There’s apparently a rumour flying around the community. Something to the effect that I am definitely not a “cat person.”
Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Why I absolutely adore the shedding, biting, hissing, clawing…uh….sweet and furry creatures! I also wish to state that any suggestions to the effect that dear little kitties may not be safe around me are just the result of malicious hearsay.
It’s my belief that all these false rumours are based strictly on the somewhat unfortunate relationship I have with my sister and brother-in-law’s cat, Puddin’ (AKA the Orange Menace).
Granted, in an earlier Gibberish column, I may have described one or two tiny run-ins Puddin’ and I had while I was staying at my sister’s home over Christmas. I may have intimated that there was a bit of antagonism between us. I may also have insinuated that Puddin’ was out to get me.
I am here to say that I recently returned from spending another three weeks in my sister’s home in Corunna. My sister and her husband were on holiday in Mexico. And for those 22 days her dear Kitty-Kat, sweet little Puddin’, and I got along just famously…
Okay, I lie.
The tone for my entire stay in Corunna was set on the very first night.
Puddin’ was silent and missing when I arrived late on a Monday evening. My tentative “Here, kitty, kitty,” got no response whatsoever.
But the next morning, when I came downstairs in my bare feet, there was a large, horrid green hairball, right at the base of the last step, exactly where my foot was due to land.
The gauntlet had been tossed down.
It didn’t help that the entire main floor of my sister’s house had been gutted to the studs in preparation for renovations. Except for my actual bedroom, the Orange Menace and I had only part of the downstairs family room in which to sit and move around. Every other area in the house was packed with furniture and appliances, moved to accommodate the coming workmen.
Puddin’ and I were forced into each other’s company.
Not a happy situation.
First of all, do you realize how much hair one orange cat can shed in an enclosed space?
It didn’t matter how often I vacuumed or dusted. Whenever I got up from a chair, the entire back of my outfit immediately acquired an orange fuzz.
I fell asleep on the couch one afternoon, and I think Puddin’ spent the entire hour silently dancing above me on the back of the couch.
When I finally got up, I was covered so thickly in cat hair that I actually checked the moon just to see if it was full or not.
Puddin’ had vanished. But I swear I heard snickering in the distance.
And there is one really distressing aspect of the cat/human relationship that nothing can prepare you for, especially if you have never owned a cat.
I don’t know exactly what is in Puddin’s catfood.
However, I do know how it comes out in the end…as it were.
As something about the size of a hockey puck. Lots of somethings. And one must actually scoop all of this up, raking through the sand several times, depositing all of the “findings” in another sealed container which also has to be cleaned out!
Eeee-yuck! (I am absolutely willing to swear that Puddin’ doubled up on her food consumption during those three weeks I was in Corunna. She did it on purpose.)
Then there were the attempted Great Escapes.
Puddin’ is a house cat. She is not allowed outside, even in the enclosed back yard unless my sister and brother-in-law are there to watch her. She knows this.
Consequently, with all the cunning of a POW in a German Stalag, the Orange Menace plotted her escapes while I was in charge. It got so that if I opened any outside door, at any time, an orange blur would materialize out of nowhere, and streak for the street.
A wrestling match and obnoxious shouting contest (both of us) was the inevitable result. This scrapping generally took place out on the front porch, at all hours of the day or night. (I have since learned the neighbours had a betting pool going, with the odds favouring Puddin’.)
There followed instances of caterwauling at 2 a.m. (okay, that might have been either of us), small items mysteriously falling into the toilet bowl and the curious incident of the cat in the night. (Honestly, I don’t know how she came to be locked in the spare bedroom for five or so hours. Really.)
When she returned home, my sister exclaimed, “Oh Puddin’, were you a good little kitty for your aunt Wendy?”
Puddin’ (looking as though a mouse wouldn’t melt in her mouth) and I glanced at each other sideways. We said nothing.
However, wait until September when I return for a visit.
There’ll be no more pussyfooting around…