Lee Pitts: Cat-astrophe
Unlike Mark Twain and my grandma, I am not what you’d call a cat person; dogs are more my style. There are 90.5 million cats living in this country in 37 million homes but if you see cat littler in my house it’s to mop up the oil spills and the messes I make on a frequent basis. I have thought long and hard about this and the only advantage I can think of that cats have over dogs is that they don’t bark, although their constant whiny meowing certainly gets on my nerves.
When you consider my distaste for cats it’s a miracle I took any notice at all of the sign I saw nailed to a power pole when I went into town. On the handmade wanted poster was the pathetic picture of a calico cat, the word “LOST” in big letters and the phone number of “Mikey” to call in case anyone saw the missing cat.
You’re not going to believe what feline was waiting for me when I got back home!
Although I’m not that fond of cats I do love animals and since the cat is sort of a member of this cat-egory I felt a certain responsibility to call Mikey and report that her cat was close at hand. The problem was, I am not good at remembering numbers so I had to go back into town to get the phone number off the wanted poster.
In talking with Mikey, who turned out to be a young lady, it was obvious that her cat was the most important thing in the world to her. But Mikey was at work and couldn’t come right away so she asked if it would be too big an imposition if I kept Cattywampus for awhile. Yes, that’s what she told me her cat’s name was. Or Catty for short. She said all I had to do was call her by name and she’d “come-a-runnin.”
Catty certainly didn’t seem to know her name to me. As I approached she hissed and showed her fangs but with my athletic and lithesome body I was able to lunge after Catty and grab her… and quickly let her go as she ripped my flesh from head to toe.
I was applying band-aids and tourniquets when Mikey called back to make sure I had corralled her she-devil. “Not yet,” I replied, “we’re still getting acquainted.”
Mikey then told me to put some food out and Catty would surely come, but when I retrieved some of my wife’s leftover lasagna from the fridge and put it in a bowl for her, Catty showed extremely good taste and stayed at a safe distance upwind.
Mikey then called back to see how things were going and she lectured me that the reason Catty didn’t come was because she ate only Newman’s Own Organic cat food. So I put my bloody and bandaged body in my vehicle and went back to town to fetch some. But Catty still wouldn’t eat and Mikey’s next phone call explained why: in support of the beef industry I had purchased beef flavored Newman’s Own, but Catty only ate the chicken and rice. I should have known. So, it was back to town again.
Catty still wasn’t hungry. So I put on my leather welding gloves, chaps, cowboy gauntlets, heavily padded ski jacket and plastic face shield and herded Catty into my garage, forcing her into a far corner before running out the door and slamming it shut. Once on the outside I turned around and there was Catty smiling at me from a tree in the condescending manner all cats have. I made a mental note to put the garage door back on its hinges and have the auto body shop polish out all the scratches on my car. To this day cat hairs fly out of my table saw when I use it.
Next I trapped Catty in a small shed but she came flying through the screen door like she was shot out of a cannon, which wasn’t a bad idea, I thought. She hit me hard in the groin region and to this day I sing two octaves higher. Catty next ran under my house where I boarded her up. I hadn’t heard from Mikey for awhile when I called to tell her that I had her cat safe in hand. Sort of. “Oh, it’s you,” she said. “I got back from work hours ago and Catty was right here all along. She’s here on my lap as we speak. Do you have any idea how much anguish you put me through today?”
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