Sunday, September 8, 2013

Straws and camels

My decrepit old cat has been pissing everywhere again.  His favorite spot seems to be under the antique vanity in the dining room, right on the newly finished floor.  I dutifully mop up the pee.

I discover that, if the pee manages to hit a spot where furniture sits on the floor, that it will soak through the polyurethane and into the paper beneath.  I am livid, but resigned to my fate.

The peeing is now occurring several times a day.  I am going through paper towels at an astonishing rate.

I come home from work at six on Friday to an extremely hot house, and an extremely powerful cat-pee smell that I cannot locate.

I talk to the cat, and apologize for being late with dinner.

Viking Roommate says something from the back room, something along the lines of "I fed him at four."

You got fed early!  You terrible old liar.  Dinner is at five, not four, you old beggar!

"Wait, dinner is at five?  I thought it was at four."

Nooo, the cat gets fed at six and five, a small snack at nine, insulin at six and five.

"Oh.  Sorry bout that."

Viking Roommate leaves the house for whatever reason, and I search for the smell.

I find it.

It is underneath bookshelves and filing cabinets, an ocean of pee, soaked all the way down to the shitty linoleum tiles beneath my beautiful paper floor.  It is under the baseboards.

I am too angry to cry.  I cup the old cat's face in my hands, and remind him that I am the only living soul that loves him.  I ask him why he continues to punish me.

I move all my furniture, the now-ruined particleboard bookshelf, my filing cabinets, my rolltop desk, and my antique vanity.  This is done with some difficulty, as I have noplace to put anything.  My den is still in my living room, and my garage is in utter disarray, and my back porch is cluttered as well.

My anger begins to turn into rage as I begin to scrape the ruined paper and polyurethane off the floor.  Two feet by fifteen feet.  I text my mother.

She texts me back- Has his food changed?  He doesn't start peeing places unless his blood sugar is messed up.





My rage shifts to a new target.

You've been feeding my diabetic cat early.  I've been feeding my diabetic cat on time, unaware that he has already eaten.

I don't care that you are trying to help.

You are killing my cat.

Viking Roommate returns home, sees me scraping away, silent and sweaty.  My rage is tangible.

If you do not have my prybar in your hands, you need to be somewhere else.

"What do you need the pry bar for?"


"Oh."  There are shuffling, searching noises.  I cannot look up.  Scrape scrape scrape.

"Do you want me to go get you one?"

No.  You need to be somewhere else.  Scrape scrape scrape.

I hear a bedroom door shut.

In the last two weeks, you've lost my dog (left the gate open, didn't notice she was gone for four hours, got her back, but it involved animal control, the Humane Society, five phone calls, and finding the neighbor who had her all afternoon). You've poisoned my cat, which caused my cat to destroy my floor and furniture, which worsened his neuropathy and lessened his already-poor mobility.  You've only recently started kicking in for utilities, because you finally learned how little I actually earn.  Your bathroom (the guest bathroom) is horrifyingly filthy, and I won't let visitors use it.  Your sculpting shit is on my front porch, my back porch, and in my garage, in addition to being in the office and your bedroom.  You seem incapable of throwing away bottles, which have covered my picnic table like a shrine to hoarding.  I have no workspace, no guest room, no office, no guest bathroom, no porches, no garage, and I AM THE ONLY PERSON HERE WHO PAYS RENT.

You said you needed a month, maybe two.

It's been ten.

I am extraordinarily patient, and very very generous.  When you needed a place to stay, your friends told me that they thought I would "understand the art supply situation" better than his last roommate.

The situation has nothing to do with art supplies.

Viking Roommate has been holed up in his room whenever I have been home all weekend.  I have spent the entire weekend cleaning.  Cleaning cleaning cleaning.

"Anything I can do to help?"

I cannot say a word, because 60 different responses all leap to mind at once, and I cannot decide which one to verbalize.

No, I don't trust your help, as it usually ends up making more work for me.

You can clean your goddamn bathroom.

You can start paying rent.

I have a feeling that I cannot say any of this out loud.  I fear that if I start any of these sentences, the dam will burst and a tsunami of rage will stream from my mouth for hours and hours and hours.

Perhaps I should just write a note.

I cannot continue to subsidize your lifestyle.  You said you needed two months, it's been ten.  On November 1, the rent will be $600 a month, with the requirement that there is no sculpting shit on my porches or in my garage, and the bathroom is guest-ready at all times.  

I am an extraordinarily stoic camel.

One too many straws.


  1. I got mad at a roommate once for similar reasons. I'd let it build and build before I finally lost it. When I finally blew, she said I was incomprehensible and she couldn't understand a word I'd said.

    A note's probably better, Tante. At least you can make yourself understood. ;o)

    1. I've given it several days to stew. I hope I can keep myself very frosty.

  2. Wow, that sucks. In my opinion, Viking Roommate needs to start acting like a responsible, rent-paying adult or he needs to go live somewhere else. Immediately. Rooming together is supposed to be a symbiotic relationship, not parasitic.

    I think writing a note is a good idea. He needs to fully understand the situation.

    1. I think he just today realized that I am angry. As soon as he emerges again, I plan to say words. I have drawn on turbo bitch eyebrows for the occasion.

  3. I commend you three fold for keeping your cool-- that is not an easy situation to do so.

    1. Still haven't had it out. I might not keep my cool as well as I would hope. We shall see.

  4. The ex (the one I am currently in the process of divorcing) let his unmedicated bipolar friend stay in our house for six months. He was only supposed to stay for a few days. He kept "accidentally" trapping the cats in the basement, where they would shit on the carpet (not their fault, of course). Our electric bill quadrupled. He kept eating our food, and started taking my vitamins. He didn't look for work and never contributed one penny. He destroyed my double-boiler and scratched up my Teflon pans, both of which were gifts. And the looks he kept giving me were not appropriate looks to give your friend's wife.

    I finally had to evict him. He never thanked us.

    And this is what let to my marriage falling apart. The ex kept saying I was being too harsh, I wasn't giving his friend a chance, etc. We were constantly at odds, so he went to the bar constantly. That didn't stop once I evicted the jerk. And that led to us splitting up and currently going through the process of getting divorced.

    My situation certainly isn't exactly the same, but I do understand a great deal of what you're going through. If you want to vent to me, please feel free. It's always good to have support, even if it's just from someone you know through blogging. My email is spookyseamstress AT gmail DOT com.

    1. Pixel, your situation seems WAY more awful than mine. You are a saint for putting up with any of that.

      I'm angry that I didn't get angry sooner.

    2. I wouldn't say mine was more awful. My cats were never in any danger, so it wasn't as terrible in that regard. (Of course, this isn't a contest either of us wins.)

      I certainly understand your anger. *I* had to evict my vagrant. The ex didn't do anything. He just wanted *me* to be the asshole. If I'd acted sooner, I could have spared myself (and my kitties) months of heartache. I'm proud of you that you're taking action to improve your situation. Stay strong. I know how hard it is.