Sunday, August 21, 2011

School’s Out Tradition

       In a week, school will be out and I will make appointments for my two cats for their spring/summer check-ups.  This is a tradition that has continued for me since my children were in elementary school.  At the time, we lived in rural Pennsylvania and our vet was 30 miles away in another little hamlet.  We had two sibling cats, Calico and Buckskin, both about ten years old;  and Zeb, a huge Lab-Setter Mix who was about five years old. John was in 7th grade and Jill was in 3rd.  We would start out in the morning at about 10AM and make a day of it, the kids, the animals, and myself in our brown Plymouth Volare station wagon. John would stay in the back behind the seats with Zeb while Jill would keep the cats cozy in the back seat.  Our plan was to stop in St. Mary’s at McDonald’s for lunch after the vet ordeal.  This was a real treat because we didn’t have a McDonald’s in Emporium where we lived. Oh…one more detail…..Zeb had been given the left-over BBQ spare ribs from the night before.

          As we drove through St. Mary’s on the way to the vet, Zeb had his head out the window and people on the streets were pointing and staring because he is such a huge dog.  I was listening to NPR, not really paying attention to what was happening in the car, when I heard Jill scream, “EW!!!  Zeb farted!”  Sure enough, I could smell it!  Then I heard it….another dog fart, but this one sounded WET!!!  Jill screamed as the slimy dog poop exploded from Zeb’s behind and spattered onto her face, onto both cats, on the back of the seat, and down into the crack. We were about 10 minutes from the vet.  I stepped on the gas to hurry us along.  We had nothing to clean up the mess except a nearly empty box of Kleenex.

          When we arrived at the vets we were told we were early and would have to wait 20 minutes.  I asked if they could lend us some paper towels to clean up the car. As I was checking the animals in, the assistant asked me if I had remembered to bring a stool sample.  I replied, “No, but I can certainly scrape some off the seat in the car!”

          We washed ourselves off as well as we could.  I just remember that we were so covered in cat and dog hair and it was hot and I felt so filthy!  We packed the animals back into the car and headed home.  I decided to stop at McDonald’s anyway because the kids really deserved a treat!  John was concerned about leaving the animals in the car, so I parked in the shade and rolled down the windows a bit.  We enjoyed our lunch and I kept teasing John that I saw Zeb, Calico, or Buckskin running down the road. 

When we got to the car, I looked inside and exclaimed, “Oh no!  Not again!” but John thought I was teasing because I had tried to trick him inside McDonald’s.  Then he peeked inside.  Zeb had pooped again and he had walked in it and it was all over the front and back seat and even smeared onto the steeringwheel!  The cats were huddled together in the back end looking so disgusted at Zeb. 

We went back into McDonald’s and got some wet paper towels to clean up as much as we could.  It was a LONG smelly trip home!  We felt relieved when we could open the doors in our driveway and let the animals out.  We then tried to clean the car….again.

          Now, you would think this was the end of the story…but it isn’t.  That happened in May.  In July, we were packing the car for the trip to the beach.  My husband was trying to get the back seat belts to work properly, so he reached way down into the crack between the seats…..EEEEEWWWWWW!  Dry, crusty dog poop!

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