I do have first to start with that statement: I do not litter. I pick up litter, and I cannot stand people who do litter.

Now that it’s out of the way, there are a few things which creep me out: Switzerland, Naples in Florida, and one of my girlfriend’s townhouse! Why would you tell me? I cannot stand perfection, and yes perfection creeps me out. In Switzerland – my mother was at one point married to a Swiss guy! – Sometimes, just sometimes, and it’s just a wicked thought but I just would love to drop something on the sidewalk to make it alive and just alter the perfection. Naples in Florida is the same way, and I am not even talking about my girlfriend’s townhouse which is the essence of perfection. Even her cats seem coming from Stepford: the perfect cats enjoying being the perfect cats in a place with throw blankets are neatly folded on immaculate armchairs – she must have got the only two cats in this world that don’t shed! – Sweet little doily just in the exact middle of the coffee table with fragile tiny flowers which would not survive in my home for 5 minutes.

Now why these tiny flowers would not have survived at my home? My cats would have knocked them down in a second, and if they had not, then my pack of dogs galloping through the house would have done it. I almost have to hold on to my 3 foot vase when they display their wild side!

This is also the reason, my girlfriend, who might just be more like an acquaintance now that I think about it, never comes to my house. We meet in neutral grounds. The last time she came for dinner, she had that look on her face staring at my dogs thinking so loud: these dogs are so vile! One time, I wanted to scare her, and told her that if I die before the mutts, I named her in my will as the dog’s guardian, and she looked at me with horror, and then said softly: NO! Sorry I do have sometime a wicked sense of humor!

OK, I am letting go of perfection to get where I wanted to go: my house! Years ago, I had children and at one point, I think I was still dreaming of a perfect house (meaning furniture, since the dad was already out of the picture and I was not looking to fill up the position!), and one day I took a hard look at myself, yes I do sometimes! What did really matter? A perfect polished house or spending special time with my girls? I chose that path, and never looked back!

The girls grew up, and now I share my house with my 7 dogs and my 3 cats. I am not talking about the fish in the fish tank! I got the fish tank to entertain my cats, but they got tired really fast of it, especially after Charlie fell into the tank a few times trying to learn how to swim! So I am stuck with 5 fish, included a crazy one which only swims upside down. I cannot even look at it, it makes me dizzy. When I have some friends over, they make comments like “Weird, a fish tank without fish!” I have to explain – as I type this, I wonder if I should not staple a “fish tank explanation”. I have 5 fish left, and I am not a mean person, so I am waiting for them to die of natural causes, then I will put the fish tank to give away in Zeuscorner classified ads! The problem with my fish is that THEY DON’T WANT TO DIE! I have been living with them for 6 years and they still seem pretty feisty to me. The fish tank guy told me five years max! Yeah? Really, not mine!


I just got lost in the fish tank thing. At least I don’t have a snapping turtle like another girlfriend of mine that she kept for a good 30 years in a fish tank until her ex-husband (the girlfriend’s one not the turtle’s) got tired of it, and put it back in the wild.

So, yes, I do live with dogs and cats. We are just a regular American family! My cats are not the type who can walk between chess pieces on a chessboard. To even go further, not only they cannot walk on it without knocking everything down, but I even lost the Black King! It went MIA a few years ago, and never came back! But I do have regular cats: Caramel who is doing much better now that he is on Prozac, Charlie a sweetheart, and Milou a devilish cat obsessed with my mutts ’tails. He can hide forever on a dining room chair, little paw in the air to grab a passing happy tail!

And then: the plat de resistance: my mutts! Opposite to the kids, they do not clean up after them. They don’t understand the notion of putting their toys back in the toys basket, but they do understand the concept of emptying my paper recycling can! I don’t know what they expect to find in it, but maybe it’s their best game: let’s go see what Mom put in the paper recycling can! At least, it makes a bit more sense that what my ex-partner for a business was doing these last few months: going through my recycling trash can at the curb. He did it several times, and I still can’t figure out why: first, I shred anything of any value, so maybe he is into puzzles, and then even if he had found something, I don’t think he ever got the fact that I don’t own any truth, I work hard at what I do.

To go back to the mutts, another difference from children is that they SHED. No matter how often I brush them: they shed, and shed, and shed, except Sammie my little one like it’s going to make a difference! So, every day, I sweep the floor, and if people were seeing how much hair and dust I get each time, they would believe that I almost never clean the house. I do, I do! Every single day. But hold your horses there: I sweep the floor, and clean up the surfaces but don’t even think that I am going to clean up every day the dogs’ nose art on my windows. It’s precious! I used to put drawings from my girls on the fridge door, now I am displaying the mutts’ nose art on my glass door!

So, yes, I live in a house full of dogs, cats, and life and I can assure you there is never a dull moment! The dull moments were when I was living with my ex-husband! In every aspect of life, we have to make concessions, and I learned to do that a long time ago, so my house is not perfect, but you know what I like it even better that way!

If you come for dinner, you might find some dog’s hair stuck to your clothes if you sit on the couch, but hey they live there. You are just visiting! And it’s THEIR couch! I might even add that sometimes, just sometimes, you might even find a dog’s hair in a dish I prepared, but hey what the heck, it’s proteins!

In conclusion, I really don’t judge how anyone lives. I can make fun of them, but I do make fun of myself as well, so I guess it does mean that we are even! If you come to my house, yes, you could see chaos, and some dog toys on the floor and even some remains of toys, especially if you come just after the mutts ‘meals: Sophie, one of my yellow lab has to kill a stuffed toy before she can ever eat! But what you will also find is love! They will give you kisses for all the days where you haven’t been to Muttstown, and they will even allow you to enjoy the dinner, and I am a good cook, dog’s hair or not dog’s hair!

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