Thursday, December 4, 2008

And Now...A Cat Tale

Sometimes someone posts a comment that is too good just to be left behind in the comments section. Lady's and Gentlemen, Great Reader gives you...

A Cat Tale (or this ain't Felix) by deltabravo

Pets are great. We had a cat once. He was a golden striped long-haired Maine Coon. Proto-cat. There was never a cat better. He could hunt and catch and skin a squirrel. He'd leave their pelts at our doorstep as gifts. He would ride around on our shoulders like a golden parrot. He was people.

Cats didn't get much better than him. So being young and foolish, I thought all yellow striped cats were good. So I went to a pet store and picked a stripey yellow kitten out of the basket. (Note, it turns out yellow striped cats are the sociopaths of the cat world. They are the cat most likely to have to be pulled out of a tree by firemen. They could climb down themselves, but it's more fun to make the big red truck come out and inconvenience everyone.)

Long story short, this cat was a nutburger. It would steal stuffed animals off of sister's bed and drag it under the bed like a kill, making growly noises all the way. Just because.

A couple years later my youngest sister brought home another yellow stripey kitten. It was her gift from her boyfriend. Mom cried. Now I know why. She knew that boyfriend and daughter would be long gone and she'd still have CrazyAss StripeyCat tearing away at her antique sofa and walls and running inside the front door and demanding to be let out the back door 20 times a day for years after. One day about 13 years later the vet told my mom the cat was insane and gave her permission to put it out of its misery.

To this day I refuse to let teenagers in my house bring small furry things home. My crazy cat and moron dog are enough.

Well, back to Nutburger. For hobbies, he'd take down CrazyAss StripeyCat several times a day, wrestling him to the ground like a lion takes down a wildebeest. Just because.

He'd yowl for no reason. He was unpleasant and lacked the affection gene. And he never died. We began to refer to him as Methuseleh.

The grandkids came along over the years, arriving long after he should have died. They knew to fear him. Babies would go to pet him and get scratched. Just because.

They called him "That Mean Scary Cat" and "That Icky Old Cat." Eventually he looked like Bill the Cat, but without the necktie or the sense of humor.

He'd disappear at night and not eat his food. Mom grew hopeful that he might be dying. Nope. After several months, a neighbor came over to complain. Seems she finally traced his path back to the old homestead. He had been going over to her house down the street and letting himself in the pet door and eating her cat's food. Probably drinking the old man's beer and using their cat box too.

How do you tell Methuseleh he's not welcome to let himself into the neighbor's home and eat their cat food?

And what kind of wimp cats did they have that they couldn't kick a 15 year old cat's rickety ass?

He'd probably take them down like a wildebeest.

Yeah, eventually he died. Just because.

So that's my story of pets who let themselves into neighbors' houses.



Anonymous said...

Great Story DB :)

My wife and I fostered orphan kittens and shelter cats for a couple years. Tons of stories there and it was a lot of fun. We had 31 kittens at the high point (in boxes, bedrooms, cages, etc so it's not as wild as it sounds, except at feeding time, then you'd think you were in a Ford factory in 1922) and ended up with 13 of the darn things we decided we had to keep, and currently have 6 as the rest have departed, some too soon.

Anyway, as far as fur and personality goes, I can attest to the fact that orange cats are a breed apart, pyschologicaly speaking. They seem to be more neurotic than the others which can be good (funny) or bad (freakin out at random). The other colors I would break down as follows:

- Long Hair Caleco - Britney Spears Clones
- Black - We have one now - Lean, Mean, Muscle Bound, Ganster Cat Machine. Nuf said.
- Solid Grey - Laid Back, Almost Vulcan, loves to sit in Lazy Boy and watch golf, especially Tiger Woods.
- Grey Tiger - Walter Matteau Personality
- White and Orange - Shelly Winters Nuts
- White and Beige - Tony Curtis Lover Boys
- White and Black - Very Intelligent, some can be taught Chess.

That's the extent of our experience thus far.


pamibe said...

I saw this story in the comments yesterday and loved it, but I just read it again... just because. ;)

JihadGene said...

Thanks for the cat facts C_Brob!

Me too too!

Anonymous said...

Oh, no. You're gonna make me write another cat story, aren't you?

Okay, I'll keep this one reasonably short, having read about all gray cats.

Yes, they're almost Vulcan, but almost something else....

Once long ago when I had fewer children than I have now, I had the idea that I wanted to buy a cat. I probably should have poked my eye out with a hairpin instead, but the little ones wanted a kitty.

