The hidden joys of having house cats…

So, growing up on our ranch in Montana, we always had at least one batch of kittens every summer…  I seemed to have had a gift for picking out the “special” ones (as in “Stop eating the paste!” special).  For instance one of my kittens named “Babes” (Don’t ask me why a 13 year old would come up with such a stupid name… IT seems incredibly ridiculous to me now, but that was her name.)  She was very “special.”  In fact, my brothers liked to hold her up in the air by her tail to make me mad.  The funny thing was, that she would START purring when picked up by the tail!  Anway, at this time in my life I could not understand why my Dad wouldn’t let us keep a cat in the house.  He would allow us to bring the kittens in for a while to play, but they lived outside.  I really wanted a house cat.  In fact, I told everyone that when I had my own house, I was going to have a house cat.  Around Thanksgiving, I decided that I was going to get a kitten, but I had to get two so that they would have someone to play with.  Well, I did–Fergus and Toby.  They were loads of fun; they would run all over the house and chase and tumble and they were so incredibly cute!  When they got a little older they would play with my toes while I was trying to sleep and run over the top of my bed constantly which kept me awake.  Fergus liked to crawl on top of my head and sleep, while Toby preferred to be under the covers by my feet…  They were so funny, despite the fact that they kept me awake sometimes!  I think this is the first reason Dad never let a cat live in our house–he tried it once because my Mom brought some home and the cats kept everyone awake with their nocturnal nonsense, so they got booted outside.

Another reason could be that they are reputed to be not so delicate with the furniture…  But, Toby and Fergus were pretty good about only scratching on their scratching post and they were angels as far as using the litter box from the get-go.  What a relief!  However, the utility of getting kittens in pairs was reinforced when Fergus passed on (he got FIP) and Toby nearly destroyed my house before I could find a new playmate for him.  Ok, so that’s a little melodramatic, but, out of boredom (I presume), he did destroy the miniblinds above my headboard in my bedroom with his little chompers–bless his heart…  (I’m told that in the South you can say anything you want about someone as long as you add those three words!)  Anyway, he hasn’t touched them since I got Jasper cat.  (Don’t ask me about the obviously needless redundancy of calling a cat his name followed by the word “cat”…, but it rolls off the tongue nicely.  So nicely in fact that I occasionally refer to his partner in crime as “Toby cat.”)  Anyway, Toby was so glad to have a new friend that, while Jasper cat was trying to figure out which end was up and where the food and potty were, Toby kept pummelling him and biting his ears.  Poor little guy!  He survived it well and they are best buds now.  As far as house destruction, we could always include the fur that gets on stuff, but my cats don’t shet too awfully much–especially if I use the Furminator every so often.  I know it sounds like a torture device, but it is really just a special comb that works like a charm to comb out their loose undercoat hair and keep them from depositing it on the couch…or my bed or my clothes…or whatever else.

So all is peachy with the cats in the house, right?  Wrong!  Jasper cat and Tobes decided that they liked going outside, so I thought that that would be fine and purchased a cat door and some tags for the kitties.  They were in heaven!  They could run around and explore new things–even if they couldn’t get out of my chain link fenced back yard for the first month or so…  The real joy began about a month ago when my cats decided to capitalize on their hunting skills and instincts.  That IS what cats are supposed to do, (I know and believe me I appreciate it) but cats have this devilish delight in bringing their captured prey home with them…!  So, at first it was the earthworms… Toby loves earthworms.  I would grab them and chuck them out the front door and he would zip out the back door, get a new one and be back in before I had hardly shut the front door!  Next it was the mice…  It was an especial treat to come home at night only to find a dead mouse when I flipped on the light.  At least they were dead.  Last week, I came home around ten and turned on my bedroom light only to discover that my entire room was covered in feathers!  The source which, a dead starling, lay on the floor near the door.  It was so digusting, but again, I thought to myself, at least it was dead.  Famous last words of a fool!  Two nights later, I was asleep and I could hear one of the cats playing with something between my bed and the wall.  (Since my cats gave up playing with their toy mice a couple of months ago, this type of noise is NEVER a good thing.)  I looked at the clock and it was 1:03 AM.  I got up and turned on the bathroom light and suddently I could hear this awful screeching.  Toby had a bird and it was most definitely NOT dead.  The only thing worse than the fact that is was alive was that it was in my BEDROOM!  Toby would drop the bird and then when it thought it could escape, it would try to fly and Toby would snatch it mid-lauch and shake it around some more with his teeth, scattering feather everywhere.  I chased Tobes out of my room because he was definitely not willing to let me steal his prize, nor did I really want to touch it.  I chased him to the living room where Jasper cat steals the bird and streaks through the kitchen back down the hall back toward my bedroom!  When he discovered I was in hot pursuit and that he might be cornered, he released the bird and it flew right at me and up over my head shedding feathers with every flap of its little wings.  Jasper leaped into the air and swiped the bird again and I managed to chase him out the back door and lock the cat door so the cats could not come back inside with their little dinner and a show act.  By this time I was furious…  If the keeping me awake with their night games and the house destruction issues were not enough to convince me that perhaps my Dad had been wise in excluding the cats from our living space, the bird incident was a good clean-up hitter!  I keep hoping this phase will pass because I’m not sure how many more of these types of events I can handle before the cats are banished from the house permanently!  Perhaps it is good practice for the when I have kids one day…  Only time will tell.

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One Response to “The hidden joys of having house cats…”

  1. bluesuit12 Says:

    You’re only enforcing my opinion as to why inside pets are a BAD idea.

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