Painting with The Pets, a new rival to Dancing with the Stars

Dorene's trials and tribulations with her companion animal helpers who also like to paint the house and walls

Hello to all!

I sure hope that your sweltering summer heat has not been making you as miserable as it has been making this Pacific Northwest Native.  I am about as unhappy as my chickens and turkeys, who actually have been getting a reprieve by me leaving the sliding glass door open for the a/c to get out to them, much to David's chagrin.  But when they pile up at the door, they quit panting and their little eyes close in relief ... it seems the least that I can do.  They also are getting frozen water jugs in their water bowls and frozen gallon milk jugs in front of their fan and loose, for them to cuddle up to (which they do, in spades).

So, since I can't be out gardening, I decided to repaint the interior of the house.  This is not easy to do with pets, wandering around with cabin fever.  So far, Quill the Border Collie has made a collage of tail wag marks in the hallway, Gulliver the Scottish Deerhound has leaned on the kitchen wall, and Whimmer the Cockatoo escaped the Ladder Monster by flying wildly straight into the wall then sliding down its entire length (Bird Brain!).  He got a shower for his efforts - elbows, chest, tail, talons and wing feathers had all become "Downy", which is, ironically, the name of the paint colour.

All of this pales in comparrison to my World's Most Disfunctional Cat, Scruffles.

I adopted Scruffles from her dying owner when Scruffles was 15 years old.  She is the most Upside Down Cat that I have ever had - David says that she was absent in Kitten Kindergarten the day they handed out the memo of cats always landing on their feet - she doesn't.  It is not that she can't - she is just laid back to a fault and expects someone to catch her, which is not always feasable or possible, but she is lacadaisical and does not care.

Last year I was painting the bedroom a deep magenta red.  Scruffles, with all her UpSideDown-ness, came casually strolling into the room.  She brought all of her long haired, orange tabby fur coat with her.  I immediatly decided that this was NOT a good situation and raised my roller at her, demanding in a threatening tone that she exit immediatly. 

She disdainfully looked at me, unimpressed with my roller, and turned to casually stroll out the same way that she had casually strolled in, when suddenly, things went south.

In one giant, acrobatic leap, she spun around, flew thru the air, and landed four square in the roller pan.  As nonchalantly as if she did this every day, she prompltly sat down in the pan.  All of her glorious, long haired, long-lenghted tail sat down with her.  She looked serene and demure.

I screamed.  I threw my roller brush on the drop cloth.  I lunged for the cat.

The cat immediately re-assessed her spa situation and decided Rapidly Exiting The Bedroom would be a wise course of action.  She bolted.  I followed in hot pursuit.

Our map that immediatly followed looked much like those Family Circus cartoons with the dotted lines of the wee ones' trips in and out of house and yard.  Our house is an open floor plan, so suffice it to say that for several hours afterwards I was cleaning magenta paint off the dishwasher and refridgerator, off two of the three shocked dogs and the beds that they had been laying in, off the hallway walls and floor, off three front rooms' hardwood floors, off the breakfast bar, and off the kitchen cabinets and some book shelves thrown in for good measure.

The final straw was when she lined herself up for a leap onto the brand new, much awaited and saved-up-for couch.  While she was in mid-air, I summoned my best Hail Mary Flying Tackle and we fell to the ground together, just missing the couch.  It is a good thing that I was wearing my Paint Clothes.  For me, painting is a contact sport, and any paint that actually lands on the wall is just a bonus.  Now I have a Designer Cat Shape Print in magenta on a t-shirt, which, as of yesterday, has an added-on Cockatoo Silouette.  I should go into designer clothing, I think.

So tonight, when I don my One of a Kind Clothing, all the pets are going to be happily locked up away from the Danger Zone, playing and unpackaging puzzle toys with treats in them to keep them occupied, and I shall boringly finish my painting endeavors. 

Wish me luck!
Dorene and The Crew, considering a new commercial enterprise

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Deb August 07, 2012 at 08:32 AM
Great story! Reminds me of MDC (MY dysfunctional cat) and the time he could have and probably should have been tarred & furred by my Dad. Dad was at home recovering from prostate cancer & had a catheter installed. My cat, whom I was desperately trying to keep in one room during Dad's recovery, escaped one day and, of course, headed straight for my Dad with me in hot pursuit. As I lunged to grab him before he got to Dad in the recliner, he jumped, snagging the catheter cord with his back foot. My poor Dad had an "instant catheter de-installation" thanks to my cat. Can we say OUCH!? It is testament to my father's good nature that he not only did NOT tar & furr the cat in retaliation but lived to retell this story time & time again. As Woody Allen said so aptly "Comedy is tragedy plus time."
Dorene Olson August 07, 2012 at 07:09 PM
OH NO!!!!! I had major surgery one time and did not realize that they had catheterized me until later, when they removed it (ok, gorked out on morphine, usually more observant than that!). They informed me that the first time, while I was under, was not a problem to put it in, but warned me that if I needed it replaced while awake that that would be a situation entirely different. Your POOR DAD!!!! Tell him that I think that he is a great guy - I would have wanted a word with that kitty, myself! Dorene
Nancy Miner August 08, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Dorene you are a really good story teller. Made me laugh out loud!
Dorene Olson August 08, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Hi Nancy! I think that my animals in particular and the world in general were put here for me to laugh at - I love how funny life is! My Irish heritage helps me muddle through all that life throws at me by always being able to find a funny good in every bad, and I am grateful for that inherited character trait - laughing takes the same energy as crying, and is so much more fun :). Thanks for your comments - people for years have been telling me to write a book, and boy, am I having fun blogging. Keep laughing - Dorene and The Painting Pets


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