Sunday, August 05, 2007

Home alone (with the world's whiniest cat)

It may have been a rash move, but I decided to fly home yesterday, the day after my transfer. I had it all figured out, somewhat. My flight was at 2.55pm, and I'd booked the blue van that does airport transfers, except the latest pickup time they gave me was between 11.25 and 11.40am. I've never EVER set off for the airport that early. But no matter. I decided to pack as much as I could before going to the transfer, stay in my bed on Friday night, and then Saturday morning slowly finish off the packing while resting a lot. I figured I could have a nice lunch in the aiport and just spend a lot of time sitting down and it'd still be OK.

And it went pretty well, to start with. I'd stay on my feet for 10 minutes, get dressed, pack, whatever, and then lie down for 50 minutes. Apart from right at the end, when I was only able to lie down for half an hour. I did a quick double-check around the room, headed down to check out at 11.15. Checked out, all was lovely. Turned around to look for somewhere to sit and wait for the blue van, and there it was, stopping on the other side of the street, early. I walked outside with my case as the blue van did a u-turn in the street, handed the driver my case and sat down, smugly congratulating myself for not having to stand up for very long. The drive was a bit bouncy, but the seat was soft, and I was the last one to be picked up. And there was no traffic, and LaGuardia is pretty close to the part of NY that Big Clinic is located in, meaning that I was soon checking in for the flight a full 3 hours before it was due to take off. I have never done that before! I'm usually the one running to the gate after checking in late so it was quite an odd feeling. I asked the check-in guy if the most restaurants were before or after security, he said before, so I went to find them. I found myself some seating nearby, took my last antibiotic and proceeded to sit and wait for an hour to tick by so I could eat post-antibiotic. And then something in my brain clicked and I realized that I'd left my keys and checkbook in the room safe in the hotel. I'm sure I must have looked fairly comical smacking my forehead and rushing off to find a taxi rank.

As I was walking to the taxi rank I called the hotel, and explained my predicament, thinking that maybe to save me taxi fare they could mail the stuff to me, and thinking that I could always use my spare keys that I'd given my friends for feeding my kitty. The front desk guy said he'd put me through to the housekeeping manager, who said she'd put me through to the housekeeper, who kept asking me if I wanted the vase for flowers back or the water filter jug I left in the fridge. No, no, I kept saying, I don't want the water filter jug back, I left stuff in the room safe. Keys and a checkbook! The housekeeping manager came back on and said the housekeeper couldn't understand me. I repeated myself. She understood and went "oh!". Then said they could mail the stuff back, but it'd have to be COD. I decided it was pointless trying to wait for my keys to be mailed to me, when potentially they might mail me a Brita jug instead, so I decided there was obviously a reason why I was at the airport three hours ahead of time and said I was coming back.

One hour, a trip to the ATM and $60 on taxis later, I was back at the airport strolling into quite a nice restaurant and STILL having time for a leisurely lunch. Bizarre. And will I have learned my expensive mistake to always check the room safe before checking out? Only time will tell.

I had to unload all my medications on the belt to get through security, and the woman behind me in line was taking a good nose at all the boxes labeled follistim and menopur and the like. Nice. Nothing like having your life on display. But they let me through. The flight was fine, and minimally bumpy, I didn't have to wait for a taxi home, and then I arrived. To the whiniest cat in the world and a note from my friend saying that the automatic kitty litter thing didn't seem to be working. And a strange knocking sound coming from the air conditioning unit and a blocked sink. Now, OK, the blocked sink was my fault - it's been as slow as molasses for a very long time and I really meant to call a plumber before going away, but still. I went to look at the kitty litter. It was overflowing with poop, pee and litter. I think my friends just kept adding new litter on top rather than trying to figure out how to actually work it, and overloaded the motor. The comb thing that automatically scoops stuff was stuck at the wrong end of the unit, the waste receptacle lid wasn't attached properly and it was generally a bit of a disaster. The cat had also pooped on the floor in disgust at the conditions, and I can't say I blamed her. So I set to cleaning up, all the while kitty was whining pitifully.

Roughly translated I think my welcome home went something like "where've you been? you've been gone forever. i was alooone. those idiots didn't keep things clean for me. and they didn't feed me the nice tinned food you promised me. and i was alooone. did you hear me? i said i was alooone. bitch. i'm never talking to you again. but if you stroke me i might forgive you but only if you stroke me now now now and stop messing around with other stuff. and by the way, i was boooored. mmmmm, your legs feel good to brush up against. why aren't you giving me all your attention rightthisminute? don't you realize i was alooone?"

So I paid the cat some attention, lay down for a nanosecond, decided to call for some Chinese take out, went out, picked up far too much bad food, came back, ate it, then flopped into bed. With the cat still whining. Surprisingly, she let me sleep most of the night without too much whiny nonsense, and then promptly decided at dawn that it was a perfect time to get me up and out of bed so she could go explore the back yard. Except I didn't want to spring out of bed, so we had a mental tug-of-war until 11am with bouts of her whining, then coming back to bed resignedly for a few minutes to let me nap, then standing on my chest headbutting me in the face to wake me up again. Hey ho. It's good to be home, I guess.


bleu said...

Welcome Home Sarah. I am sending lots of good thoughts your way.

calliope said...

holy calamity! You had me on the edge of my seat with the airport/hotel/keys & checkbook drama! PHEW.

And I So know what your cat box must have looked like. GM used to eff up her cat's electric littler pan so much that we had to get rid of it. ugh. what an ich thing to come home to!

Hope you & kitty had a good reunion. I imagine she will be underfoot for a while.


June Bug Momma said...

Sarah! LOL! You are so comical! hee hee You know it really sux when things do not go as you would expect or like. That seems to be my story most of the time! Just look back on it and laugh! ;o) Sending you lots of sticky vibes and baby dust! Hope them embies are as now snug as a bug in a rug! :o)