Sometimes Life Lessons Smell Like Cat Pee
“People very often say to me, ‘How did you do it, how did you raise a baby and write a book?’ And the answer is–I didn’t do housework for four years. I am not superwoman. And, um, living in squalor, that was the answer.” — JK Rowling
“I can’t even get the laundry room door open,” I shout to the general assembly of my family one weekday morning.
“The cat doesn’t even have anywhere to walk,”
Zero people are listening to me.
The low-grade bustle of a weekday school morning.
And then I smell it. The unmistakeable ammonia of cat pee.
I swear under my breath (okay, out loud) and begin to weed out the towels on which she’s peed. Poor girl. The laundry room is such a mess. Honestly, I kinda feel like peeing on everything too.
Turns out that running a business (however aligned, soul-based, spiritual, passionate, delightful) from home while raising a toddler and a nine year old while my husband works away is not actually super easy or restful. Nor is it particularly tidy.
There are a lot of late nights.
A lot of banging my head against walls and feeling like I have no idea what I’m doing. Sometimes I try to sell shit and no one buys it, even though all I want to do is help them.
lol says Life.
I go into my daughter’s room to collect her violin for this afternoon’s practice and discover that some of her clothes are wet.
Brand new clothes.
Clothes we couldn’t really afford for me to have ordered from Children’s Place out of the States. So cute. Saturated in cat pee.
I call my husband, “the cat peed on everything,” and then hang up on him.
Bless his heart. Ten hours away and he stays married to me when I do things like this.
I dump all of the urine-soaked fabrics into the tub with about fifty dollars worth of apple cider vinegar, while crying.
“Is her litter box dirty?” my husband texts (because he’s afraid to call me back…)
I check before I reply, because in all honesty I can’t even remember if I’ve cleaned it recently. It’s clean…like, too clean. Not a single footprint marks the litter.
There are emails to write and posts to post and livestreams to live and clients to see (did I mention that I’m helping said clients come up with mindsets that are more conducive to creating lives that feel really good for them?). But none of that is getting done right now.
Because, right now, I am collecting and laundering and putting away every single article of fabric that might possibly be mistaken for a litterbox. Evidently, Charlie Brown the Girl Cat has gotten confused.
I’m trying to breathe, but freaking out, and as I rifle through literally every piece of clothing that my family of four is in current possession of, I realize that…some of this stuff doesn’t even fit anymore.
I start some bags for the charity shop and add more and more items to it. And, to my surprise (WHY, after all this time, does stuff still surprise me so? Silly human) it feels REALLY good to be making some space.
Really good. It feels like freedom.
Now, I’m not one of those spiritual people who’s going to tell you that less is more or that you can only be a spiritual winner if you’re a minimalist. Mostly because that feels like judgement and it doesn’t feel very free to me. And, to be totally candid, freedom is the only thing that I’m chasing here in this meat suit of a human body that I wear. My soul is constantly looking for room to run.
I started what has now become an international manifestation and mindset-based transformational coaching business on a wing and a prayer, about four years ago. Actually, I left my corporate job to become a yoga teacher and then left teaching because I was hella pregnant with my son and had to grunt to get up off the floor. I started my online business so that I could A: help people and have fun doing it and B: not have to go back to a 9–5 job.
It was supposed to be fun. And, even more so, it was supposed to be freeing.
If I’m freaking out about my messy house and my over-scheduled schedule, it’s definitely not free. And everything I’ve ever learned about manifestation tells me that if I’m not attracting that which I desire by rolling around in the cat-pee soaked mess of my current situation.
I just don’t believe that stuff happens TO us. I believe that life is constantly happening FOR us. It’s a belief that I choose and affirm on the daily.
So I clean up all the cat pee clothes, some of which have to go into the garbage because the smell won’t come out. And no one dies (not even the cat…)
And I donate four bags of too-small, un-worn clothes to people who will be really happy to grab them up at charity-shop prices.
And my dad brings over a new litter box with new litter because, evidently, the old one is no longer acceptable.
And we put it in a new place, which is better than the old place.
And everything goes back to being imperfectly perfect in my queen-dom. A little cleaner, and a little more vinegary. At least the laundry is done. There are usually bright sides and silver linings.
What was the spiritual lesson of my cat-pee saga?
Welp. I learned that a little flexibility goes a long way.
That apple cider vinegar really is (almost) as miraculous as they say
That cats do weird things sometimes for reasons unknown
That when I’m feeling wadded up about life, sometimes de-cluttering is a mightily freeing exercise
and that self-forgiveness goes a long way in life, business, spirituality, and housekeeping.
Which reminds me…I should go clean the cat box.