The cat is spritzing the house with her special scent. She does it in secret, when there are no human eyes to watch and catch her in the act, but she is as guilty as the day is long. And it feels extra long with an ammonia aroma wafting through the air.
At first, I thought it my just my overactive nose, sniffing out phantom smells as an amputee still feels tingling in their toes. Then I stepped into a wet shoe. I picked it up, not understanding how it could have rained inside. Then I looked suspiciously at Little Legs.
“Did you do something to Mama’s shoe?”
“Shhhh?” he shook his head stared up at me with innocent eyes.
During the interrogation, the cat sprinted through the room, drawing attention away from the defendant who patiently endured this line of questioning in order to go outside.
“You!” I shouted at the cat and raised the shoe to my nose.
Instantly, I knew who was to blame and that an apology was due.
“Mama is sorry for blaming you. The cat was the naughty one today.”
He shook his finger at the cat, “No, no, no.”
As for the guilty party, I should have made alternative living arrangements for her after she nearly blinded Little Legs with one hardly accidental swipe across his sweet face last year.
Instead, I covered for her and cut her claws. Very. Very. Short.
Just this week, I caught her hitting Baby Brother when I foolishly turned my back on the two of them during tummy time. Luckily, there were no marks. Apparently, she has become an expert abuser.
I know what needs to be done and that she needs to move on and into a childless house. Yet, I feel responsible for her with a maternal attachment, after all, I raised her from a kitten with eyes barely open to the creature that now mauls house guests, pees in my shoes and terrorizes our sons.
The enemy is clear, it is my guilty conscience, and it is ruining everything.