Monday, November 5, 2012

#ROW80 POST 22 SUNDAY CHECK IN – HOW CATS ROLL


I mentioned several months ago that a beautiful buttery-type of cat, a female had decided to bestow her attentions upon us. She was pregnant at the time, and looked neglected. JC started feeding her hotdogs and all sorts of non-cat type food. He discovered that she didn’t really go for bologna, and as for hotdogs, well, he took to mashing those up with his fingers and then, because apparently, all common sense left our house, because I sat here and watched all this and said nothing, took to smearing mashed hotdogs on a napkin.


Mama and Baby

Cat ate hotdogs and napkin. Then, I remembered there is this nifty invention, called “cat food,” which you can buy in a store and all, so that’s what I did. Thus began the real relationship between Cat and Man. JC has had very little experience with cats, so I’ve just let him run with this. It’s funny and touching to listen to his stories and concerns over our former-Rent-a-Kitty, now-Perm-a-Kitty. 

JC hasn’t had much cat-ownership experience. He and his family had a few dogs, but by and large, JC was pretty much pet-less, so this has been pretty amusing. Given that he’s used to dogs, his cat experience has been pretty limited to ‘Dale Earnhart,’ the little monster that ruled over at the Homeless Shelter for about a month, before he was picked up for ‘illegal attraction.’

Someone stole him, so we were left with the pissy-tempered ‘Effy,’ who bit anyone who tried to pet her. She was aptly named, but we should have gone whole-hogged and just called her ‘Fuck You.’ Some of the geniuses at the shelter had their hearts in the right places, but zero brain cells; they kept putting spagghettios and dry cereal in her dish. 

One of the residents there, who had an actual brain, would dump out all of that shit, and put in “Friskies Li’l Shrapnel Bits” or whatever that shit is that he bought for all the strays. I call that dry food ‘shrapnel’ because if you’ve ever had a cat and ever fed them that stuff and ever stepped on it in the dark, that shit hurts! 

Gene, the sweet guy at Happy Acres, the Homeless shelter, who feeds cats, will always say, “Everyone knows cats don’t eat spaghetti! They know better than to feed cats spaghetti!” If I see him on the street or at the grocery, if I remember, I ask about the cats and spaghetti. He says, with disdain, “Cats don’t eat spaghetti!” I laugh every time; it’s the way he says it

Anyway, Dale was a mess; when he sauntered, he did so with that insouciance that graces only the most blessed of creatures. He just knew no one would harm him or ever wish him ill. He was right; wide-eyed, limpid, jade gaze, swiveling head, all innocent and “Who, me?” look. Tabby, with the kitten big feet, bat ears and hell’s bells! Everything’s fun! Leaf! Bug! Air! Nothing!

But that was pretty much the only experience that JC had with cats, so when Miss La La Buttercup came sauntering up, she was very discriminating. She was very cautious. We think she was someone’s pet and when she became pregnant, they dumped her off over here somewhere. The litter of kittens she was carrying was not her first litter, either.

JC had to really work to get her to come up on the porch. At first, he was disappointed and expected her to be more like a dog. He thought for a while that she didn’t like him. She is still skittish and shies away from people she doesn’t know. She doesn’t like to be around things she doesn’t recognize and starts easily at unusual sounds. Kinda like me. She is blind in her right eye. The cornea is dimmed, so she is either the victim of some asshole person or as I prefer to think, she was in a fight with another cat. I cannot bear to think of someone being cruel to any animal or creature smaller or weaker. My brain won’t allow for that.


Did you know cats have "whiskers" on their paws? I've been calling them "curb feelers"...

 Call me "50 Shades of Ass"

Okay, time for a new Pop Culture Meme, hmm?

So La Chat has gotten us dancing to her tune. I just so enjoy watching the delight he takes in trying to please this little cat. She gave birth to her 2nd litter of kittens, and only 1 of those survived. That little baby was hit and killed about 6 weeks ago. We were both devastated; JC more so than I, I think. I had expected it and had told him to expect it, but again, I’ve been through this before. He’s never dealt with feral cats, or more rightly feral offspring. The baby’s mother is pretty tame. Damn the people who abandoned her. She should have been spayed when they took her on as a kitten.

