Reflections: Backpacking, Day 3

Ah yes, where was I?

Day 3.

I woke up and immediately felt that there was something wrong. The fibers of my being tingled with the anticipation of horror. And I would not be disappointed. Well, I was disappointed but not for lack of horror. As I rubbed my eyes in the wee hours of the morning, I caught errant food wrappers blowing in the wind. Hm, those food wrappers look very familiar. 

I walked out of my friend’s tent that I had been sleeping in (from the night before when I was too terrified of the bison and the Three Horsemen of the Apocalypse traipsing through camp) and saw that my backpack appeared askew and suspiciously empty.

It took a few seconds of basic deductive skills but then I realized what had happened and ran to my backpack to confirm my suspicions.

Yep. All of my food: gone.

THOSE DAMN FOXES. I had thought they were so adorable and cute the day before but now I wanted to make nice little fox muffs out of them.

I don’t know if I have mentioned this before but I am a high-maintenance eater through a poor grab-bag of genetics that happened when I was conceived – THANKS MOM AND DAD. I am allergic to gluten and dairy and thus, mostly subsist on dairy-free and gluten-free items made by hippies. It also tends to double as bird food. And, as was the case during this backpacking trip, fox food. The point is, my special diet (or “funny diet” as my friend puts it) is expensive. I lost twenty dollars worth of food in one go. My wallet just made a sad face when I typed that out.

The foxes ate well, I can assure you. They went into my bag with their muddy little paws and just ran off with the entire bag of food. Yeah, I hear all you backpacking experts yelling at me, “ROOOOOKIE MISTAKE!! AHAHAHA YOU DESERVED IT, DUMMY.”

Well, at the other campsite, I tied my food away from where I was sleeping in a tree. In my sleepless delirium and bison-induced terror, I had forgotten to put my food into a safe area. Or, as we all saw that morning, into the FOOD LOCKERS on the other side of the campsite. Ah, well. Because I would starve otherwise, I had to make the entire camping group trek to the airport again so I could get a few things to tide me over. The whole time I was swearing about those stupid foxes and their stupid scavenging ways.

Then, a little later, I remembered how cute foxes are and got less mad. They were just doing their job of being sneaky little foxes and my gluten-free food probably fed a newborn fox. So, good job me!!!!! I fed foxes. I hope they got poisoned and die.

JUST KIDDING. I love animals. They’re probably fine, guys. Let’s get back to who was truly affected here: ME.

We made it to the airport restaurant at which point I ate something that tripped one of my allergy wires and immediately felt ill. Unfortunately, on the trail, there is no room for whining so I ate 45132434 TUMS and carried on. Plus, I knew I could come back and whine on my blog.

Finally, we arrived at our final campsite after 32 ish miles of mountain hiking and I set up my tent. My knee had ballooned to three times its normal size and I had to have my friend act as my crutch. Other people on the island seemed concerned that I was limping around like an injured prey animal but I waved them off. Secretly, I was crying inside because I was in so much pain. I couldn’t bend my knee so I got some help putting up my tent and went inside to rest. I decided that my food would only be safe if I slept with it in my pillow. WRONG. I should have just gone back to my wisdom of Day 1 and tied it in a tree.

During the night, a single fox came up to the tent. I was asleep and then I heard slow, shuffling feet coming close to me. I opened my eyes and saw a small shape outside of  my tent and immediately grabbed my flashlight; it was a stupid fox!! And when I shined my flashlight at it, it looked at me like, “LOLWUT?” I had to hiss at it to make it go away. (I’m not sure why that was my instinctive anti-fox noise, it just came out.) However, a few minutes later, it was back and this time I yelled at it and it scampered off. Then, I set my flashlight up so it would partly illuminate the area outside my tent. I thought this would be a deterrent. And it was! For foxes, anyway.

Not more than twenty or so minutes of drifting into a light sleep, I heard a mewing noise. My ears pricked up because any cat-like sound attracts my attention. I shined my flashlight and a deer was just walking through the campsite and looked as if it were on its way to my tent. So I shooed it away. DAMN, NATURE, GET AWAY.

Have I mentioned how nice it is to be in a place where the wildest animal I have to deal with is my father?

- Daughter

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When You Spend Your Friday Night Wiping Poop Off Kittens

Literally, every day, one of the kittens is covered in its own feces. HAVE YOU NO SHAME, KITTENS? It gets really old giving a wriggly kitten a bath. It’s not even a real bath and it’s still traumatic for everyone involved. I have to wet a washcloth and pin him down and then scrub off the dried cat poop. It’s very humiliating for him, I’m sure. Definitely not a pleasant experience for me.

And the only way I know if one of the kittens have been playing in his own poop is if he comes close enough to me where I will either smell or see poop, not exactly the way I want to wake up in the morning: with kitten poop and it’s fragrance wafting around the room.

Today was no different from every other day the kittens have somehow managed to be lint-rollers that attract poop instead of lint. I turned on Storage Wars, put on yoga pants, and got ready to relax. And then, I saw it. One of the kittens, who has light orange fur, was suddenly transformed into a brown, ugly mess. There was poop. All over his head. He must have been trying to imitate one of those dung beetles he saw on National Geographic. You really shouldn’t let children under two watch television because this is what happens: they will imitate the actions they see on t.v. and make poor life decisions. Like play with poop.

