For all my dog-loving friends.

You are mentally, spiritually and physically fatigued. All week you have slept poorly, dreamt badly and eaten healthfully. You are legitimately exhausted. You decide to watch a movie. You deserve it.

For reasons unknown to sane, rational humans, you have developed a penchant for romantic comedies of late. It is perhaps your method of supplementing your personal lack of both romance and comedy. While you have seen some entertaining examples of said genre, tonight’s choice, “Music and Lyrics” starring a very silly Drew Barrymore and the starting-to-show-his-age Hugh Grant, is not one to own. Frankly, its not even one to admit having seen to a stranger on the bus. The disgusted look the cat gives you midway through the show is surely a personal judgment rather than a typical display of felinious cattitude.

You are still exhausted but now also disappointed in yourself for having wasted over an hour on such insipid drivel. You decide a bath will soothe you enough to go to sleep at a decent hour. You begin running the bath and using the expensive bath salts you save for unknown occasions that never arrive. Looking in the mirror you realize it is decidedly time for a facial. You apply a sticky cucumber-ginseng gel mask. It is supposed to dry and then peel off in one big piece, taking all your skin’s nasty business with it.

Face sticky, book in hand, you approach the tub. You are feeling zen. This will surely be blissful, transcendent and everything you need. Stepping into the tub you realize the water is hotter than the fires of hell. Do a little dance, splashing water all over the bathroom floor, yelling, cursing, and scaring the cat away. Your feet are bright red and hopefully not scalded in a clinical or culinary sense. Do a huffy, Lamaze-type breathing thing. Regroup. Turn on the cold faucet.

The bath temperature is slightly reduced. Slide under the suds. You begin to read your book and realize the bath is still too hot. You are beginning to sweat. A lot. While you may have avoided third-degree burns on your feet, this bath is still decidedly above jacuzzi-level loveliness. And this peel-off mask needs to dry onto dry skin to achieve peel-off status. The so-called peel-off mask is now dripping off your cheeks and running down your neck with all the gooey texture of melting gelatin. You continue to sweat.

The cat jumps onto the bathtub ledge. She looks at the bubbles in the water and moves as if to swat at your knee, visible intermittently through the foam. You push her off the ledge, down to the floor. You know how this game can end, having previously cut baths short due to fishing a wet cat from the water, and using your own bath towel to dry her off while you stand shivering, wet and naked with only a fur-covered towel and damp washcloth to dry yourself.

The cat jumps back up and promptly dips her tail into the water. She whips the tail around slinging a stream of water in your eyes, which mixes with the cucumber-ginseng-jello- sweat-goo now running off your forehead. Oh hell, that burns! You may be irreversibly blinded. You shriek loudly, tossing the book across the room. The cat, only mildly unsettled at your second outburst of the evening, hops off the tub. Glaring at you, as you have clearly ruined her mellow bath experience, she stalks off, wet tail swishing.

Realizing that you have exceeded your joy quota with the bath, you drain the tub and set to removing the jello mask that is obviously not going to “peel-off” in this lifetime.

Cleaned up now, even more tired, and somewhat defeated, you decide it is not too early to go to bed. You lie down with the book again, glad to bid this day farewell.

The cat returns, this time dragging her ass along the carpet, which can only indicate one thing. You leap out of bed as though YOUR ass is the one with the problem. You are not about to scrub cat skid marks out of the carpet. No sir, not tonight. You have officially had it. You grab the cat, clean up her furry behind and plead with her to stop tormenting you. You then crawl the expanse of carpet from cat box to your bedroom. Sniffing and examining for signs of cat poop. Miraculously, you find none. You spritz some Febreeze around just for good measure. You are glad for this one small thing.

You go back to lay down in bed. The cat is asleep on your pillow.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Nicole Whalen’s story.