I hate my cat.
Can I just put that out there? I’m not naturally a hateful person (or a cat person…) but this cat has incurred my spite, ignited my dark side, and pretty much just peeved me off. To be fully upfront about the role I’ve played in welcoming this cat into our house, I have to take full ownership. I saw the kittens on facebook, and I fell in love and did something very FEMALE.
Or maybe very 5 year-old FEMALE.
I set my computer aside, put my jacket on and went straightway to get a kitten. I indulged.
And now I must repent.
And believe me -I AM REPENTING -sackcloth, ashes, the whole nine yards.
First, I thought the cat was male (it still looks like a male). And then she got pregnant.
Fool me once.
Next, my seemingly well-behaved cat showed her true colors when I started seeing MICE. MICE IN MY HOUSE.
Fool me twice, shame on ME.
Now I’m going to take you back -flashback style.
A few years ago, we brought home two kittens as Christmas gifts “for the kids.” They were mostly for Danny and I because our MOUSE problem was outrageous. I had HAUNTA nightmares. In my deep cleaning, I would find evidence of mice, YEA even MICE THEMSELVES. I hit my breaking point when I was vacuuming out our hall closet and found a mouse carcass.
I phoned a friend and secured two kittens from her pregnant cat. I claimed those little mouse murderers before they were even fully developed. Having them around the house was a balm to my soul. Truly. Is there any greater cure for what ails you than kitten on your porch? Spats and Fluffy were a dream come true. The mice disappeared from every corner of my house… I rejoiced. REJOICED.
But then Spats died of pneumonia.
We buried him and felt sad, and I didn’t waste anytime in finding another kitten to fill the void. I wasn’t about to let The Great Mouse Massacre come to any kind of halt.
I mean what I say when I say they were chewing through clothes, dryer hoses, dish cloths! I found mouse feces WEEKLY on my kitchen counter tops. I bleached furiously, constantly. And still. Feces.
I could hear them chewing wood at night, scurrying under my bed.
It was torture, and it drove me to something of an inmousanity. As opposed to inhumanity because they’re really two very different things.
I picked up our new cat, Crissy, and we loved her fully and wholly for the short three months we had her. Upon her sudden and unexplained disappearance, we realized Fluffy was pregnant. She produced four of the most beautiful kittens in the world. Once again, our porch was littered with kittens.
If you’re swooning, you’re with friends.
We lost one kitten in the cow trough behind our house, and Lacy went to school the next day and wrote about it in her Writer’s Workshop Notebook, “The orange kitty got in the cow troth and we think she is gone forever. and she is.”
We gave two of the kittens away to the UPS man and kept the last for ourselves for maybe a week. We came home from church to find it dead.
I started sensing a pattern… kittens come TO our house but NEVER GET OUT.
But we still had Fluffy. Faithful, gentle, wonderful -so long as you didn’t come near her or touch her -Fluffy.
And no mice.
I picked up this new kitten, and Fluffy eventually came around to her. Our new kitten became a teenager, and Fluffy took it personal and vanished (Our house is something like a Feline Bermuda Triangle).
And the teenager became so fat, so pregnant. She birthed SIX healthy kittens.
Which brings us to today.
That CAT. IS HORRIBLE.
We have 50% of the kittens left. She starved two to death (and ATE one. ATE! HER OWN BABY!). One disappeared in the barn because she moved those poor kittens constantly.
All we found was a furry orange paw…
But that’s all just background. ALL BACKGROUND to what I’m getting at.
Having discovered our “male” cat was pregnant, we began calling her Mama, and the name has stuck but it is not at all fitting (see “ate her own dead baby” above).
A few weeks ago, I took Mama and her 5 remaining kittens to the vet. She had mastitis because she refused to nurse her kittens.
I felt for her, having battled mastitis myself, and I ached watching her gingerly walk the porch.
I set her appointment up at 8:30 am. I got up early, dressed and got ready for the day. I then got the children up, loaded up the cat and her babies into the car which my husband had started and cooled down before we put them in.
I crawled through my passenger side door to the driver’s side (which door has been broken for far longer than I want to discuss thankyouverymuch).
With three sleepy children in carseats and 6 felines in the back seat, I followed my husband into town where he AND the vet work. As we merged onto the highway, I spied with my little eye a barn cat darting back and forth in the back of the car.
Her pain had been temporarily backseated to her terror.
Back, forth, back forth, backforthbackforth… and that’s when she pooped. TERROR POOPED.
Let it here be known that my children have the weakest gag reflexes in the history of children. I immediately rolled their windows down and begged from the depths of my soul that they NOT PUKE.
It crossed my mind that the cat might jump out of their open windows. I didn’t have time to figure out if that scared me or tempted me. Jury’s still out…
I pulled off the nearest exit, barreled out the passenger’s side door, called my husband and asked him to please turn around and help me either clean up or keep the kids from puking or just cheer me on.
I used what few baby wipes I’d brought with me to scoop the mess up, deposited it in a diaper (what else?) and let the car air out. At this point, we were officially going to be late for the cat’s appointment which would make me late for work and so I’d need to call the sitter and inform her as well.
I drove cautiously into town, glancing down at the CAT at my son’s feet. Cursing her, pitying her.
As I pulled into the vet’s parking lot, my baby began screaming in pain. I turned to see what fresh hell had hit and found her puking.
She’s never PUKED before. She’s spit up and gagged and threw up small amounts of food when she chokes (gag reflex WEAK). But this? This was seriously something from the depths bottom DEEP of her little self.
I screeched into a parking spot, rolled the windows and began LOUDLY begging my gagging older two children TO PLEASE NOT PUKE. They opened their doors and TOOK FLIGHT. My husband quickly popped the back hatch of the car and volunteered to handle the cats. He was halfway to the waiting room before I could protest.
I was left.
and no wipes.
I managed pretty well with what I had on hand (luckily I keep a small kit in the car full of disposable gloves, bags, and baking soda -although no wipes, apparently). I found an old extra outfit for the baby, wiped her down with the clothes she had on, and then bused her into the office where I gave her a makeshift bath in a sink.
I came home with antibiotics for Mama, eye creme for the sick kittens, and a belly ache from ALL OF THE FLUIDS AND FECES.
I called into work.
I cancelled the sitter.
I diffused my stomach ache blend for the rest of the day.
And I’m standing here to tell you that MICE ARE IN MY HOUSE. AGAIN.
I hate my cat.
I’m babying these babies in the hope that they’ll turn out nothing like their mother and somehow foster an insatiable thirst for hunting small game.
Like the mice that invaded my dresser a few months ago because although Mama is bad news for her own flesh and blood, she’s apparently a cake walk for mice. They’re having a regular reunion at our house.
Can I just say? We caught FOUR in the course of THREE days.