Home Maintenance Madness

It's time to call a pet behaviorist
It’s time to call a pet behaviorist

As reported by Noah Vail equine author extraordinaire


Madam reported to me that her First Born purchased a home – not one of those gargantuan manors that sprung from the middle of a once charming pasture. She qualified for a 1951 bungalow. This is good, since the First Born knows less than a crumb about home maintenance.

Night one. The first phone call came at midnight.

“How much is it going to rain?” demanded the First Born who never guessed that weather reports were a daily occurrence in Minnesota.

“I couldn’t tell you,” Madam mumbled from under the Hairball Pets that share her pillow. “Why do you ask? More to the point, why do you ask at midnight?”

“It’s just wrong,” moaned the First Born.

“Yes, It does seem a bit off to ring at midnight requesting a meteorology report,” offered Madam with a yawn. “Have you tried turning on your TV, or phoning the State Climatology Department?”

The call ended with Madam’s assurances that a little rain would not extinguish the 1951 bungalow. It did, however, deposit a smidge of water on the basement floor. This prompted a second call.

“How do I get rid of water in the basement?” wailed the First Born. “Should I call the home inspector? How about the seller? She never told me this would happen. Do I need a plumber? Do you have a Wet Vac? Should I contact the DNR?”

“Just wipe it up with a towel,” sighed Madam. To my knowledge, the DNR does not manage wet basements unless you’re harboring wildlife down there,” she added.

Day two, call number three: “Do you have a hammer? How about a Phillips screwdriver? By the way, what is a Phillips screwdriver?” queried the First Born. “I bought a vacuum and it requires some minor assembly?”

Oh dear. “Have you read the instructions?” Madam asked the daughter that could barely turn the lights out without a tutorial.

“Also, the frig is making grinding sounds that frighten the cats,” declared the First Born. “Do you have a cooler to store my frozen food? That’s it, I’m calling the realtor.”

“I’m sure she will appreciate hearing how well you’re getting along in your new home,” replied Madam.

Day three call four: “I’m locked out.”

“How is it that you’re locked out at 5:00 a.m.?” Madam asked evenly.

“It was the cats that kept me awake. They aren’t adjusting well. I need to call a pet behaviorist,” sobbed the First Born. “It’s dark out.”

“I see that,” soothed Madam. “I’ll come get you.”

“And please bring coffee,” begged the first Born.

Dressed in pajamas and a pair of rubber Wellies, Madam pulled up to the curb and observed her First Born wrenching an oversized cat kennel out the porch door and stumbling down the front steps.

“How did you happen to bring the cat along?” Madam quizzed.

“He might have to go number two, and I figured you have cat litter at your house,” explained the First Born. “I’m out of litter.”

 Indeed. “Do you think you should put the house back on the market and move home?” queried Madam.

“Maybe,” said the First Born.

“Or, maybe not,” added Madam.










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