them.

Vikki - I think it's just that humans are a bit more active than kitties and therefore more likely to have calamities befall them. Luna sleeps for like 15 hours a day so I only have to worry about her for 9 or so. Well, fine, sometimes I check her while she's sleeping to make sure she's still breathing, but she doesn't leave the house where bad guys could get her or anything.

Grant Miller said...

I can offer plenty of reasons to not have kids.

Big Orange said...

WHAT?! YOU DON'T HAVE A T.V.?! I *KNEW* I liked you...

Actually, kids can get themselves in a HELLUVA lot more trouble than animals. I think it's due to opposable thumbs.