First let me start by saying how thankful I am to the Lord for creating this world we live in; the birds, the mountains, the ocean, the animals, the flowers-everything. I stand in awe of all He has created and worship Him every time I have the opportunity to appreciate all He has made. Also, I don’t like cats. I mean, I really, really, really, really don’t like cats. And I really, really, really, really don’t like them when i’m sick and about get my period. Okay-truth be told-there’s not a lot of things I like around the time Aunt Flo comes to visit-but still, for the purpose of this story we’re going to focus on my grumpiness around cats and that time of the month (which, by the way, seems to be taking over more of the month than it used to. Good grief). But about cats.
You’ll remember that we have (had??) mice living in the garage and consequently the laundry room and other areas of the house. It became clear that we would be needing a barn cat (or two) to help us control the rodent population around here. You’ll also remember that I am a city girl trying to figure out country life. Which means I am discovering I dislike hantavirus more than cats. Which means we need a barn cat.
One Sunday morning…
…when I was sick. and anticipating the arrival of my monthly friend El Guapo announced he’d found a free cat on craigslist that we could pick up on our way home from church. “Hooray!” exclaimed my children. “As long as it doesn’t eat my birds” was my response. So, we meet free cat giver-away-er lady (FCGAL). The cat seems pretty upset that its being held (by her, it’s owner). RED FLAG # 1. FCGAL explains how great of a huntress her cat is. How she is always bringing mice, even prairie dogs to her. This cancels out RED FLAG #1. I ask-innocently enough-trying not to show my true feelings, “How does she do with birds?” FCGAL responds, “Oh! She is great! She can break it’s wing in no time and have it caught before you know it.” RED FLAG #s 1, 2 3 & 4. I look in panic to El Guapo and say, “I don’t think this is going to work out. (and to the FCGAL) I like birds. A lot.” But reason was kind of getting through to me (and the strong desire to get out of this place) and reason with myself, well, if the cat is going to be good at getting mice-it’s probably going to be good at getting birds. I will just have to adjust my expectations. So, we end up taking the cat. in the car. without a carrier. In A’s lap. As the FCGAL hands A the cat she says- in a sudden moment of good conscience, “Oh, I think she’s pregnant.” And then, “She has worms. You’ll need to do something about that”. Riiiight.
Let’s review: I hate cats. I’m grumpy. I’m sick. I’m trying REALLY hard to make this work. I hate hantavirus. And crunching on little mouse poops.
We all get in the car, close the doors and the cat immediately escapes A’s loving grip and runs circles around the back and front seats-clawing all of us. Here’s what you would have heard if you were there:
“AH! The cat made a hole in my skirt!”
“Mom, she is freaking me out!!”
“Get me out of here!”
“”This is horrible. Mom, help!”
“Open the door-let her out!!”
Then, lastly, in a moment of defeat, while opening the door and driving away at the same time came the words of El Guapo to the FCGAL, “Sorry. It’s not going to work.”
We drive away. With no cat. With new holes in our pants. Blood, running down my exposed leg.
So, the birds continue to roam freely (and the mice seem to be at bay, for the time being), even though we have no cat. There’s actually a CATtastrophe story part 2. I’ll share that one next. Just after I check all of the mouse traps and make sure they are still empty.