living in an experiment gone awry

Ok, the story of my morning: alarm goes off at 8:30. I hit snooze. (I’m working from home for the next few weeks, so I don’t really have to keep set hours.) Teenie jumps down and promptly hurls up a big hairball right next to the bed. She has been barfing constantly for the past few days. I’ve upped how frequently I give her her hairball medicine, but it doesn’t seem to be helping. Ten minutes later (around the time the snooze went off), she barfed again. On the other side of the room. Spacing it out so I have to clean 2 little spots instead of a single big one, how considerate. Regardless, this isn’t enough to make me get out of bed, I just figure I’ll clean it later. The part that makes me feel bad is that she always acts ashamed of the barf and runs away when I’m cleaning it, like she thinks she’s done something wrong. So then I feel like a bad pet-owner, as though I’ve done something to make her feel shame for a function she has no control over.

Meanwhile, back in bed, I hit snooze a couple more times. Then my cell phone rings. It’s my mom, calling me from her cell phone, not home. That’s unusual because my mom almost never uses her cell, and she would never call me at 9 a.m. unless it was an emergency. My parents are moving this week, so I thought maybe the phone line in the house got disconnected early or something. I answer the phone, and I can hear both of my parents talking, but it’s in the background, they obviously aren’t on the phone. I yell “hello” a couple of times and get no response. I hang up & call the house. Mom answers on the first ring.

Me: “Why did you just call me from your cell?”
Mom: “What?”
Me: “You just called me from your cell phone, did you bump it or something? Maybe it dialed me by accident.”
Mom: (yells, even though my dad is probably standing 5 feet away) “Sam, bring me the damn cell phone!” (to me) “Sorry, I’ll try to remember to turn the key lock on.”

Ok fine, now I’m awake. I get up, grab My Morning Giant Glass O’ Water (part of my effort to drink 64 ounces a day) and sit down at my laptop. Teenie promptly settles herself in on my lap. A few minutes later, there is an eardrum-piercing screech that is so loud I jumped out of my chair. I’m not sure how fast Teenie’s reaction time is, if I knocked her off my lap or if she jumped when she heard the noise too, but either way, she beat a hasty retreat under the bed. About 5 seconds later, the screech stopped. I checked both of my smoke alarms, they were fine. Thirty seconds later, the screech happened again. And again. I put on my shoes, hiked downstairs to the office and asked the child-abusing apartment manager what was going on. She said that the fire department was here and that they’re testing the fire alarm system in the building, it’s just a routine maintenance thing they have to do every now & then. Ok, how long is this going to go on? (Keep in mind, it was 9:30 a.m. at the time.) She says until 1:00 p.m. Great.

I go back to my apartment, find the fire alarm speakers in my apartment (not difficult, there’s one in the living room & one in the bedroom) and cover them with duct tape so the sound is somewhat muffled. It’s still loud & annoying as hell, but it keeps me from having to stop what I’m doing to plug my ears every few seconds. Teenie, however, is still spooked and staying under the bed. I know cats have more sensitive hearing than humans, so even with the duct tape, it’s probably still painfully loud for her. I should get her some kitty ear plugs, poor thing.

So now it’s 3 hours later, and the screeching still hasn’t stopped. It’ll stop for a while, then it starts again. I am slowly going insane. Forget work, there’s no way I can concentrate on anything in these conditions. Maybe I’ll go clean cat barf to take my mind off of it. Yeesh.