We own three cats. Each one sports an oddity.
Roy is a paranoid female shaped like a 10-pound deer, only gray, black and stripey. She hates me and runs from me as if I’m Jack Nicholson in “The Shining” chasing her with an ax.
Chestnut’s back legs twist in slightly and she has only half a tail which ends in a hook.
Only Smokey has long hair, including tufts between all her toes. She weighs fourteen pounds and if you attempt to lift her, she squeaks.
We adopted them from a neighbor down the street whose pets obviously did not practice safe sex.
Despite my pleas, I am usually the only one who cleans the litter box.
So, now that you know the cast of characters, let me tell you about last Friday.
Last Friday I was upstairs in my bathroom when I heard the horrifying sounds of a cat fight. I ran downstairs to find Smokey and Chestnut tangled under the kitchen table in a cloud of hissing fur. I began screaming like a lunatic, waving my hands, moving kitchen chairs away from the table. They stopped mid-attack and hunched into defensive poses, making scary cats noises. Chestnut had her back against the wall, emitting a low growl.
Smokey sprang back onto Chestnut and I screamed so loud that one of my impossible-to-wake teenagers emerged from his room.
Chestnut ran for safety with Smokey in hot, hissing pursuit.
I continued my ineffective screaming (STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT!) and waved my arms. Chestnut escaped and ran upstairs to Zach’s room.
Smokey followed. So did I.
Chestnut hid under the bed and Smokey leered at all of us, ready to rip us into bloody ribbons.
By this time, both teenagers were on the scene. We hid Chestnut from view with blankets and shooed Smokey out of the room.
You’d think that would be enough drama for one day but you’d be wrong.
Later in the afternoon, another attack. Smokey was definitely targeting Chestnut while ignoring Roy entirely. So I called the vet.
The vet couldn’t see Smokey until Monday, so all weekend, we kept the cats separated through an elaborate system of open and closed doors. We’d enclose Chestnut in the laundry room (home to the food, water and litter box). Then we’d take her back upstairs and close her into a bedroom.
Why the vet? Well, I wanted to make sure that Smokey wasn’t ill. I wondered if maybe Smokey’s aggression was caused by . . . . I don’t know, cancer? a broken leg? schizophrenia?
So, at the appointed hour, I retrieved the animal crate from the storage room. I placed it on a chair, sneaked up on Smokey and tried to stuff her into the crate. However, the crate slid backward and Smokey suddenly caught on and made herself enormous by extending all her legs.
As you may know, you only get one chance to shove a cat into a crate. But, being hopelessly optimistic at the worst times, I tried again. Twice.
Then I grabbed my head with both hands and yelled, “WHAT DO I DO? WHAT DO I DO?” I circled the storage room looking for a solution. None appeared.
So, like a crazy woman, I declared my hatred of the cats and then my teenager informed me that I was hateful and I retorted that I was stressed out and seriously, these cats have been nothing but trouble! Because I am mature in times of trouble.
I needed to get that cat to the vet.
Fortunately, brilliant ideas come to me even when I am out of control.
The picnic basket.
I grabbed it, had one teenager handle the cat and the other slam the lid closed. I sealed it with duct tape while the cat began to howl. Then I worried the whole way to the vet’s office that the cat would suffocate–which would both solve my current problem and present a whole new problem. (“Sorry kids, I killed the cat.”)
My daughter, Smokey in the picnic basket and I waited in the vet’s office for almost an hour past our appointed time. An hour! Finally, we were shuffled into a room and at long last the veterinarian arrived.
I backed away from the basket, fully expecting Smokey to spring from the basket like a Tasmanian Devil as soon as the lid lifted. But she did not. She just peered up with wide eyes and flattened herself into the basket.
Bottom line? The cat is fine. The vet launched into a gory story about his own cats who once fought bloody fights for supremacy.
I said, “Even after six years? They are fighting for dominance after six years?”
And he said yes.
That cost me $38. But at least now I know that Smokey doesn’t have a physical excuse for her behavior.
Yesterday while I was on a telephone call for work, the cats ran under my desk, Smokey in pursuit of Chestnut. I instinctively jumped up and blurted, “CAT FIGHT!” which is always an awesome interjection on a business call.
I highly recommend getting two bickering cats to liven up your life if things have become boring and listless. Nothing gets your heart racing like a pair of snarling, growling, screaming, meowing, hissing, freaked out cats pouncing and circling and attacking.
It’s just as fun as it sounds.