Thursday, July 19, 2007

On Cats and Catflaps

Yesterday's Post was about Doggies, so in the interest of equal time, today will be about Kitties. I am not inclined to be nice about it, however, since I spent a chunk of my afternoon for the second time this month cleaning dead (or in this case, not-quite-dead) bird out of my house.

You see, my wife and I have two kitties. There's PC, a big gray male who's getting on in years, and the new kitty, Marbles. Marbles is a girl kitty, black and white, and young and frisky.

Our history with these kitties goes back to about 1999 or so, when my girlfriend (now my wife) and her roommate, Q, moved into a house in a VERY bad neighborhood. The houses in front of, behind, and to one side of theirs were Crack-houses, with shady characters rolling by constantly. This situation was just beginning to sink in to these girls at about nightfall on the day they were moving in. I was there helping them move, and so it was me and two girls in the house when all of a sudden there was a BANGING sound on the kitchen window!

I was quickly elected "Man of the House", and dragged all of my frightened, unarmed, 160-lb. self into the kitchen "to see what was the matter", as the poet says. There was a young gray cat perched on the windowsill, clawing furiously at the aluminum screen window, causing the frame to make more noise than I thought possible. Apparently, the girls had moved into HIS house, because when we opened the door (after re-swallowing our hearts), he waltzed right on in like he owned the place, a little curious about his new roommates, but apparently ok with sharing his pad with these new humans, provided they keep the food coming, and open the door for him whenever he demanded. Becca noticed that his jaw had been broken at some point in his young life (it WAS a rough neighborhood after all), giving him a lopsided, slack-jawed look (his tongue occasionally lolls out to the side making him truly ridiculous looking) So they named him Prince Charming, with a hearty sense of Irony about it, and called him "PC" for short.

Opening the door on demand became the theme for our relationship with this cat for the next 8 years. about 18 months or so after meeting PC, Becca and I were married, and moved into the tiny 3-room apartment I call "The Monkey Cage". We paid a big, fat, Pet Deposit in order to bring PC with us. We let PC out when he wanted, and back in when he clawed at the aluminum screen, making a sound like a barfight in full swing. Then one of the other tenants in our apartment complex, who drove a shiny black pickup truck complained that our cat was leaving footprints on it. We received a note from the Management informing us of the complaint and asking us to please keep our pet indoors.

We tried, honestly, we did try. For a whole week, almost, we tried. At the end of that week we had almost as many shreds of sanity as we had shreds of mini-blinds on our windows. Even the blinds on the back door located nearly five feet off the ground were not spared. Very soon the decision was made that we would rather risk eviction than imprison that whirlwind of destruction in our apartment against his will one more day. And so, painfully aware of the consequences of not doing so, we opened the doors on demand for the next several years, at three different addresses, regardless of the time of night or day, or whether we were busy or sleeping.

And then we got Marbles, a skinny little black and white kitten who showed up at the Airport where Becca works. Things were touch-and-go for a little while, with the frisky little kitten terrorizing the now at least 8-year-old established King of the household, but they co-exist peacefully enough now.

Then in the fall of 2006 we replaced our front door as part of an overall thermal-efficiency remodel. A lot of really cold air can come in the door when you open it in at 3AM to let the cat out, so I thought to my self, "Self, why don't you see if you can get a door with a pre-installed cat-flap?" As it turns out, my Father-in-Law had a better idea. If we put the cat flap in a window, rather than the door, then cats can get in (because they can jump), but skunks (and possums and probably racoons) can't!

Birds can, though. Especially if a frisky black and white kitten brings them in, crippled, so she can "Play" with them. Mice, Voles, Moles, Shrews, Chipmunks, and Rats can get in the same way. Being awakened at 3AM to let a cat in or out is actually rather nice compared to being awakened at 3AM by the cries of wildlife being eviscerated at the foot of your bed! Sunday night it was a rodent of some variety, and yesterday it was a Red-Breasted Robin. Holy Crippled Bird, Batman!

This is the THIRD robin that my cat has smuggled in through the cat-flap. The first one woke my wife and me up with its cries of pain and terror at about 5:30 AM. The second, just earlier this month, was a Mostly-eaten Carcass by the time we discovered it lying on the carpet in my Feather-strewn den. Yesterday I came home in the afternoon to find feathers in my den, AND dining room, AND bedroom, and the bird, alive and completely ignored, lying on my bedroom floor.

------ Daily Haiku of the Day™ -------
Okay, I get it.
You're A Sadistic Killer.
But Do That OUTSIDE!
Ah, cats... ya' hafta' love 'em!

No, really, you have to, or they'll kill you in your sleep.

I posted puppy pictures yesterday, so I better post kitty pictures today. The only problem is I don't have any good ones, and I don't have any of Marbles at all.

Anyway here is our battle scarred warrior cat, PC

And Here He is, Ahem, taking care of some Feline Hygiene.

HeHe.. Catch you on the flipside, Blogophiles!


JeremyGee said...

My cats have myspace profiles.

Your cats are oldschool.

Frank Gibson said...

I protect my kitties from the pedophiles on MySpace. You are a bad kitty-daddy, Jeremygee.

Anonymous said...

Your mother in law thinks you should maybe consider closing the door to the laundry room to keep evicerated critters away from the foot of your bed.

PS I'm not really anonymous, just cant remember the log in-

memory like a steel sieve - klc