Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Story of A Cat & 2 Boys

Not Molly or any other cat in this story..

So I said I had a funny story about my kids and cats, and it’s true. You see, growing up we had lots and lots of cats. It all started innocently enough, doesn’t it always? But when we volunteered for the Humane Society and they discovered we had 3 huge barns on our property they asked us to help with their cat issue. Little did we know it meant 30 some odd kittens! 
Now, my kids never saw all those cats, but they have seen a few off springs as my parents still live in the same house and still have cats, just not as many! Jayden has always, always, always been an animal person. I could tell you countless animal stories about this kid, but I’m talking about cats so I must stay the course.
As a baby he was allergic to cats, and probably still is. I’m allergic to cats and if I hold one will get sniffly and weepy eyes and my skin will itch wickedly and I’ll eventually get a headache. Unfortunately, we live in the country and have no cat. We’ve not owned a cat since Jayden was born, and only had one for a short time when Morgan was a baby. That did not stop Jayden from loving on cats when he visited his grandparents house.
Love on them he did, much to the tail switching of the poor kittens. In fact, if I recall correctly he got a scratch or two on the fingers, but he also got lots of purring and love bites and thus it never phased him any.
When we moved to Australia we didn’t actually see a cat until we moved into the home we now reside in. The former tenants had a cat. A big old orange and white tom cat named Molly. I didn’t laugh, I didn’t even need the lady’s explanation. Mom had a bird, a boy.. named Emily. I understood. Mr S on the other hand had to excuse himself to go laugh to the point of tears in the other room. We heard the snickers.
Molly didn’t understand that he didn’t live here anymore, but he was highly timid of all people except Jayden and I. I suspect the lady who lived here was his true owner and the cat didn’t associate with the rest of the family. However, I did say Jayden was an animal person, and he is. Morgan, however isn’t.
Morgan can walk into a room of dogs and be attacked by all of them. He can walk down to the beach and birds poo on him and taunt him. The poor kid can walk into a room full of cats and they’ll hiss and scratch and go nuts. Funniest part? Morgan is really a sweet person and wouldn’t hurt any of them. He’s the child who comes running to save moths, butterflies, and other creepy crawlies from the fate of the flyswatter. He’s the one who will comfort our dog during thunderstorms, and he’s the same one who will feel bad if he thinks the birds outside are hot and will provide them with water sources. Don’t ask me why these animals can’t show a little more appreciation for the poor kid!
So one day Molly showed up in the middle of the night and we called his owner to come collect him. She did. She was delighted. Mr S told me to ask her if they also lost a pet mouse.. but that might have been told in another blog post, and if it wasn’t should have been because it’s an equally funny story!
Molly went home with his owner who kept him closed up for a few more days and then let him out again. Molly came back and sunned in the drive, and hid when Morgan went outside. One day, though Jayden was out on the deck and Molly sauntered up and wound around Jayden’s legs. Jayden was in love and stooped down to pet the cat who was equally in love. 
Morgan was out back and came around and saw the situation and decided he too should stroke the cat. He did, the cat tried to scratch him but got Jayden right across the cheek instead. Jayden was horrified, but not nearly as much as Morgan. Jayden was soothed with a band-aid and the realization that he hadn’t hurt the cat.
Fast forward to late last year when we got new neighbors in the vacant house next door. They had a cute black and white cat who use to come visit us often. This cat would taunt our dog to no end and sit on the fence and our poor dog would growl and bark and carry on and the cat adored the absurd form of attention. One day I told the cat that if he came back again I was going to rub him all over the base of my house to keep the mice away, the cat never came back. The dog was delighted.
Fast Forward to this year. The neighbors have a new cat. It’s even naughtier then the last one and they put a collar with a bell on it, which means not only is it naughty we can hear it doing so! Our dog thinks the collar is hilarious and laughs with spite at the cat, no offense to people who put collars on their cat but I think our dog might be on to something..
Anyway, this cat is really pesky. He teases our dog, he climbs our window screens, he trips me when I’m hanging up laundry, and he climbs in my clean laundry while I try to fold it. If that weren’t bad enough, he doesn’t chase the lizards out of my garden, but he will chase the socks and sheets hanging from my laundry line. He’s an all out nuisance! 
