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Friday Night Frights

Thursday Night Frights

As we neared my driveway I was still talking to Miss Kitty, in a kind, quiet, reassuring voice. Telling her about all the joys that lie ahead; plenty of food and fresh water, room service or rather “cat box cleaning” each and every day, every cushioned piece of furniture a place for a nap, a warm dry house to enjoy and….a large yard with trees and bushes and squirrels to chase. No danger of traffic on our private dirt road, and no dogs. And three loving family members to pet her.

I pulled my truck up to a stop and turned off the engine. I walked around grabbed the carrier. Now to go back a bit, Sade, who has been teasing and texting me all summer long while I was in West Virginia supervising our house project; GUESS WHAT WE FOUND ALONG THE ROAD? A KITTY. Or… I GOT THE BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT; A NEW KITTY. Etc. Each time it was just a tease, my girls knew I did not want any more cats. But Jim’s FB Post was a sign, one I could not dismiss. She was going to get her little kitty after all.

On the way to school Thursday morning (I take her to school like a good dad), we passed a car with a bumper sticker that read: “I HAVE A GREAT CATITUDE.” I read it aloud as we passed the car, and she said, sadly, “Well, Dad, so do I.” I knew how the evening would end (or thought I would, anyway) so I gave her a little tease myself, “Well, I can see us getting another kitty. Not now, but later on when things settle down.” That’s all I said, but it was enough for her to text mom with the news; Dad is going to let us get a kitty!” and told her about the Catitude bumper sticker.

Now Coletta was in on the cat caper, so she texted me, “Sade knows you’re up to something, she was so excited she texted me about your conversation this morning.” All the better. I had planted a seed. So imagine how excited I was to be walking into the house with our new family pet. I put her box down on the living room floor and loudly announced, “Look what I found by the side of the road.” Miss Kitty was meowing like crazy. Sade would later tell me she thought I was messing with her by playing cat sounds on my smart phone. Sade ran out, “YOU GOT ME A KITTY! I opened the carrier door and she poked her little furry head out. “Give her some space, now.” Miss Kitty walked around and eventually came over to Sade. All was right with the world. Then it happened.

“Dad, I was petting her and then she hissed real loud and tried to bite me.” I tried to fend it off to her being freaked out. Then she did it to Coletta. Same M.O. She would come over and rub against you, allow you to pet her head and back, grab her tail, scratch behind her ears, then without any apparent provocations growl, hiss and attack. Though she never made contact with teeth or claws, only good reflexes on our parts saved our flesh. “Maybe she just likes men,” Coletta offered. I sat down, she came to me, I petted her head and back and “HISSS YOWL!” She went after me. We all gave her a wide berth after that. She found a corner and just growled.

Coletta set up her cat box, food dish, and water bowl in the family room, and just let her do her thing. I had to get to my meeting, I was running late, and it was 7:00 already after two hours on the road. I took my leave.

I got home several hours later to find Miss Kitty asleep on my blanket on the couch. “Awwww, she was settling in,” I thought. I sat in the middle of the couch and she woke up and came right to me. I scratched her fuzzy little head, and back, and scratched behind her ears, then quite suddenly without any warning or provocation she turned into devil cat, hissing and growling and tried to bite me. I got up and walked away. I sat in my chair, and watched while she prowled around, in mortal fear she would jump up on my chair and ask for more loving only to turn on me. She made several circles of our family room, checking out the corner by the stairs several times. I was keeping a wary eye on her. Then, like “Wildchild” she jumped up on the hearth and walked into the fireplace. We have gas logs with gravel. She stood there a while exploring, then squatted and peed in my fireplace! I still talked nice to her though, no harsh words as I got up to grab the Febreze Anti-bacterial spray. When I came back she was squatting in front of the fireplace on the stone hearth where she left me a chocolate pudding quality pile of wet, putrid stool.

Personally that did it for me. I was done. None of us were willing to pet the creature from the brown lagoon, in fact we were afraid to go near it or even go to sleep with the wild creature in our home. I opened the door to outside, and out she went to much relief. Next day she was on the rear deck curled up on the picnic table in the sun. How cute. Right….I put some food on the sun porch, opened the slider and announced, “Dinner time.” She walked up to the threshold and stopped. A can of succulent seafood delight awaited. She froze. I walked away and she took a few furtive steps in, then went to the food. I snuck up behind her to close the door, zoom she was back on the deck. After a few more attempts I managed to sneak up and close the door. Trapped!

End of story, I called The Humane Society, a “No-kill” shelter, explained my predicament, and they agreed to take her. Trouble was, I had to capture the wild beast and bring her in myself. They were short an “Officer.” I waited until Coletta came home, and using the tag team approach Jim and I used, garden gloves and all, got her in the carrier. With a great sense of relief we dropped her off. The shelter hands were annoyed that we spent less than 24 hours with her, not giving her a chance to adjust. I told them this cat was CRAZY and no amount of time would render her trustworthy. They all gave us the stink eye. That is until THEY tried to get her OUT of the carrier. 15 minutes later they emerged from the room. “You’re not getting your towel back, we had to throw cat, towel and all into the cage. That is one grouchy cat.” No kidding. We headed home relieved that we could go to sleep that night without fear of getting our eyes scratched out while we slept.

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