I woke up at 3a. Cleaned my petsit in anticipation of leaving early that morning. And then went back to sleep… only to be woken by a most vivid nightmare.
It begins with me and my friend Branch. I don’t see him much because as Nyers we are always disturbingly “busy” and rarely make time for each other anymore. Fortunately I’ve known Branch since freshman year of college, nearly half my life, and he joins me for “Let’s hang,” AKA “Come watch me at work,” as we head to one of my petsits.
Oddly my mind is scrambled. I’m unsure of where we are supposed to be heading. This makes no sense as this is my current petsit, so I should have just been there. Did I never make it to the petsit? Am I gaming the owner, and not actually completing the petsit, and instead just doing a drop-in to feed a pet? Fazed, but knowing I must act, I draw up in my phone contact lists what I think is the address of the petsit we should be heading to. It’s close by, so we walk.
The place is unfamiliar when I see it, but the keys I have turn in the doorknob. Perhaps I’ve forgotten this apartment because it’s been so long since the meet and greet. I quickly scramble about the rooms trying to find the pets because no animal appears to be in the apartment.
It’s a relief when I head upstairs and find a nest of cats under one of those $10 IKEA side tables. Two glowing pairs of eyes stare out at me from the gathering shadows of a dark bedroom that I have not bothered to light.
The eyes sally forth, revealing two tabby cats, tails raised high in the air. What’s more, I see a third pair of eyes staring out at my behind these cars. I reach out and pet the two friendly cats and snap a few shots for the owners as proof of my presence at their apartment. “Done!” I wrap up our visit with a scoop of the litterbox, and Branch and I head out from the apartment and part ways.
Another petsit complete…. I thought
But I was wrong. This part of the dream is lost in my mind, but a family pulls up in a car, aside of me as I walk back to the office.
“Hi Jen!” the father chipperly calls out.
“How were the girls?”
I seize up on the inside. Panic! Who is this?
“Uhhh…” And then “Hi!” I recover, determined to seem like I know what is going on and am as presentable and shiny as I want to seem. The man offers me a ride, and I sidle in next to a child in the back of his car.
And then it hits me… By “girls” he means “cats.” It becomes clear as we chat that he owns two cats, not three. I went to the wrong place, and now we are about to drive to his home, where he will find pissed, hungry cats, and a overflowing litterbox. How will I explain? How did I forget? Have I become so absent minded, so frivolous, that I forget some of the seemingly most important responsibilities of their lives? I pay no rent or utilities. These people invite me into their homes, and I seemingly am taking advantage of them, and now am about to pay the price.
I’m an idiot. I’m going to get a bad review, and deservedly I will now lose my business.
However, instead of going to his home, he takes me to the office and gets out of the car. His family gets out and slams their car doors. They are heading up into the office with me, oddly, to get lunch. I don’t question it because my mind is racing to develop an angle out of this mess. I think to text Branch to come get these people’s apartment keys, so he can run over and clean up the place while I keep these folks company over a slowly served lunch and breezy conversation.
Then I wake.
I don’t feel any better for the convoluted resolution I reach at the end of the dream. I instead thank the powers that be that as busy as I may be I always get the job done. I may not always be 100%. I’m not Elon Musk. However, I love our pets. I only work for owners that I like. I calm down, but the feeling sits with me the rest of the morning.