„This oven drives me mad“, I said to the vet a few weeks ago. The vet sat on the couch and Queen Cat purred in his lap. The oven is a beast. It heats up and then just when you turn your back to it, it goes off again. So I am stuck head over in the oven to check if the broccoli is rather half burnt or still half raw. Ten more minutes I say and curse the oven again „Read On“, says the vet. I do need to ask you a favor. Go on, say I and continue to peel the kaki for the salad. You know I am going to this conference in the US, don’t you? I nod. San Diego, says the vet. Nice weather say I. Well, umm you know I don’t have anybody who might be able to look after my dog. Could you? The vegetable peeler fell clattering into the sink. No I said, don’t even think of it. I am fed up with Queen Cat, who resembles more a little dragon than a proper cat. Of course Queen Cat pretended she hasn’t heard a word and spreaded all across the sofa. Listen the vet said, I know but I asked everybody and nobody can take him. ( Him is a giant dog, a furry calf that resembles more a bog than a domesticated animal.) Did you ever wonder why?, I snapped back but the vet just as Queen Cat ignored my attempts to be the voice of reason. Just for ten days, he said. He is so sweet and so well-behaved, the vet muttered on. Really, I said this is exactly what L. said just before she left me with this disaster and shot a sharp glance to Queen Cat’s direction, who yesterday messed up my desk so badly that I thought I will never be able to bring order in my notes again. The door is now closed and will stay closed for along, long time. You know I said to the vet, when I have to get up? The vet nodded and looked as if he were about to cry. This is manipulation I said and nothing else. Ten days, said the vet, only for ten days. I sighed and took the stew out of the oven.
For ten days I get up at 5AM to walk the furry beast for an hour. It is wet and cold and the dog is not the cleverest. He walks into every single puddle and needs to be cleaned afterwards. He does not smell nice either. Not surprisingly He and Queen Cat don’t get on well and of course how could it be otherwise, the moment I am leaving the house the beast jumps on my bed and falls asleep. The kitchen is turned into a battlefield. Queen Cat insists on eating first, then angrily hides on top of the cupboard to hiss like a snake when the dog comes for food, before she jumps down trying to hinder the dog from eating. Queen Cat gets dismissed from the kitchen and scratches me so badly, that I am thinking of googling cat adoption websites. At the ninth day i sit down after another long walk in the evening.The dog chews on a bone ( a most irritating noice ), Queen Cat relaxes on the newspaper and I have a piece of carrot cake. Then the phone rings. It is the vet. Vet I say, how is your conference going?( It has something to do with cow diseases.) Listen says the vet I don’t know how to tell you but I just sprained my ankle and won’t be able to catch the flight. I try to breath in and out very, very slowly and the only thing I can ask before I explode is: how long? Dunno, is not a too reassuring answer. With the telephone still in my hand, I curse the universe, g*d, the cat and the furry beast, L. and the vet, the injustice of things and that’s always me, who gets smashed but most of all things I curse this damn oven, because if I only weren’t distracted by its tendency to burn things or to not work at all, I would have, never, ever said yes.