Ah, where to begin?
We had a showing last night, so I kept the house spotless all day which left minimal to do as the hour approached. Following an afternoon of play, the boys were fed and put in pajamas, and the house was perfectly staged for an evening visit. Salem wandered about as usual.
I called for the boys to get in the car and they ran to the garage with sheer excitement. (How often do you get to ride in the car in your footed pajamas?) From his booster seat, Jeremy calls, “Can Salem come?”
I pause for a second and answer with a “yes.”
You see where this is going.
Now before you ask, Salem has been in a car before last night. Naturally, he rode in our car the night I picked him up and brought him home to live with us last summer. He’s ridden in the car to the vet, albeit in a carrier, and he joined us in the car for the last showing we had more than a week ago.
You can see why I didn’t think twice about him riding with us last night.
However, I should’ve known better. Though Salem is all cat in terms of his playfulness and affinity for napping, he is more like a dog when it comes to his potty etiquette. Even though he’s litter box trained, he’s more likely to wait by the back door so he can do his business outside. Weeks go by without him ever using the box, which, frankly, is fine with me.
This week has been the exception. The last few days have been in the single digits and well below zero when you account for the wind. Salem hasn’t been interested in going outside. Who can blame him? Why poop outside on a frozen tundra when you can poop inside in a warm litter box? For the record, by 6:30 p.m., he had not yet used the litter box.
But let’s get back to the story.
With the boys in the car and the house ready to be shown, I scoop Salem in my arms, grab a blanket and head for the car. His eyes widen as we back out of the garage, but that’s natural, I tell myself. Cats don’t like to not be in control. Funny little cat, I think. He needs to be more flexible.
Since it’s late, we park around the corner so we can be out of the way but not far away. It’s almost bedtime, after all. And we have a cat with us. There are no errands to run to kill time.
The boys settle in to watch a few episodes of “Olivia” on the DVD player while I catch up on Facebook and Twitter updates on my phone. Salem wanders around the car peeking out the windows. We’re each doing our own thing to pass the minutes.
Hmm. What’s that smell? Someone has gas. Boys are so foul. They just let it rip –
Wait a second. I know that smell.
I flip on the overhead light to see Salem in the passenger seat. He’s looking at me. Wide eyed. And he’s just pooped.
“SALEM POOPED IN THE CAR!” I yell, which is in an open invitation for both boys to jump from their seats to see the evidence.
They laugh hysterically while I stare blankly – this is my life? Completely frightened by our reaction, Salem jumps behind the seat to the middle of the car to hide, leaving his steaming heap of crap next to me. The ONLY reason I didn’t lose all decorum is because Salem was considerate enough to poop on the blanket I brought for him. I folded in the corners, opened the door and tossed out the mess. Thankfully I keep a small travel bottle of Febreeze in the car door. The blanket went promptly in the wash as soon as we got home.
The night ended uneventfully with the boys going to bed at a decent hour and Salem curled up by the fireplace. When I went to bed, I couldn’t help laughing at the thought: Poor Salem. Riding in a car literally scared the crap out of him.