At first, I thought it would be OK. $25 a day to dump some food in bowls. But then they told me, "Well, we really prefer to have someone stay in the house, because of the animals." The dogs have a doggie door and the cats of course have a litter box, but apparently one of the dogs has a bad hip and one of the cats is seventeen years old, yes, seventeen.
Anyway, I agreed, even though it didn't sound like that much fun. I went over there yesterday morning for the 'tour', and the man mentioned in passing, "Yeah, we've had a couple, um, incidents where the dogs have, uh, taken out people they don't know." Yes, as in grabbed by the arm and thrown to the ground. Can you see my enthusiasm building here?
He then continued, "The food box says 'Sophee' on it, because we had a puppy - well, she was 18 months old, but she was our puppy - who died; we think she got into a poisoned rat; it happened to several dogs in the neighborhood..." I was making all the appropriate sympathy noises when he suddenly pointed to a little object on the table, which I had taken to be a decorative vase, and said, "Yeah - that's Sophee. My wife's not too happy with me, because I haven't gotten around to putting her in the ground yet."
Not a vase. An urn. Filled with the ashes of a cremated dog.
Don't even try to tell me that the infamous 'Meet the Parents' scene isn't the first thing that flashes through your mind.
Anyhow, last night was OK. I fed the dogs, went to swim practice, then went back to the house (and took an actual bath, which was wonderful). All the dogs want is to be fed and to get a little attention, and, wonder of wonders, they actually shut up when you tell them to. 'Hmm, this might be OK,' I thought. So what if the seventeen-year-old cat is meowing incessantly, so what if the automatic water dispenser and the humidifier are clicking rather loudly, who cares? I can sleep through anything, right?
Well, I went to bed around 23.00 and woke up not once, not twice, but four times during the night. 0.20, 1.40, 2.30, and then at 6.30 by the dogs whining for breakfast, at which point I laid awake muttering threats for a while, then got up to hunt for my clothes... only to find that the younger cat, the one who had not yet caused me any trouble, had puked on the bed.
Hmm. So that's why the ancient cat was so upset. The other one ate his food.
Thus ensued an oh-so-exciting fight with the washing machine, after which I left before anything else had a chance to happen.
I do not want pets. Ever. Again.