Cat

A Lost Cat and A Glory Hound

Dear Kids,

Last night we lost the cat.

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Usually he hides (wisely) until you kids go to bed. When we close your bedroom door he will be sitting at the top of the steps. “It’s my time now.”

He’ll meow his little heart out, leading us down to his food bowl like he’s sure we won’t remember to feed him this time. “Stupid humans.” I would like to point out that he has an automatic feeder. I literally just give it a shake so the food bowl appears magically full again.

Around 10:00 pm every night you can find him curled up and taking a post dinner nap atop his chosen family member; frequently me, but just as frequently the dog, and even sometimes your Dad.

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It was almost exactly 10:00 pm last night when your Dad said out of the blue, “Where’s the cat?”

Good question.

We checked all of his usual spots, shook his bag of food, and when he still didn’t appear, I began to actually worry.

Had he gotten in to something poisonous? A mousetrap? Cleaning supplies? Had he snuck outside somehow when we let the dog out? Since his rescue 5 months ago he hasn’t been outside. Every opportunity we’ve offered him to explore out there was greeted with a distinct cat-like “Hell no.”

We tore the house apart (Quietly. Children were sleeping). We checked every closet, under every couch and bed, and the attic. I stood outside shaking a bag of cat treats while your father scoured the neighborhood. He found a fox, two rabbits, and a deer. But, no cat.

At around 11:30 pm we gave up our search and reassured ourselves that he would come home when he was ready. I went to bed and tried not to think about our resident fox and what his appetite might be like.

I woke up in the morning, exhausted and still very upset. I started thinking about which photo I should use for the ‘Lost Cat’ poster. Your father rolled over and yawned, “I found the cat.”

I say Billy upright in bed. “What?? When? Where?”

“Last night. 1:30. In the attic.”

“But I checked the attic!”

“He probably wasn’t there when you looked. That attic connects to all the crawl spaces running the whole length of the house.” And, thanks to the effectiveness of home insulation, we couldn’t hear him.

Apparently your Dad woke up at 1:30 am to scratching at the attic door. He opened it up and there was the cat. Hallelujah! The cat walked right past him and over to the dog, whom he snuggled up to and then set to purring like crazy. Like the dog did anything!

Hey Cat, you know what that dog did while you were missing? He chased an imaginary squirrel, licked himself, and then went to sleep. But he gets all the love??

I’d pretend to be more offended, but I’m honestly just so glad he’s back.

See you at 10:00 tonight, buddy?

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Categories: Cat, Kids, Puppy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Down She Goes!

Dear Puppy,

It was nearly midnight when you woke me up by tearing through my bedroom at breakneck speed attempting to catch the cat. Obviously the cat had a spot that NEEDED licking and this had secured your top priority. Clearly my sleep and wellbeing ranked far lower, somewhere before licking your butt, but after food, water, squirrels, and terrorizing.

I got out of my comfy spot, chastised you, and called the cat. The cat followed me out to the hall and lead my down the stairs. You – apparently not deterred at all from your objective – blasted down the stairs after the cat…and through me.

At the top of the stairs you took out my legs and ran right under me to get to the cat. I landed squarely on my left butt cheek and left calf and bumped down the stairs, clawing for purchase.

You are a jerk, dog. You didn’t even stop running to check on me. Jerk.

So, today I sit at my desk with an ice pack under my butt and my calf with a walnut-sized lump in it.

I hope the cat scratches you on the nose.

…who am I kidding? That’ll never happen; that stupid cat loves you. It was probably his plan in the first place…

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Categories: Cat, Kids, Puppy | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Can You Feel the Love Tonight?

Dear Kids,

It looks like love, right? The animals being all sweet and chummy with each other?

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Ya, don’t be fooled. This is the treatment the dog gives the cat when the cat has…fleas.

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Did I ruin the mood?

Categories: Cat, Kids, Puppy | Tags: , , , , | 10 Comments

RIP Beatle

Dear Cat,

You learned about death today.

One moment you were playing with your new best friend, Beatle…Ah, Beatle. So full of life, vigor, and the vague allure of possibly being food. The next moment one of the large mammals is crunching Beatle flat while mumbling something about pests.