We had her spayed shortly after that incident. There is a woman in this neighborhood who volunteers and she was so kind. She brought over this huge metal contraption that looked more appropriate for trapping 40 lb bears in. It was hot-hot-hot that afternoon. This was one of those types of things that had to be done NOW, which I do so gracelessly, because of my ‘PD or non-PD’ and I was trying to sit out in full sun and not make a move, because, well, we don’t want to DISTURB THE KITTY, while JC moves ever so delicately to move the food towards the mouth of this metal nightmare of a contraption, so the KITTY DOESN’T KNOW THE FUCKING DIFFERENCE!

The only way the cat isn’t going to know that there is no change on the porch is if she is observing it from oh, say, Jupiter, because that fucking cage is bright! I’m sweating, fuming and getting more pissed off by the minute. Not at any one thing, just at the whole fucking universe. My damn right hand is twitching, my eyeballs and brains are electric and I know I’m going to seize. Shit.

So, I ‘scamper’ off to the store and miracle of miracles, JC gets kitty in the cage, swift and elegant as can be. The nice lady whisks her off. After all the hustle and bustle, JC and I look at each other, like Christmas just left. Really. Vaguely disappointed, uncertain. He says, “Do you think she’ll be okay?” I nod, “Of course, she will.”

We go back and forth over the few instructions we’ve been given, examining each one as a talisman, trying to read tea leaves and meaning and hope. “Well, she’ll have to stay in the bathroom,” JC tells me. I nod my head wisely, as if I have never heard this before. “Yes, and we’ll have to make sure we give her plenty of food and water.” I hold up my right index finger, as if a salient point in a court of law has just been proven.

“The lady said she would bring her a pan to poop and pee in,” I point out helpfully, peeking out from under my eyelashes, making sure JC understands that so wondrous a creature as his cat does answer calls of nature. “I don’t care if she pees in the tub!” He defends her stoutly. “Yeah!” I cheer enthusiastically, as if we’re at a Buccaneers game. But he asked me, “Do you think she likes us?” I thought for a moment. I said, “She tolerates me, but honey? She adores you!” It’s true. She absolutely loves JC, and I am so grateful for that.

Of course, when she came home the next night, nothing went as planned. She almost got out of the house. She sort of stalked around, wouldn’t eat anything. Poor JC, he insisted on trying about 8 different kinds of canned food and combinations. We finally got lucky, and she ate some of it, then she climbed up on the bed and conked out in his spot. I was able to wake her long enough to get her to lie between us. He fell asleep as he usually does easily. I was having a ‘PD or non-PD’ sundowner-circus extravaganza and this involves heavy narcotics. Okay, not really, but enough to put me under, so I stay asleep. No more psychosis, thank you very much.

The only reason I dragged that skeleton out of my burgeoning closet is because for the next 3 nights, poor JC had to put up with Ms Hot Stuff getting up and MIAOWING and climbing the windows, shades, shower curtain and just raising 47 kinds of hell. He was so afraid she’d hurt herself or tear her stitches. I was waking up and finding him face down on the couch and the cat fast asleep on his side of the bed. All kinds of stuff would be laid on the floor. Not that we have all that much. I still laugh. Just hilarious. O the humanity! Once we finally let her back out, she will not, for love or money, come back in, with one exception.

Last week, JC had to have an emergency hospitalization. About 2 weeks ago, Ms. La La had been trying to con him out of something. That’s pretty much what she does, but that’s how cats roll. “Aren’t I pretty? Aren’t I cute? Give me some food. Meow. Here, let me snarl that up for ya!” We’ve had lots of fun making up conversations, JC does the best impression, with his West Texas drawl: “Ah’m a gahrl. Ah don’t eat bahloney. Ah’m a gahrl. Ah might eat a hotdog. Mash it up fahr me.” I said, “When did she tell you she’s a cat?”

Smartass JC said, “she hasn’t told me about that, yet.” I laughed. Well, when JC was in the hospital, she came up and banged on the door, demanded to be let in. She marched into the kitchen, looked up at the ceiling, and meowed at me. She stared at the cabinets. Meowed. I opened them. She looked in them. She went in the bathroom, looked every where for JC. She let me feed her, when I let her out and let me pet her and then she went off to sleep under the house. She thought I’d hidden him in the house; rotten little, spoiled thing.

When JC comes home the next evening, he’s home for about 10 minutes, I hear this ruckus on the porch. I look out. She’s heard his voice and has climbed the screen door. He goes to her and they have their ritual; he feeds her and sits outside while she eats. He sits with her and talks to her while she grooms afterwards. It’s pleasant. She sleeps awhile at his feet and then she goes off. That’s how cats roll.
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