So off to the animal shelter we went. We walked in the door and were met by the most ungodly howling I have ever heard. Seems the animal shelter people had "rescued" some illegal dogs from some locals. Said dogs were bigger than ponies and were half something, half wolf. Never saw dogs so monstrously big in all my life. They howled at the indignity of the cages. I pitied them, but was thankful for the cages.

We proceeded to the cat area, whereupon small little girls fell in love with white kitty. White kitty was gorgeous. We wanted to play with white kitty to see if she was a good match. Animal shelter worker reached in and white kitty drew blood. Uh... not so good match.

Rumor has it white kitty was taken from cage that day and sent to white kitty heaven where all the unadoptable cats go. I bypassed a cage that held one yellow stripey cat who was busy hanging upside down by his back toes from the bars at the top of the cage and busily chewing on the bars at the bottom of the cage. I knew better than to be suckered in by such cute antics. Bye bye, yellow stripey catastrophe.

Then we saw him. A sleek Gray cat with green eyes. He was beautiful. He was ours. My oldest, with all the imagination a four year old can muster, named him Kit. We brought Kit home and he settled in with the little children. Until they tried to put doll clothes on him and pull him in a wagon.

That was the moment Kit decided he wanted to be an outside cat. The US military does not have fighter jets that move faster than Kit did when he heard the squeals of delight as the little girls would find him sleeping on the sofa.

And outside was his domain. He hunted rabbits, and won. Gardening was a hazard, because his grayness would blend perfectly with the foliage, and I would be peacefully planting impatiens and he would leap out at me from right under my nose and run away, leaving my heart pounding and my mouth swearing at him like a sailor.

Child number three came along. And as small children often do, they learn to walk. This particular small child was very small. Just slightly larger than rabbit size. Kit knew he could take her down. And he tried every chance he could get.

Small child first met with the horror of The Kit one summer evening as she toddled across the lawn. I became aware that Kit was quietly tracking her, following slightly parallel to her path, hidden by the garden flowers. As small toddler passed the garden, with her back turned to him, out from the underbrush bolted The Kit. Across the lawn he raced and sprang at her back knocking her on her face.

I admit I was filled at once with horror and with... amusement and... well... appreciation. As I tried not to laugh at my crying baby, I picked her up and scolded the cat, knowing that my mother of the year card had been revoked for life for not kicking the cat.

And I realized with a sinking feeling that if The Kit weighed about 70 more pounds, I wouldn't be safe either. Do cats just watch us and think "I'd hunt it if I were bigger?"

Kit tried that trick a few more times, but if he caught my eye before he pounced on his little prey, he'd walk off in disgust at his ruined chance. Baby spent years examining the garden foliage with suspicion before she'd walk anywhere near it.

The one thing Kit couldn't take down was cars. One ran over him and smushed all his breathing apparatus through a perforation in his diaphragm. Damn thing wouldn't die. Relatives suggested that a new cat would be $35. But I had too much respect for an animal that could get run over that badly and crawl to the back yard and sit under the porch. We went through with the operation. $1200 later he was good as new.

So we brought him to our present home, driving through the Shenandoah National Forest on the way. He decided in the middle of the car ride to befoul his cat carrier. I slipped a leash on him and took him out of his carrier. He unslipped the leash and disappeared into the Shenandoah National Forest.

Damn. I did not pay $1200 to fix him only to lose him to the big woods. Two hours of calling him and banging his food can with a car key, and eventually I found him. He was sitting on a log nonchalantly giving himself a bath.

Back into the now clean car carrier. On we went, to a new home where he was smart enough to let the possums eat out of his cat bowl and not bother them.

Two years later, and he finally encountered a car that did him in. An unworthy end to a splendid cat.


Anonymous said...

Deltabravo, I'm sorry to hear about Kit. We've had some similar experiences. Mine was with a swiss coffee colored femme fatale named Monique that rang up a $4500 bill at the emergency hospital about 8 months prior to using her 9th life...

Anyway, our grey was named Grey Goose, aka Mr Goose, Goosey. I swear if he could talk, he'd a taught me some things.

Neat guy. Yellow eyes in his case.

joated said...

Excellent story, DB.

I've had an orange that was more like the first; looked just like Morris the commercial cat. We called him Sammy.

Once had a little black and white shorthair that was fond of alking over people's laps so we called him Hannibal. And a little tiny prissy long hair that was (mostly) antisocial but not in a bad way. She was Penelope.

Currently have a tortiseshell (Julie), a grey tiger (Chester) and a mostly black (Shadow). Each is unique and fun to watch. Hard to tell if a dog would be as entertaining.