My brother inherited a white and pastel blue dining room table — and four coordinating chairs — from his first college roommate in 2005. Despite my mom’s pleas, Cory insisted on keeping this table, saying, “What’s wrong with it? It works.” Goodwill was spared.
|This isn’t Cory’s Alice in Wonderland dining room set, but it’s pretty darn close.|
I stepped in, offering to prime and paint the table and chairs to match the apartment’s Virginia Tech-inspired walls. With the paint bought and ready to go, Cory, my mom, and Cory’s second roommate, Lindsay, left to go to a football game. My Shetland Sheepdog (Shelley), and Lindsay’s 90-pound Boxer (Bernard) and kitten (Isis) accompanied me for the afternoon.
Bernard was clumsy, slobbery, and thought that the apartment was his playground, so I locked him on the porch before the procedure. Shelley was an older and more mellow gal, so I left her at her resting spot on the couch. And Isis… well, I didn’t know where Isis was, and assumed that she was either asleep or preying upon her stuffed mice. Therefore, I decided that the orange paint can was safe on top of a chair, blocked behind the table I was currently painting, and in the corner of the room.
NOT EVEN three minutes after I started painting, little Isis crept behind me, around the table, across the drop cloths, around the toolboxes, on top of the chair, and dove headfirst into the orange paint can.
I screamed. I woke up Shelley, which set off a barking and whimpering frenzy. I startled Bernard, who started howling aimlessly on the porch. Isis, after having been completely submerged in the paint can, suddenly sprung into the air, skirted across the table top, leaped onto the backside of the sofa, lunged onto the floor, darted across the carpet, and disappeared around the corner.
There was a lot of cursing, clawing, scrambling, and barking. I managed to wrangle Isis from underneath Cory’s bed and into the bath tub. Welp, that bath failed. Isis shredded the shower curtain liner, among other things. To keep her in one place, I locked her and her flailing wet claws in Shelley’s dog crate; Isis proceeded in painting a mural of orange paint on the inside of it. Isis was reluctant to receive a bath via a wet washcloth, but it did its job. I checked the paint can for toxicity labels. I called the vet. And I did a whole lot of cleaning, soaking, wiping, scrubbing, and scraping.
Orange streaks, claw marks, and Isis’ petite pawprints littered the ENTIRE apartment. I worked furiously for hours to remove any signs of evidence, but it was too much. My mom, Cory, and Lindsay returned from the football game to a complete war zone. Who knew the wrath of a kitten could be so catastrophic.
All of this… for an orange and maroon table that Cory and (later) I loved, hated, and destroyed all throughout our college years.
|That poor table has been through a lot.|
In June of last year, when I was in the process of moving out of that beloved apartment, I discovered a series of tiny orange pawprints scattered across the floor under the bathroom sink. And I couldn’t help but smile.