There are other things I could be doing on a Friday night – bar-hopping, going on a date, going to a movie. Instead, I am chasing around a kitten who is tracking poop all over the room with each step of his poop-covered paw. And the chase ends on my bed, where the poop transfers from his paws to my clean sheets. Ah, yes. Namaste. Happy Friday.

- Daughter

Guest Post by My Kittens


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I Bought Fancy Toys for the Kittens but They Only Play with Their Poop

"Are you hiding poop in there?"

“Are you hiding poop in there?”

I don’t really understand why the kittens find poop preferable to the six jingley play balls and the pricey carpeted scratching post with feathers. They have ignored all of my efforts to impress them with material things. Maybe because they have self-sustaining entertainment: their own poop. I wish I had known this before I dropped a pretty penny trying to create a fun environment for them. I would have gotten bigger litter boxes or just filled my entire room with litter – oh wait, that’s already happened – had I known that they would enjoy what happens in the litter box so very much.

Every time I go into the room, the kittens are doing their darnedest to turn my room into a raw sewage dumping ground. Their toys sit sadly in dark corners, untouched save for some half-hearted pawing all the while the kittens thinking to themselves: I wish this was poop. 

This is what happens: they paw around balls of poo in the litter box until they successfully get a piece of it out. Then, they proceed to play table hockey amongst themselves using the poop as the puck.  I’m lucky if the poop is covered in cat litter. God forbid if it’s not and they step in it… they sprint away from me and track their feces to places unreachable by humans thus forever leaving their excrement as eternal monuments. The only positive aspect of this poop-flinging is that it forces me to constantly vacuum and clean. My room alternates between being a toxic waste site and being spotless.

I have taken to sleeping on the couch because I found it hard to sleep with kittens running across my face at 3am. Aw, cute little kittens with their cute little paws running across you! No, you are mistaken. I know where those paws have been: in and around their own poop. Mostly IN.

As for the mama cat, Ginger Rogers, I had the misfortune of catching her out of her favorite hidey-hole under my bed. She looked at me with murder in her eyes and hissed her meanest hiss. She’s missing a few teeth so the effect is sort of a lisp-y hiss and is slightly less intimidating than a regular hiss. I think she might be hating me less because instead of hissing for thirty seconds while spitting, she only hissed for fifteen seconds while slowly retreating under the bed. I’ll take it!!!

- Daughter

Study: Kittens Impair Brain Function

My roommate and I may foster kittens because I don’t want to have to wait until after college to become a cat lady; I need to get a move on already. I am nothing if not an over-achiever, you see.

We went to a local animal shelter to meet a mama cat and her two babies. As soon as I pet those tiny kittens, everything was right in the world.

I don’t have anything to say today because this is the only thing my brain is capable processing:



- Daughter

See Puppy Run, See Seam Run


Clothes-rippers. Or Jack the Rippers.

My best friends adopted a stray dog because they’re good humans with beating organs that pump blood throughout their respective circulatory systems. Unbeknownst to them, this dog was pregnant and dispensed some puppies like some sort of real-life Pe(t)z dispenser within a few weeks of her adoption. Suddenly, they were the owners of four dogs instead of one.

Words fail me.

Words fail me. *Dies from a-cute heart failure* 

The mother is a mouth-breather who prefers snorting over barking. She bit me on the hand once when I accidentally came too close to her puppies when they had just been born, so I defriended her on Facebook and we’ve been on the outs since. The three puppies, unofficially named PorkButt, Sewer Rat, and Scooter, enjoy luxuries like chewing what they please and peeing where they please. I consider myself the godparent – aka tnerapdog – to these pups and have watched them grow from tiny, furry caterpillars to slightly larger, more dog-like creatures.

When I am around these pups, a part of me knows I should be calm and stoic so as not to upset their delicate dispositions. They are puppies after all: easily excitable. Being me, I do the opposite and flail around like a Jim Henson muppet (?). I make loud noises and wrestle them. The price I pay for this amusement and my lack of self-control around animals is perma-snagged/ripped clothes. There have been times when I have debated cuddling a puppy – knowing that I am wearing a delicate fabric vulnerable to runs or holes – but cuddling always, always wins out. At this point, I consider the runs on my seams and loose strings falling from my clothes like straw from a scarecrow (WHAT SORT OF SIMILE IS THAT?) to be small reminders of the pups’ love for me where I go. They like me better than my dog does.

My dog never puts holes in my clothes or runs in my seams because he can’t even stand to look at me much less get close enough to damage my clothing. Probably because I’m constantly doing things like this to him:

"I'm so disgusted that I can't even look at your face right now."

“I’m so disgusted that I can’t even look at your face right now.”

Whatever, at least I have the puppies. I mean, just look at PorkButt (who is the most corpulent and rotund of the puppies), how can you say no to that face? CONTINUE TO RIP MY CLOTHES, PORKBUTT! I DON’T EVEN CARE.


I can haz run in your seam?

- Daughter

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