Tuesday, September 16, 2008

That Darn Cat by Diane LeBleu

That’s it, I’ve had it! What the hell was I thinking? Anyone interested in adopting a kitten?

We, that is, I made the terrible mistake of having a weak moment and agreed to take home a darling homeless kitten that a boy was giving away at my local Starbucks. I must have been high – and this was BEFORE I had my venti latte. Or perhaps I was in such a great mood upon having just returned from my annual girl’s trip to Vegas with my best friend Holly. Or maybe it was my excitement for Danielle, who would be competing in her first STAGs swim competition later that day in San Antonio that caused me to forgo my normal stance when it comes to the kids asking for another pet. Or maybe it was a chance to give Travis a pet he had been so desperate to obtain (and there was no way we were ever going to get a dog). In any case, I’m a big enough girl now to admit when I have made a mistake. Now what am I going to do?

This sweet baby boy kitten, christened Tiger by Travis and Danielle, started off so sweet and docile. He would be carted around in a shoe box and sleep on the kid’s shoulders. He was scarcely 4 weeks old when we got him, a darling, who showed such promise by using the litter box as soon as we got one out. We already had an adult cat, Maggie, who was left alone after her sibling Johnny became coyote feed (we suspect, anyway) a few years back. Maggie – the sweetest cat in the whole world, who I betrayed by bringing home this- this- this wild, nasty varmint.

He was put on probation after he began biting and scratching all of us with wild abandon. To be fair, he has to spend much of his time outside as much for his safety as for ours. I can’t keep Sabrina away from him and Caroline is just as bad. Now that he has a little meat on him, however, he knows how to fight back, and will stalk and attack the little girls as soon as their backs are turned.

Then there were the curtains – the linen panels in my dining room, the one room in my house that used to look like I don’t have 4 children. Claw marks up and down BOTH SIDES. Then we were at church last weekend, listening to another fine sermon by Will Davis, Jr. at Austin Christian Fellowship. I looked down at my new metallic wedge sandals and saw little kitty bite marks all over them. Later that day, we were dining with some friends when I heard a terrible cat screech coming from Sabrina’s room. Tiger had managed to get up under the box springs (to hide, I suppose from Sabrina and Caroline) and was trying in vain to get down. He was stuck – and stuck good. The screeching was so loud, I was certain it could be heard down the street. I had to get him out, lest my neighbors think I was beating my kids and call Child Protective Services. I reached up and grabbed him only to be rewarded by a big claw mark and bite on my hand. I did what any reasonable woman would do – I called my husband.

Tom came in and got under the bed to rescue Tiger in his frantic desire to get loose. He was rewarded with a bite two inches long and quite deep – enough to warrant 3 Sponge Bob bandages and a cursing of that cat that I had not heard from him yet (I was normally the one to curse the cat). Then, for all of our trouble, he peed all over the floor in Sabrina’s room.
The last, last straw came today when I was outside playing with the girls in the sand box. What’s that smell??? Ohhhh no, he used it for a litter box!!! I had already relinquished a full quarter of my non-utility utility room for a stinky cat crapper that he uses frequently – what’s he doing now soiling my babies sand box (not that they have used it in 2 months, but it’s the principle we’re talking about here).

Now he’s really on notice. Of course, I’ve been saying that since we brought him home, no wonder my kids don’t believe any threat I make. I used to be a cat lover before I had children. I even recall taking a subscription to that silly magazine Cat Fancy when I was young. Now a cat just represents another mouth to feed. At least Maggie doesn’t cause any material or physical damage. And NOW I have to pay money to have Tiger neutered and de-clawed. Yes, he will be de-clawed. If any bunny-huggers out there have any objections to that, they can come right over and take him away. Please oh please. Please?

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