Sunday, June 17, 2012

confessions of a dog person ...

I have a confession to make.

I do not really like cats.

I think this is true of all dog people.

I trace this uncomfortableness with four legged felines

(I am oddly not bothered by three legged cats, probably because I haven't met one yet)

back to the many cats my family raised while I was growing up who were

1. totally neurotic
2. totally destructive and
3. totally determined to BITE

(hubs and I once had a cat named Snowy who got out and got herself so high up a tree that we had to literally dislocate our necks or lay flat on the ground to see her. My daily pleadings with the fire department went on for 22 days

-they said she would come down when she was hungry - she didn't-

before they finally agreed to come over with their ladder truck. It took the firemen an hour to close my street and set up their ladder and then about 30 seconds to drop Snowy the 120 feet to the ground when she tried to scratch the fireman's eyes out.

Luckily she landed in some bushes. Unluckily she ran off and was not seen for another 22 days while I scoured the neighborhood nightly with my daughter, banging on cans of cat food with our spoons and calling her name.

One night we returned home to find her on the front porch calmly licking her front paws. She ran into the house and proceeded to down 6 cans of Fancy Feast

-my guilt over my role in her near death experience making me buy her the "good stuff" while she was missing-

in about 22 seconds, poop the entire 6 pack into her litter box and settle onto my lap to be petted and fawned over and then attempt to bite me)

But when my brother and sister in law asked me to care for their zoo 5 cats and 2 birds while they went on vacation this week I didn't hesitate because

1. they never go on vacation and really needed to get away and

2. they smartly asked me very late on a Saturday night hoping for an Absolut-soaked bad decision on my part

Anyhoo when I began my twice daily trips to their house, I arrived to find some rather complicated laminated "instructions"

including which pets listen to which radio stations, which are allergic to which foods, whose plates are whose, peanuts to be thrown under one tree for the squirrels (and oh yes, there is a family of squirrels in the attic), birdseed to be thrown under another tree for the robins, where which cat would most likely be hiding

(they are somehow under the delusion that I am going to stick my hands under a bed to remove a cat, somehow forgetting that I might need to end the week with all fingers still intact)

who gets petted under the chin and who on the head, etc, etc, etc
And the instructions for the cockatiels are even more precise and intimidating.

The birds have their own room and obviously it is very, very important that the cats (who live for an opportunity to put one over on an unsuspecting babysitter)
DO NOT GET INTO THIS ROOM.

Also there is such a thing as nightflight where the birds could throw themselves around their cages and die if the cats scare them

by doing something like banging on the door for example which seems to me rather likely to happen given the fact that it seems to be their life work to get into this room

(I have multiple cats at my feet when I try to slip in there - I have to fight the urge to punt them like fuzzy soccer balls)

so I have been up all night imagining the horrors that could be going on over there when I leave the little killers cuddly kitties alone in the same house with those poor birds.

I have 4 days to go before they return -

everyone please keep their fingers crossed for me that I make it through with 5 cats and 2 birds living to tell the tale (although I may have to bribe them to keep quiet about what is actually going on with the instructions sheets)

and 3 days before I delete this post.

2 comments:

lynn bowes said...

I once held a temp job at the fire department in this burg and a panicky owner called in to have the guys bring out the ladder truck to get her cat out of a tree. The response from the Chief? "Do you ever see cat skeletons in trees?"

Just a thought.
As you were.

Catherine Ivins said...

exactly Lynn I was a bit nutty back then - and you never see a dog stuck up a tree either ...

xo- hope you are ready for your July shows!