Sunday, January 1, 2012


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On Saturday, the last morning of 2011, I hated myself. It was leftover self-loathing from the night before, when I realized I had run out of our usual pet food.

I knew we were low—any pet owner should know when the supply is dwindling and it’s time to get more. But with the visitors and parties—and any number of other errors—the fact that my children’s last bag of kibble shook like a baby’s rattle did not register as seriously as it should have until it was too late.

Shameful in my neglectfulness, I had given them some tuna from a can earlier in the day. In the evening, I heated up a package of three-year-old instant peach oatmeal, let it cool, and put it on the floor.

Nope mama, we ain’t eatin’ that. Meep! Tails in the sky.

I wasn’t about to leave canned tuna out all night—as if it would have lasted longer than I could have placed it on the floor.

It was nearing all of our bedtimes, the stores were closed, and these girls had to have something in their food bowl before we parted for the night. I looked at our treat selection: organic wholesome delights, tartar control, hairball remedy, a Luna Iced Oatmeal Raisin bar. I decided on a mix of their most stringent and controlling treat collections, the last few pieces of stale kibble in the bag, and then—for flair—a fried egg on top. I sprinkled kibble dust from the bag over this mixture, setting the bowl on fire before placing it onto the floor of their room with a flourish.

“You guys are spoiled, but I love you!” I said as I shut them into their bedroom and dashed into mine, diving under the covers in shame.

We were all up yesterday at 6 a.m. as usual, them hungry again, me still with no food. The store didn’t open until 9 a.m., so we would have to continue waiting. A tiny more tuna…a few more icky hairball treatments…and then Wondermom was off to the pet store.

Now we’re in possession of lots of cat food, seed for our pigeons, and new fresh treats more along the lines of kitty junk food, just to make up for momma’s faux paw. “I will never mistreat you or neglect you again,” I promised, picking up the old bowl and putting down the fresh one filled with a mound of our regular food, just like it should be every morning.

Hours later, peeking in on the food situation, I noticed that the regular food remained untouched in Lucy and Sara’s bowl. In it was one of my sticky notes from the kitchen, stuck on a tooth pick: Nos gustó el huevo. They liked the egg.

I smiled, my first of the day.

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