Saturday, August 4, 2007

Cat Story

for Kasey (just in case he. . . .) Someone knocking on our mobile home's front door. I, being nearest, responded; Janice, soon, to my right, slightly behind. Two women--one we knew, each holding a kitten: a totally black male and a black-and-white female with unusual markings. We were asked if we'd be willing to adopt two kittens. Mainly because our financial situation at that time was tenuous, I told them no. Some days later Janice saw those kittens climbing a tree. I do not know if they were born outside, but they were allowed to be outside. We had had two cats separately. We didn't allow either to roam outside. Janice's parents would occasionally drive down from Wisconsin or Virginia to visit us in Gainesville, Florida. Either during or close upon those days, a visit from them was in progress. On the day before they would be leaving, Janice came upon the female kitten sitting alone in the driveway by the mobile home of the woman we knew. That woman, even though she really wasn't able to, tried to help any stray cat. Janice knew both that kitten and her brother were not in good health. It could be her brother had already died. Anyway, Janice picked up the female kitten and brought her home. I wasn't in favor of keeping her, but we did. Janice named her (???). We took her to a vet. She was given some shots, and we were given some medicine to give to her. Doing the latter was not easy, but we did get her back to reasonably good health. Our TV was near our mo-ho's front door, and one day (somewhile later) our bigger but still a kitten cat decided to leap from the top of the TV onto the top of the then open front door. So there she was, balancing and pacing, afraid to jump down. I had to get the step stool, snatch her from the door, and place her/ someplace safe. Over a period of months/ this became an annoying routine. Finally, after our home had been moved to a different park, Janice said she didn't want (???) getting up there anymore, but moving the TV was not an option. We kept the door closed. When Judge Wopner presided on The People's Court and cases came up involving cats, the litigants lost every time. In California cats were officially wild animals. The last cat we owned; or, rather, owned us, was definitely feral. And you can give a cat any name you want. It won't care. A cat does not (so far as I've seen) react to you when you use a name toward it. It might react though if you get too loud (as often happens in arguments). We had a washer and dryer in our home, and Janice and I were spattin' 'bout sumpin' and/ had I not looked down and quickly gotten Janice and myself to lower our voices, the cat would have attacked Janice and me also maybe. There was a day it did attack me--I am not sure why, and tore up my left calf. After that incident I carried my walking stick with me whenever I was moving around in our mo-ho. Months later, after Janice had had several strokes but refused to see a doctor and I was unable to get the only general practitioner in Gainesville she did like to accept her as a patient again because his patient load prevented it, and she had me going to McDonald's every day to buy her a cheeseburger, having supposedly come to disliking the way I was cooking things, she was sitting in her recliner and I was by the front door. We were conversing. As I was about to go out to do one thing, I pulled the door open. We continued conversing, and the one thing led to a possible two things. Meanwhile the cat, blocked from my view because the door was/ between me and it, quietly got on top of the TV. The possibility of doing two things caused me to change my mind about going out at that time. I shut the door and started walking towards my den, not knowing the cat had become enraged. That time she scratched up my right leg. I rushed to the restroom by the den and cleaned up, having told myself: That's it. This cat is history. It took a few days, but I had animal control come out and/ take her away. Janice, of course, was devastated, even though when the cat was a kitten it daily had scratched her arms, and even though we physically were no longer capable of properly/ maintaining a pet. She called me a sissy, or something similar. We got nasty with each other. I think I tried to explain and say I was sorry. She said: "No you're not. I said: "Okay, I'm not. I'm damn glad." She said: "I thought so." ========= [ About five weeks after 37 years of our marriage of companionship, Janice passed. That was in July of 2002. There is a somewhat tragic tale in all of this, but it is irrelevant to the memoir above. ] ========= Copyright © 2007 Brian A. J. Salchert See directory2007 in Catmap. Rho00013

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