Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Keep Your Politics Out Of My Kitty

Let's face it, nobody really likes having to travel for anything other than vacation.  Being away from home sucks to begin with.  The preparation for what should have been relatively straight-forward arrangements seemed to morph into a gargantuan task that involved the help of no less than 6 people in 4 states and Obama's signature for air travel and hotel reservations for a two-night stay.

To make a really long, boring story short....when I checked in to the hotel they had NO record of my reservation, which I was able to email them a confirmation of from my laptop.  This should have been my first indication to leave and check myself into a hotel that had rooms possibly furnished in the last two centuries.  But I did not.  Instead I found myself muttering an actual prayer, hoping that God could hear it over the rumble of the antiquated wall heater:

My traveling Praying Mantis:
Helps me talk to Jesus and eats bedbugs.
More compact to pack than angel wings.
(Photo: Captain Suresh, Flickriver)

"Please God, do not let whomever is in the adjoining room get "curious" as to the integrity of the deadbolt on the door separating us, but if that stranger does, and if that stranger kills me in this shit hole of a hotel, please guide the police to find me quickly, and give them the wisdom to differentiate between me and the dead hooker who probably already exists in this room, either whole or in pieces, probably stuffed in that GOD FORSAKEN HEATER WHY IS IT MAKING THAT NOISE?!?!?!  And please let my alarm go off on time because I'm in a different time zone and I don't understand the alarm clock in this room.  Amen."

And God answered my prayer.  He reminded me that I have an alarm on my cell phone, so I set that instead.  Which was a good thing because the clock alarm never did go off.

My husband gave me a rash of crap for packing a swimsuit for this trip, which I proudly declared to him was "for the hot tub"....and is clearly not necessary at this point.  I really need to do better research on these things in the future.  I don't, however, think it's worth mentioning to them on the "comment card" that said dead hooker's blood spatter is on the tiled ceiling of the shower, I think....I'm pretty sure someone probably already knows that.

Also Screech from Saved By the Bell is working the front desk tonight and it's giving me the creeps....because the last thing I saw him on was Celebrity Fit Club and I'm pretty sure I heard he was doing porn before that.  I'm SO ready to go home.

To even BE in a hotel for me is a stretch in this town.  I typically stay with a friend, but she already had a guest, so this was next best thing.  She was nice enough, though, to pick me up at the airport and have dinner with me when I flew in.  We just had to make one stop in between to take a cat to the humane society to be neutered.  She had a feral cat near her house who had kittens last year, and this was one of said kittens.  She'd caught him in a trap earlier in the day, and while tromping across the parking lot and I was balancing the trap in my stronger arm...she whispered "When we get in there, remember: he's feral."

"No SHIT he's feral.  When you have to CATCH it in a TRAP, that's what it's called.  Just because you have a cute name for it does not make it domesticated."

She MAY be a crazy cat lady in a bit of denial.  No, she is, and I say that to her face, and I love her.  She has a heart that overflows for all things, including my children, and I can't fault her for that.  But holy bananas she gets into some interesting situations trying to do the right thing.  As infrequently as I come to this town, this makes the second cat-wrangling episode I've been involved in.  She got him checked in and all set for neutering, his trap lined up with a plethora of other cats (some people brought in 4 and 5 of those things), paid for his surgery and whatever other fees they had, and we set out the door for dinner.  If we were still hanging out at 8:30, she said, I could come with her to pick him up.

Uhhhh....Meme dude? That's a racoon. It's not even a POLE cat.

No thanks.  I wanted to be in bed by then.  Had I known I'd be staying in the hotel from The Shining, maybe I'd have felt differently.

So after catching up over some Olive Garden and hashing out my differences with the hotel staff, I'd settled in and resigned myself to my scary residence for the next 48 hours when my phone rang.  It was my dinner date, whose name my phone speaks aloud because her number is programmed in, but mispronounces because somehow I managed to use some German accent characters by accident.  It was weird that she'd be calling at all.


"You're never gonna believe this.  I picked Smoky up.  First, he was a she.  Second, she was in a family way.  Can you beLIEVE it??!?!?!"

[silence, then uncontrollable laughing.]  "Of COURSE I believe it!  That is the awesomest thing ever. she....fixed?"

"Oh yeah."

"WHAT?????  OMIGOSH.  Well.  I certainly hope they did a transvaginal ultrasound and made her LOOK at the screen before they went through with her little kitty abortion.  Jesus.  You're SUCH a DEMOCRAT."

[More laughing, together.]

Then she told me she just HAD to tell me that before I went to bed.

And that's why I love her so much, and miss her in between the times that we don't get to see each other.  For the very outwardly differences in us we are kindred spirits in a way, and I've often said I'm so glad whatever planets lined up to bring us together did so, because I'm truly a better person for having her in my life.  As for how she's going to feel about all this?  All I can say is she knows me.  She had to know making that phone call last night and delivering that icing-on-the-cake news was making it into my blog.  That's how I roll.

Incidentally, political protesters were right in my path to get coffee (I was in a big rush to get back to my conference) shouting get-out-of-my-vagina-ish phrases when I also shared the gender-confused feline story with another colleague, who burst into laughter at a very inappropriate point in the crowd.

She was very embarrassed with herself....but continued laughing anyway.

And when I'm done with my business in this town, my dear friend and I will share another meal, and she will deposit me and my bag back at the airport, where it will again be painful to tell her goodbye, and I am thankful for that.  For truly, how many people come into your life that you care about so much that you really do look so forward to seeing, and the time goes too quickly and you long for your next visit?  They're few and precious and I hope mine know how much I love them.

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