Monday, October 15, 2012

The Cat Tour



It’s been a while since we’ve taken the Cat Tour. Readers of my little book, Cat Consequences, may remember the highlights, but since that particular writing effort failed to make the New York Times Best Seller list, it’s about time for another go round. What this tour will show is the enormous influence that the cats have upon my life here at the humble abode as well as an effort to evoke your sympathy for one who must deal with the felines on a daily basis.

(cue violin music)

The Garage: You wouldn’t think that the cats would have much influence over a garage. You would be wrong. A ratty maroon throw-rug adorns the hood of my pickup as we speak. Why? Because the cats climb on everything out there leaving tiny claw marks in the paint. All windows on both vehicles must be up. Leave a window down and you will find a cat curled up in one of the seats leaving a pound or two of cat hair behind when you chase it off. If the overhead door is left open a crack for dog ventilation, you must check to be sure that a cat is not lying under the door before hitting the switch. Now I know what you’re thinking; how could I possibly be blamed for forgetting to look and accidently mashing a cat? Well, I can. Nuff said about that.

Then there’s the Minnie cat that likes to lie on top of my rear wheel. The same guidelines apply. Of course there’s the ubiquitous bowl of fresh water and one of dry cat foot for midnight snacks. Yes, I have stepped in that water bowl, and more than once.

Oh, almost forgot. There must also be a cat rug over the table saw so that the little dears don’t stick a foot in the slot and cut themselves. It gets worse.

The Kitchen: More water bowls and food dishes. I had no idea how much ants loved cat food until this last summer. Leave a bowl on the floor for thirty minutes and the little buggers will form a chow line that stretches from here to who knows where? Yes, I’ve stepped in those bowls as well.

The Deck. This area lies just off the kitchen and also serves as an outdoor dining area for the cats. Here, food is catered whenever the kitties can’t be bothered to stand up and walk to the kitchen. And  yes, there is yet another water bowl on the deck.

The Master Bedroom and Bath: Water bowl and food dish? Check.  Been there, stepped in both of ‘em.  But wait, there’s more. Here, next to the bathtub, lies one of the infamous litter boxes, the bane of every cat owner. The box is filled with dried cactus needles and razor sharp rocks. I know this because I step through the overflow every night on my way to the bathroom. This particular location is Minnie’s favorite, and used only between the hours of  two and three a.m. This is significant because Minnie the cat has the worse smelling poop in the entire cat kingdom. What you think is a dream where you’ve fallen into a septic tank, is actually the aftermath of a late night visit from Minnie.

Years ago, while perusing a wildlife gift catalogue, I spotted an attractive bed cover with images of Northern Cardinals. Had to have it. Moments after delivery, I had it in place, stood back, and admired how well it went with the decor. I haven’t seen it since. Reason? The cover was constructed with a loose weave, perfect for grasping and tugging by the feline claw. Estimated destruction time? About three and half minutes. Glance in the bedroom today and you’ll see the bed covered not by beautiful red birds , but by a cat sheet, one of many that we’ll discuss later. A cat sheet can be any color or condition, d├ęcor be damned.

The Family Room: More cat sheets here, lots of them; my chair, the divans, but strangely enough, there is no sheet on the Missus’s favorite chair. I don’t know why. The carpet in this room is a light beige and goes oddly well with the color of cat puke.  In a pathetic attempt to keep the little darlings from destroying the divan, a scratching box is discreetly tucked away under an end table. You’ve seen them, cheap affairs made with disposable cardboard? I could easily sell it in the next garage sale as the box remains in pristine condition with nary a mark on it. Need I mention the curtains? I didn’t  think so.

The Doll Room. This is a small area where the Missus keeps her collection of dolls. Some are Plain Jane, others are unique with homemade dresses and cute little hats. Many of them have their own personal story. Many means exactly that. What started as a few dolls sitting in a cabinet has now grown around the room into baby beds, baby desks, baby strollers, and now on to and across the floor. Can you spell h-o-a-r-d-e-r? Are the cats allowed in this room? Hell, no. Strictly off limits. No surprise there.

The Utility Room: This might come as a shock, but there’s a water bowl and a food dish just inside the door. Also, a litter box, a cat bed, and various cat toys. This room is where the gray cat named Blue, spends the night; isolated, with the door shut. Locked In solitary is not unusual for Blue. If you recall, this is the cat that goes on an occasional urine spraying rampage. Why there has been no execution date set for this cat remains a mystery.

Guest Bedroom: Cat sheets galore! One covers a chair that I’ve not seen the color of since the day it came in the door. Another sheet adorns…well, I’m not sure what it is. Yes, there is a bathroom here. Guess what’s inside. You got it! Another food bowl, water dish, and the necessary of all necessaries, another litter box.

The Office Room: The Man Cave: The Sanctuary: Actually, it’s none of those things. Here, the cats roam with the same impunity they enjoy in the rest of the house, sleeping where they want, dislodging cables from the electronics leaving me to search for hours to find the problem, and generally making pests of themselves.

A final note: During our tour, did you happen to notice the number of cat related objects hanging on walls and sitting on shelves. In case you forgot to count, the total comes to one hundred and seventeen. Can you spell o-b-s-e-s-s-i-v-e?

Well, that’s the end of the tour. Thank you for your time and attention. Sympathy cards, sent to the usual home address, are always appreciated.

(fade violin music)