Pests?! Poor friendly, tasty Beatle! Downed in the prime – possibly – of his life!

You cried, Cat. For, like three minutes.

Meow? Nudge.

Meow? Nudge, nudge.

For three minutes. It was so pathetic, we may never kill a bug again.

Just kidding, bugs stuck and I hate them way more than you like them. Suck it up, flea bag.

Categories: Cat, Kids | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! We’ll Give You the Whole Seat, but You’ll Only Need the EDGE!

Dear Kids,

So, last Sunday was…interesting.

It started at 4:30 am when Buddy woke up with a bad cough (yay, allergies!) and then every half hour after that he just sort of wandered out of his room for no apparent reason (“It morning?” No!!). He was up for good at 8:00 and down for a nap a mere three hours later at 11:00 – not surprising. I wish I could have joined him.

Next, Kitten and I saddled up to find a birthday party in a part of town I’ve never been to – this never goes well. I can’t find my shoes without a map and then I’ll still read the map wrong. I can get lost in my own neighborhood – it’s terrible. So, of course, we got a little turned around. I drove in to an empty street to make a U-turn and – BAM! – got T-boned by a red tank of a sedan  trying to pass me on the left where there was no left lane. Ugh.

This was the first accident I’ve ever been in with a kid in the car. It was decidedly unnerving. The gal – a young woman of college-age driving her grandmother’s hand-me-down sedan/boat – came out of her car already apologizing. I just put up my hand and said, “Kid.” I went around to Kitten’s door and checked her up and down – no damage. Amen.

Next, I looked Young Thing up and down and assessed her to be…scared to death. That helped.

My car was not as lucky as hers. Her sedan/tank/boat had some scratches on the headlights. My van had a big ‘ol dent in the passenger’s door. It still slides, but the automatic close (much coveted!!) doesn’t work anymore (sigh). However, it gives a sort of symmetry to the big ‘ol dent in the back door and the two foot scrape along the other side of the car. If my van wasn’t a beater before, it is officially one now (sigh again).

We exchanged info, shook hands, and went our separate ways.

Birthday party time. You know what breaks the ice at a kid’s birthday party where you only know one other parent? Walking up and saying you’ve just been in a car accident. Great conversation starter! Silver linings, right?

I hit it off really well with this other mom and we chatted all the way around the mini-golf course watching our girls hack at colorful golf balls on plastic grass. It was a good time had by all 🙂

At the end of the party, the other mom gave me her phone number so we could hang out – Eee! I got digits, y’all!

After all that I thought maybe I could get off the roller coaster, but I had one more thing on my ‘to-do’ list: take the cat in for his first visit to the vet.

The vet was an hour behind schedule. Ugh. When we finally got in to the exam room, Kitten announced that she had to go to the bathroom at the exact time the doctor entered the room. Of course. Not wanting to lose my grip on the elusive doctor, I stood in the hallway outside of the exam room where I could both speak with the doctor and watch Kitten enter the bathroom at the other end of the hall, all on her own.

There is an unusual amount of anxiety to letting your kid use a public restroom by themselves for the first time. There were moments – loooooong moments – when I couldn’t see her and that freaked me out. I audibly let out the breath I was holding when she skipped back down the hallway, very proud of herself.

The visit continued. The cat has fleas. Gross, but not unusual for a recently adopted cat. We got a pill to fire-bomb the current pests and a prescription for long-term prevention. Then of course, there was the rash…

The cat had come to us with a little rough patch of skin right under his ear. I didn’t think much of it until Sunday morning when I noticed a big patch above his eye and another on his other ear. Yuck! The doc said it’s most likely an allergic reaction to the fleas (wheh!), but it could also be ringworm (ewewewew).

Since she said the word ‘ringworm’, my skin has not stopped crawling. I have quarantined the cat and started cleaning and treating his rash sites daily. He doesn’t like this, but I don’t care. He is unclean!

In all honesty, I would be really surprised if it was actually ringworm. Ringworm is contagious and the dog has been licking him head-to-toe (particularly on the head) for two weeks and has no signs of it. Buddy – who catches all skin-related diseases – is surprisingly clear-skinned recently. It’s almost certainly not ringworm.

