Cecelia, by her own doing, has had a rough life. She is mean and miserable pretty much all of the time. But we love her. That is her character. She’s bad ass. She chewed off her own tail once…she is not a cat you want to mess with.
Today, I was painting in my daughter’s room. I had pink, blue, yellow and green latex paint happening. Eddie tried to come visit and I shooed him away. I have done the “cat walks thru the paint tray” and “dog’s tail knocks over the paint can” and have learned my lesson the hard way. Eddie gave me a look of pure hurt that I would shoo him when all he wanted was to come visit, but he left quietly. I wasn’t worried about Cece as she doesn’t care to visit anyway. It took me 8 hours to paint 6 boxes and 5 steps. I am a horrible painter. I am sloppy and impatience. Awareness, acceptance, action. Today I was trying extra hard to be good.
As I was finishing up on my 3rd coat, I decided to have the 8 year old start cleaning up. I told her to take the three small cans of paint down to the basement very carefully. And away she goes. I am miserable because I am in pain from my head to my toes and I have been huffing paint fumes all day and it was taking me forever to get this done because I wanted to be professional. She was gone for a few minutes when all of the sudden I hear her pounding up the stairs and she runs in the room and says “MOM! I accidentally spilled the yellow paint and…..” “And what????” ” And…..” she stands there on the verge of tears and I was on the verge of the top of my head blowing off…”And WHAT????” “And it spilled all over Cecelia!!” And she bursts into tears. Are you kidding me with this? The meanest cat in the entire world, who just happens to be in on the upswing of a mania and is actually wanting to be around us, is now covered in yellow paint.
I just stood there for a second deciding if I actually needed to take action or if I could just pretend someone else was the mom. Then I thought of the few things of value that I still liked in my house. The things the dogs have not ruined with their “accidents” and I kicked into high gear. I said “ok, stop crying…lets go assess the damage and find the damn cat.” I walk out the back door and the entire deck and stairs are covered in yellow paint, dripping onto my stones and flowers and flower pots, very modernesqe. Yellow was the fullest paint can. The rest were almost empty, yellow was near the top. Oh good.
I sent the kid to scope out Cece. I see yellow paw prints leading into the neighbor’s yard and it occurs to me that if Cece decided to do some sight seeing the neighborhood will be covered in yellow kitty paw prints and I might get in trouble for it. Damn cat…did I say that already? The kid gets a lock on the cat and I follow up while instructing the kid to get the giant old blanket. There is no way I can get near Cece. At this point I see Cecelia is more than half covered in paint. All over her back and side down all four legs. She looks like she is a contestant on You Can’t Do That On TV.
Now things get dicey. I am trying to talk to Cece, stall her, while the kid gets the blanket. The kid can’t find the blanket. WHAT????? Cece is casually trying to make her escape, leaving her marks all over my stone wall, I am sweating, praying that paint in this large a quantity isn’t toxic. I love my mean ass cat. And she’s off. I grab the blanket from the kid and follow Cece into the neighbor’s back yard. Did I mention I am unshowered, hair pulled back, nastiest tee shirt and boxers carrying a gigantic comforter chasing after a sunshine yellow cat talking to her as if she is an escaped convict. “You won’t get away with this Cecelia. If you just let me help you…it’s for your own good…” She escapes into the woods. I give up. I know when I am beat, I know my cat. She will come home eventually. As long as she doesn’t die from paint poisoning.
I shut all the doors and sit and cry because I am worried that my rotten, awful, unkind cat is going to die alone in the woods. I called the vet and they instructed me to call poison control. I do and poison control says that latex paint is harmless. The advise me to wash her off with some Dawn dishwashing soap. That is when I started laughing. They say you always remember exactly where you were the moment you lose your mind. Now not only will I remember, but so will the poison control lady. I was crying and laughing and explaining how Cecelia is meaner than spit and there is no way I will ever survive trying to bathe her and I don’t have Dawn I have Palmalive cause Madge and soft hands and it’s a pretty color yellow and my back is killing me and the neighbors are going to be mad and my hot water heater died and the roof leaked and…..hello? She hung up. I don’t think that’s legal. Poison control can’t hang up on you in the middle of a break down. That’s downright Un-American.
I call the vet and tell them I will most likely be there at 7:30am with Cecelia to be sedated (her, not me…unless they are willing, I mean, I wouldn’t turn it down at this point) and washed. They don’t sound thrilled at the idea of Painted Cecelia. I don’t blame them. I hang up and grab the kid and as we are walking out the door to get dinner, Cece bolts in and heads for the livingroom. I tell the kid to grab the blanket and we set about trying to catch the yellow cat who is now running around my velvet furniture. I throw the king sized blanket over her and stuff her in the cat carrier. Poor kitty was trapped and crying. I, on the other hand, was laughing hysterically again. What was I going to do with a painted cat in a carrier? The kid is almost crying again because she feels so bad for poor Cecelia. Ofcourse, it is 6:15 and the vet closes at 6. So, I release Cece outside and tell her that we will talk in the morning.
I feel rather defeated and guilty that in my cat’s time of need I can do nothing except leave her to her own devices. Because she is so incredibly terrifyingly mean. So, I’ll say a prayer that I will be able to wrangle her into the carrier tomorrow and that the vet will not call social services on me for cat abuse. It was an accident, and not everyone can pull off yellow…Cece can…cause she says she can and no one argues with Cece.
UPDATE: Cecelia almost eluded capture but at exactly 2pm she snuck in the house thinking we had forgotten that she was still covered in paint. After being outside in the rain all night she looked like some sort of club kid from 1993. The chase was on…through the diningroom, kitchen, livingroom and upstairs into the kid’s bedroom where after 20 minutes of sweat and swearing and pure terror (on my part) Cecelia was finally captured and contained and deported to the vets where she was knocked out and shaved. They also gave her a full physical for the first time in her 9 years on this earth. She looks rough but she is stoned out of her face which is kind of nice because I actually was able to pet her for a second. I love my naked cat.