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About fifteen minutes ago, I spontaneously decided to clean the floors in the apartment.

I want to say that it’s because we have a guest coming to visit. Let’s just say it’s a three parter, and that’s number one. Number two, I think I accidentally either stepped in something I’m allergic to or I have athlete’s foot. I’ve never HAD athlete’s foot, so I assume it’s because I put a purifying agent on my work uniform, threw it on the floor, then casually walked through it. Like a boss. It was just me, so I knew it would end up in the correct place and didn’t think that walking through it would be problematic for my feet.

The final part was actually the true motivation and last straw. I got mad at the cat. When I married Husband, I got a step-cat. Before we ever lived together, I was cool with Hera. Hell, I even liked Hera! She’s beautiful, she’s fluffy (back home, this is nice in the winter), and she’s got these big, pretty eyes.

Never name your cat after a goddess who was willful, spiteful, and cunning. Or just never name him/her after anyone Greek/god/goddess.

However, when Hera began residing in the same house as me, our feelings towards each other changed. It started with her yelling and jumping at me when he was gone.

“What did you do with mah man!?” she’d battle cry.

“Nothing!” I’d insist, really scared, like she was a mobster waving a gun in my face. “Stop raving at me!” (See the event, a rave, also stark raving mad, i.e. the cat.)

She makes this angry, growly meow, and then she would either attack my feet or jump at my face. Both of these things combined with the yowling were unpleasant. It was like when the thing in The Grudge makes that noise, and you KNOW it’s not a car alarm. She also grew up from age one on (the cat, not The Grudge) in a house full of college boys. Her way of loving is to play fight. She’s bitey. She likes to kick. She also hated not sleeping in the bed room, and my HUSBAND hated it. Because when she did, which was the first two nights, not only did he have a pissed off feline on his hands, he had an extremely agitated, angry, and sleep deprived wife.

I’m already prone to crying too much and getting angry at things that can’t get angry at me, so my husband figured out that what was better than having two women of different species losing their shit, it would be easier if just one did. Since the cat can’t divorce him, she began sleeping in another room (but had to grow into it. If she wants to, she can be heard from half a mile away inside or out, with closed doors. She’s THAT loud. When I’m on the phone, my mom hangs up when she hears her instead of complaining now). We both tried to make Hera as happy as possible, while I decided to try to train The Wild out of her. Note: when I say I become irate at things that can’t get mad back, what I mean is inanimate objects, stupid moments in film, and people who do almost nothing anyone would find offensive. Animals can totally get mad back. Example: bears.

I tried to make Hera love me, and I’d even cuddle her face. It’s annoying, I’ll admit, but I don’t think it’s annoying enough to warrant biting my cheek. On multiple occasions. At which point, I ended up admitting that not all cats love me. Then we got a dog. Who loves harassing the cat. The cat tolerates and even likes this, as it allows her an outlet that neither my husband or I allow from her. He’s usually in his office chair or unaffected, and when she does it to me, I scream. No exaggeration, I come from a family who reacts loudly to minimal things. Then the cat and I both run away, probably from low level ptsd. I was really depressed when we moved down here, and when she’d attack my feet, I’d scream and then burst into tears. She’s stopped doing it and probably still would if I thought it was funny to bother her in extreme ways, but I don’t. Even if I did, I doubt I would cry anymore. Unless it was a really bad day. Then I’d still yell, because I have two decades of genetics and nurture working against me.

Recently, one of my co-workers came to my house, and I remembered what good times Hera and I used to have. Mainly, because my co-worker really loves cats and wanted to be Hera’s bff. Hera was genuinely sad when she learned my co-worker was not coming to live with us. (I almost gifted her, except my co-worker might become a crazy cat lady.) At that moment, I made a concerted effort to be nicer to her. Because pets try to communicate with humans, but just like I learned when I had a double infection that made my throat, mouth, and lips swell, charades is really hard. Plus, she’s getting old, and I don’t want her to live out her last years thinking I’m a bitch all the time. I’d clearly get haunted, and the last thing I need is to get Fact-or-Fictioned by a cat that hates me.

Today though, she really got on my nerves. As a result, I decided to passive-aggressively mop the floors, because it requires me spraying cleaning agent everywhere. She hates sprays, so my cleaning is always an act of aggression, I just usually don’t think about it. Once upon a time, I tried to teach her to stop constantly meowing with water in a spray bottle. This never worked completely, because she got really good at knowing I would automatically spray her and just running from me. Phase two of her plan was always crying far enough away that she couldn’t get hit with water. She’s a rebel, and I would respect it more if it weren’t so grating. The other reason I attribute to my husband not reinforcing this and instead working against me. Like asking her questions where an answer is required on her part. I do this to other cats, mainly because they’re not mine. I do things that annoy him too, so I just stopped spraying her. However, she still gets freaked out whenever I bring out a spray, which isn’t often (I’m laid back about house cleaning), but is still really gratifying for me.

Instead of flipping out on her, I decided I would just get her paranoid. I started as far away from the living room as possible which is also as far away from Hera as I could get. When I got to the kitchen, I decided that my hard work deserved the last beer in the house, because, hell, it’s St. Patrick’s Day, and I’m doing an awesome job cleaning.

Well, I was until I opened the bottle. It would screw me over on my first and last beer of the day. The cap popped off and Guinness bubbled out all over the floor, the counter tops, and into the sink (the last where it ended up after it decided to become a geyser . The good news was I hadn’t mopped in there yet. The bad news was that now I needed to spray the counters.

Mourning a fair quantity of beer, I toweled it off and moved on. A good note is that I don’t put things away when I mop. I just mop around those things. Which means that everywhere there are shoes, I either went under or around. This includes furniture and recycling. Just a reminder to all that if you don’t put your shoes away, it’s going to be dusty. Sucks to be you and your shoes.

When I made it into the living room, I patted myself on the back that I’d done something positive instead of freaking out on the cat. Then she ran into the other room and decided to break into the hall closet. I don’t know why this angers me, but it probably has something to do with the fact that I don’t like cat hair on literally everything (it’s worthy to note that the dog is not allowed anywhere the cat isn’t, the exception being my lap). She does tend to get stuck and cry. I’ve also heard way too many stories in my life of “then the aggravated cat decided to urinate on literally EVERYTHING I OWNED.” Hera has never peed on anything that we know of while living with me, but I’m always trying to error on the side of caution. She was irked by my cleaning and decided to take revenge by going into the closet the mop had come from. I had closed this door, apparently, not well enough.

At this point, I noticed, said something along the lines of, “What? No means no, motherfucker!!!” and galloped towards the closet since I’m not about to slip on my shiny floor by running around like five year olds poolside at the YMCA. I yanked her out, put the mop in, this time closing it well.

Now, we’re all sitting on the couch. I’m enjoying the last beer in the house, still. The cat, exhausted from being a shit is napping. The dog is also napping, and probably pretty pleased that she’s my favorite. Mainly because she doesn’t make loud noises, jump at my face, does respond to training, and will allow being petted and cooed over without biting me on the face.

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