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march 3, 2011

CAT

My parents have a cat, Martini.  I’m going to try really hard not to swear; but, that stupid cat is everything bad about cats, and if he belonged to anyone else, the cat would have been in a sack at the bottom of the pool a long time ago. 

Martini came from a litter of feral kittens that my aunt had found.  She kept one, and my parents took one.  My aunt certainly won the cat lottery that day.  Her cat is sweet, quiet, and a snuggler.  Martini is a beautiful cat, but he’s crazy.  Only my parents can get anywhere near him.  If anyone else attempts to touch him, or gets too close, he hisses and arches his back. 

My parents have tile throughout their house.  While it does look very nice, it was a necessary evil, because Psycho Cat urinates in corners.  He ruined sections of carpet, and two couches.   My mother is scrupulously clean, and spends a lot of time cleaning up cat pee.  They have cat boxes everywhere, but Martini manages to miss most of them.

Their back yard is a resort-like haven; but, to Martini, it’s a prison.  Because there are coyotes, and other forms of pet-killing wildlife in the area around my parents’ house, he is relegated to the back yard or their little walled in front courtyard.  You can’t really see it, but they have taken chicken wire, and have woven it through all of the foliage that borders their yard, so that he can’t get out.  Martini spends hours stalking around the yard, looking for ways to escape.  Twice, Martini has been sitting in the front window, looking out, only to have a coyote throw itself at the window, trying to get at him.

On the rare occasions that Martini actually finds a hole and makes his way out to the freedom of the front yard, God help you if you try to pick the monster up.  He will turn into a hissing, spitting, scratching, shredding fury.  Eventually, he will make his way back home, but on his own terms.

My mother tried to pick him up one time, after he got out onto their driveway.  The freak turned on her, and scratched her arm so badly, she had to have stitches.  She now has a pretty little plumeria tattoo, to cover up the scar.  And yet, he’s her baby.

As I type this, my parents are several days into a week-long cruise in the Caribbean.  One of my dad’s coworkers is watching the house.  She called about half an hour ago, to say that she can’t find the cat anywhere.  As much as I hate that stupid cat, I know how much my mother loves him.  Some days, I’m pretty sure she’d choose him over any of her three kids.  I am sick, thinking about what my mother’s reaction will be if that cat doesn’t turn up.  The coworker is beside herself, and has been looking for him for hours. 

If she doesn’t text soon, I’m going to have to get dressed, and drive a half an hour and go look for that cat…knowing full well that even if we do find him, we won’t be able to pick him up to take him home.

I am just hoping that, if there is a patron saint of cats or something, he’ll recognize that my mother loves that cat and defends his “honor” when no other person will.  That’s got to be worth looking out for him.

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