BUT she said those words and now…now I can’t touch the cat until the rash is gone. No one is allowed near the cat! Even if we did just officially named him: Kit-Kat…at least for this week.

Categories: Buddy, Cat, Kids, Kitten | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

There Are No Accidents

Dear Kids,

As I mentioned earlier, we got a cat. He’s super chill and I love him already. We knew we wouldn’t be keeping his original name, because…well, it was the same as Buddy’s. Not happening. We are still working out what to call the cat, although the front runners are Po, Mikey, and Chocolate Chip. I like Chocolate Chip because he perked up when Daddy asked Kitten (here on known as Kit to avoid species confusion) if she wanted chocolate chips in her pancakes. I also like the idea of a cat who appreciates chocolate, even if he can’t have any. So, this story is about the evening we picked up little Chipper.

Kit and I went over to the home of the Cat Rescue Lady to pick up the cat. She opened the door and rushed us in before any of her cats got out…her many, many cats. Many.

In the one (small) living room I counted about 25 kittens sharing 4 very large cages that came up to my shoulder. Some of the kittens stayed in the cages and some wandered about wafting their various odors up at us.

Oh, the odors! Wow. Just, wow. At least Cat Rescue Lady had the grace to acknowledge the smell and apologize for it. “How many cats have you got in here?” I asked, trying to contain the urge to hide my nose in my shirt.

“Oh, it changes daily. Some of these guys are sick, or going in for surgery. They leave and others come in.” Great, my child and I are hanging out in a kitten half-way house. I indicated that I had to get home for…something really important…ya, that’s it. So, we moved a long to the paperwork.

About 10 minutes in to our necessary information session, a little grey and black tabby started to climb my leg. He was super cute and looked just like my first kitten which I got when I was 12. I had named him Skittles and he was my pride and joy until he passed away when I was 23. As I bent down to untangle the kitten’s surprisingly sharp claws from my jeans, the Cat Rescue Lady tsked, “Skittles! Get down from there!”

I nearly swallowed my tongue. “That cat is NOT named Skittles,” I said.

“Ya, the shelter named him that. It’s cute, right?” While my mouth hung open, a little white and orange cat snuggled up next to Skittles II. My sister’s cat was white and orange…just like that one.

“Umm…that other cat doesn’t happened to be named Sunny, does it?” I asked cautiously.

“No. Why?”

“No reason.” Reality restored.

We continued to fill out the paper work while I willed the hair on my arms to go down. I casually asked how old Chipper was exactly. She gave me the cat’s estimated birth date and I almost jumped straight out of my chair…Buddy’s birthday. The cat with my son’s name also has my son’s birthday. Is the hair standing up on your neck yet? Because mine was.

Apparently, we got the right cat.

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Categories: Cat, Kids | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

So…That Happened…

Dear Kids,

The other day we went to the pet store to get some bones for Puppy. We dropped you off in front of the cat cages like always, which is a good way to distract you while we shop for dog supplies in the aisle behind it. Now, Kitten has been asking for a cat for about 2 years now; specifically, a black cat with white spots. So, when we walked up to the cages and saw a black cat with white spots, I joked, “Look, it’s your cat!”

Out of no where a gentleman walked up, key in hand and opened the cage, unbidden. “I foster this little guy. Do you want to hold him?” Uh, sure.

I took the little fellow on my shoulder and he immediately set in to purring. Blood pressure dropped. Felt soooo good. Around the corner zoomed Buddy, who had been following Daddy, but came running at the sound of a cage being opened. If previous cat experiences were any indication, this was when the cat should have gone tearing down my back, claws out and ears back. This cat…just kept on purring.

It was amazing! I held it, Kitten held it, Daddy held it, even Buddy held it. The little guy just kept on purring. Daddy looked at me and said, “If we’re ever actually going to get a cat, this is probably the one.”

I took that and ran with it, my friends! Introducing, the new member of the family:

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Of course, now that we have a kitten, I’m gong to have to rename Kitten. Ack!

Categories: Cat, Kids | Tags: , , , , , | 8 Comments

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