Yet, his owner is sweet and adorable and dotes on him, but when she’s not home or he gets left outside.. He comes to visit. One such day happened and Daddy said, “Boys don’t talk to the cat, don’t look at it, don’t talk about it. Just ignore it.” Well, Jayden was put out, “What if it needs a drink Daddy, can I give it a drink?” 
“No, it will go home then.”
“What if it can’t go home. What if it’s stuck outside forever, then could I give it a drink?”
“No, I want it to go home.”
“What if it doesn’t want to go home Daddy, then could I give him some water?”
“Jayden if you water that blasted cat I’m going to get so cross I’m going to shout.”
“Daddy you are shouting..”
You get the point. Morgan, however only heard the first sentence and then he ran to his room. No one thought much about this and I continued folding my laundry in peace until the cat started HOWLING at our gate. The dog then started barking and thus the cat hissed and spat and carried on. I went and got a water bottle and sprayed the cat with one quick spritz of water. He licked it up. I sprayed him again and he went halfway home.
Morgan returned long enough to tell Jayden a horror story about cats. He reminded him of the cats who use to give him love bites, of the scratch he once got from Molly, and how Mommy once got bit by a cat so bad she still has the scare to prove it. Now, he’s right I do. The cat, however, that bit me was a psycho kitty who was a true feral cat. It also had the audacity to leave me with three kittens who had to be bottle fed, but those are also other stories..
In the mean time Morgan’s story was weaving such a fantastic tale that Jayden’s delight at feeding and watering the neighbors cat quickly diminished to panic. He was terrified in ways I’ve never seen before, and that was nothing compared to what Morgan had done to himself.
I told Morgan to stop, and went on to say that every bit of the “scary” nonsense was just that.. nonsense. I corrected him in pointing out that each cat that behaved a wee bit naughty had been frightened in some way or other. Then i went about my normal tasks.
A week later I sent Morgan out to fetch the mail. Morgan wouldn’t go. He didn’t exactly say no, but he didn’t rush out as normal. In the end he took the dog and left us. I was confused, but ignored it. That was, until he came running inside.
Oh yes he did. He ran in the house full force, slammed the sliding door, locked it and belted upstairs and his in his bed for about ten seconds before he came running back downstairs panting so hard you’d have thought the devil himself was chasing that poor kid. He utters one miserable word, “CAT!”
I’m trying to remain calm over the absurdity of it all when the dog jumps up off the floor and runs headlong for the window. He sits there whining and staring out the window in grateful anticipation that the pesky cat might actually be here and perhaps he can get the upper hand on the beasty.
The thing is, there is no cat out there! It was the wind and a blackbird in the bushes.  Only, now Moragn is so petrified of cats that even Jayden won’t go outside when the cat is around. I went outside and tried to prove to them it was just a cat and cats aren’t lions and don’t attack for no reason. I bent down to pat the cat and the dog went crazy and the cat hissed and arched it’s back and Jayden screamed, “RUN MOM RUN!” Morgan started crying. This freaked the dog out more.
So when I walked into the quilt shop on Saturday and there was a cat all curled up on a quilt sleeping peacefully I walked right up to it and I started patting it and scratching it’s ears and telling Jayden all about the cat I use to own who looked just like it and had a Spanish name for beautiful because we were all taking Spanish classes at the time.
Morgan, Mr S, and the others were a bit behind us and when they all walked in and Morgan saw the cat he started panting and ran out of the shop screaming. Mr S dragged him back in and showed him that the cat was not attacking me. So Morgan gutted it up and pet the cat. 
Then Jayden says very loudly, “I’m allergic to cats you know!” We ignore him. He asks me when the cat will get up and follow him, I tell him I don’t know. He asks the owner why she leaves her door wide open, isn’t she afraid her cat will run away? She tells him that the cat lives here in the shop and so it doesn’t mind the door being open.
And that, my friends, is when it happens. The cat opens one sleepy eye and then the other. It yawns and stretches out. It comes running to our little animal lover and winds it’s way around his feet. He laughs and pets it and his brother runs screaming for cover. His cousin asks what’s wrong and Morgan says, oh so loudly, “It’s gonna bite us all to death!”

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