I love cats. I have 4. I want more. But I don’t want them more than I want to keep my husband. So I have 4. I adore my cats – most of the time.
Each cat gets along well with the other one although they were thrown together randomly and unannounced during their lifetimes. I have come to believe recently that I am in possession of several of the Winnie the Pooh characters in cat form.
Harvey – Grey/brown tabby - found in the Harvey’s grocery store side lot (or at least that is what I tell my husband). Thus his name. We were not very imaginative back then. Friendly to only a few , sullen, withdrawn and skittish since his near death experience by having half his neck torn asunder by some wild woodland creature. Probably the chupacabra that lives somewhere on our property and hates our cats. The vet calls him her miracle cat. He also is even more panicky since we installed the hardwood floors. Every sound sends him running for cover – or the top of my car. A.K.A. Piglet – the fidgety one.
Ava – White/Grey Blue Point Siamese mix – lovely blue eyes. She came pre-named as a rescue from the Humane Society on a buy-one-get-one-free cat weekend (or at least that is what I tell my husband). I only took her because who goes to the humane society looking for a BOGO special? I can pay for one animal and get TWO?? A person could come home with a herd if something like that took off! But, like I said; I wanted my marriage to remain intact, so I had to pass on numero dos. She is friendly to most, a hunter, a climber (you often find her in a tree), and a mostly “I want to be everywhere you are, but you better not try to pick me up or I will make you regret it and by the way, don’t you dare keep any doors closed because I NEED to know what is behind it although I don’t want to go in the space” kind of cat. A.K.A. Rabbit – the persnickety one.
Stink – Orange Maine Coon – fat. Found as a lonely orphan kitten under a chicken coop – his name explains his scent upon rescue. We were surprised with him as a gift from my niece (or at least that is what I tell my husband). He came to us after many moves to different houses and several owners – all of which were someone in my family. He is lazy, a part-time hunter who eats too much and throws up a lot (paper towels don’t fail me now). But he is kind and always in want of attention without demanding it. A.K.A. Eeyore – the thanks for noticing me one.
Little Rat – Calico – found as a kitten in a dumpster (or at least that is what I tell my husband). She is wild, crazy, playful, energetic, a climber and has many physical oddities. Like whiskers growing out of the top of her almost double nose. I like to think she may have almost been a 2 headed cat, which would have been awesome - but for some reason the split confined itself to her nose. She has a two toned face, a deformed paw and a tail with bone knots in it. A.K.A. Tigger – the bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun one.
Stink, Ava, Harvey - May I have seconds sir, I am still hungry...
Little Rat - You want a piece of me??
I set all that up because the story I am about to convey in excruciating detail involves most of the above reference small bundles of furry insanity.
Picture this: Tuesday night, relaxing on the couch with my main squeeze when we heard a noise, a sound similar to – but not exactly like – a meow. I paused the TV. We wait motionless for more sounds and information. In saunters Stink, a limp animal dangling from both sides of his clenched teeth while he was barely meowing (because his mouth was too full), “Look at me! Look at me! Look what I brought you!” My husband and I said “SHIT” simultaneously. Not again! My husband decided to ignore it. But I was like - Oh, hell no. I am not hunting down the smell of a dead animal decaying in my house again so soon! We jumped up. Well, I jumped up and then pulled him up. We then noticed Stink walking out of the dining room looking like he was not doing anything more than cruising for catnip. WTH? Where is it? Where is the intruder you brought in MY HOME? Oh good, he dropped the dead thing. YAY! This one will be easy. Wrong. Nope, the animal we thought was deceased was ALIVE. Damn it all to hell Jim, I am a doctor not a live animal liberator! (Gratuitous revised Star Trek reference). So after many minutes of trying to catch THE FLYING SQUIRREL we caught it in a net and in the dark of night I had to take it out the front door, across the lawn, towards the woods (because as my husband explained it, 'I was the only one that had shoes handy.' But what he was really saying to me was that he didn't want to go outside because he was scared of the chupacabra) while he was yelling, “Watch out for the dog poop!” Crisis and dead animal vomit averted. Back to NCIS.
Now picture this: This (Wednesday) morning, I was getting ready to relax in the hot tub before work. The dawn was just breaking, the cats had all had their treats – except Stink who was MIA – and I believed that I would have a lovely relaxing time slipping into the warm embrace of the water while listening to the world wake up as I gazed out upon the vast expanse of our beautiful property. I had been lulled into the belief that the catch & release party last night excluded us from any such activity again for at least a month. Wrong. I went out on the back porch to open the hot tub lid and I noticed in the faint light of early morning, that there is something on the lid that was not usually there. “Who threw up now,” was my first thought. But as I moved closer to inspect the mystery object and open the lid of the hot tub – off it flew. A bird. A hungry bird because I knew the porch door had been closed for at least 3 days. Poor thing. I had to save it, I had trapped it! But what I hadn’t counted on was how quickly the cats caught the scent and movement of the bird. Like a dart Ava and Rat went after the poor bird; up on the ledge, up on the screen, batting and swatting as they tried to take down their half starved prey. I ran out to the garage to get the net, yet again, to try to save this delirious creature from the ragged claws of those that would kill it. But as I ran back into the house and out onto the porch I noticed that neither the bird nor the cats were out there. As I turned toward the house I saw that the bird was happily perched on our ceiling fan – in the living room. Great, now everybody is in the house. The cats chased, I chased, the cats meowed, and I cussed until I finally got the bird back onto the porch. It was then, as I was trying to close the living room door that Rat came charging out full steam, took a leap off the back steps toward the flying bird and landed – you guessed it – IN the hot tub. Not missing a beat, she grabbed onto the half open lid, dragged herself up, eyed the bird again, took another leap and – you guessed it again – missed the ledge and fell spread eagle on the floor. She then bounced right back up (please review earlier Tigger reference) dripping and spitting as she went, after the bird again. Thankfully I had schussed the poor beleaguered bird out the porch door by that time. Rat followed right behind the bird to the outside but then turned to me as if to say, “Oh, did you actually see all that? I did it on purpose. Back to your uneventful life puny human.” Phew, crisis (and dead animal vomit) averted again. I wish I had managed to video it – it would have gone viral.
Wait, wait, wait. Did I mention that I was naked in 40 degree weather, walking on a cement floor for this whole incident? Forget the video. I don’t want anyone to see that horror. The sight may make the most stout of stomach want to poke their eyes out.
But that image aside, come on, laugh, you know you want to. I did.