Last night we had the pleasure of hosting our neighbors for dinner. In attendance were the Young Fun Couple, newly engaged Christmas Tree Guy and his fiancée, Chris, me, and rather unfortunately, two dogs and two of our three cats.
I mostly enjoy entertaining. What I certainly do not enjoy is the unpredictability of entertaining with so many damned pets in the house. They have the potential to create absolute chaos in a nearly infinite number of gross and disgusting ways. It makes for an unnerving hosting experience.
I planned a simple meal and had cleaned the house the previous day. So I had a relatively easy morning which I frittered away playing on the bed with Mac and watching What Not to Wear. That was followed by a very easy early afternoon that I equally wasted by reading a magazine while Mac napped.
At two o’clock I decided I had better get off my ass and get dinner going. Everything was going along pretty well. I even managed to assemble the lasagna while Mac was in the Sleepy Wrap with relatively little trouble.
I was feeling pretty smug actually. I was preparing dinner with pleasure and purpose. The asshole cats had not licked the cooling cake or the antipasti. Tilghman did not pull the bread off the counter and ravage it. I certainly didn’t have high hopes of some elegant affair, yet I was feeling moderately confident we might actually have a nice evening unmarred by pet related drama.
Our company was supposed to arrive about 6:30. Chris arrived home timely and walked the dogs. As usual, we fed the dogs after their walk and Chris went upstairs to tend to Mac while I continued preparing our supper.
Promptly at 6:30 Young Fun Couple arrive. Chris was still upstairs with Mac so I made a futile attempt to keep the dogs under control while these poor folks attempted to get past the threshold.
One would have thought these dogs had been starved of all human attention for three months! They were wild with excitement. Tilghman in particular went bonkers on Bill – rubbing, jumping, racing through the house.
It was a tad embarrassing. At least there was no humping or inappropriate sniffing.
Several minutes later Christmas Tree Guy and future wife show up and Tilghman put on the same freak show for them. We all gather in the kitchen around the antipasti. Molly was sporting her two-foot wide plastic head cone. Tilghman was wiggling and jumping and unbeknownst to me, sneak-drinking a LOT of water. Our cat Dexter was poised on kitchen stool dangerously close to the food. I was keeping a watchful eye on that sneaky bastard. He’s like a little rat. I notice the other tabby Edison lurking in the shadows of the desk. He walks on EVERYTHING. He’s uncontrollable and borderline obnoxious.
Chris comes downstairs after putting Mac to sleep. We have some wine and share a toast and even though I’m still feeling uneasy about what our domesticated furry friends might pull, I feel more confident having Chris’s assistance in averting any pet related debacles.
Not more than ten minutes later, our pleasant conversation is interrupted by perhaps the most unavoidable of all pet disasters. Tilghman, who had strategically positioned himself in the center of the kitchen, smack in the middle of our conversation, stands up and begins to wretch.
Everything happens in slow motion. . .
“Tilghman!” Chris and I say nearly in unison. We both lunge towards him.
But it’s already too late.
In one impressive heave his stomach empties its contents all over the floor. A split second later, Tilghman flops down on the floor beside a massive pile of water-bloated partially digested dry dog food.
Everyone looks on in stunned silence.
As Chris cleans up the vile mess, I query sheepishly, “Anyone hungry?”