Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Writer's Workshop - Petly chaos

It’s my second attempt at writing from one of Mama’s Losin’ It’s prompts, and I chose Describe a time when your pet caused chaos.

I’m not a cat person, but when my sister Sissy broke up with her boyfriend back in the early 90’s, I agreed that we could get a cat for our apartment. She and her boyfriend had a dog together, and she missed the companionship of an animal once she was living with me. I didn’t want the responsibility of a dog when she wasn’t there, so I told her she could get a female cat. She brought home a cute little black and white kitten. The kitten’s very first night with us, Sissy and her boyfriend got back together, leaving me alone to take care of a cat I didn’t want in the first place. Sissy never even named it, and I refused to get attached to it so I wouldn’t name it either.

My sister moved out eventually and didn’t take the cat with her. When no-name went into her first heat and started howling about 9 months after Sissy brought her home, I figured I’d better get her fixed. I made an appointment and took her to the vet, where the receptionist asked me a question I couldn’t answer: What’s her name? I looked at her blankly and said, “Um, she doesn’t have one.” She insisted they had to have a name for their paperwork, so I shrugged and said, “Well, when she’s getting into trouble I call her a little monster.” So that’s how no-name got a real name: Monster. It was official. The receptionist even wrote it on a piece of tape and stuck it on the top of the cat carrier.

A few hours after I brought her home from the vet’s office, she started bleeding from her incision. It was around 9pm and my vet’s office was closed, so I had to take her to the nighttime emergency vet. I knew I had fallen for the little fuzzball (that hadn’t even had an official name the day before) when they took the carrier from me and told me she’d have to stay overnight. I sat down in the lobby and started crying because I had to leave her there.

In October 2005 I went with my friend Diane to England for 2 weeks. Monster had met Diane many, many times before, but she was getting a little old and crotchety at this point in her feline life. I think she may have been mad at Diane for taking me away, because after Diane left to go back home to Virginia, I saw that Monster had sprayed the door of the bedroom where Diane sleeps when she visits me. Marking her territory, I guess? The whole point of me telling Sissy to get a female cat in the first place was to prevent the spraying that male cats do.

A few months later, Diane and her daughter (my goddaughter) Ryan visited for a long weekend. Thinking about the spraying incident, I had closed up Monster in my 3rd bedroom, which also happens to be where my computer is. Diane went in to check her e-mail and Monster got out. Not a big deal. That is until I got a panicky call from Diane asking me when I was going to be home from work.

Apparently, when Monster got out of the computer room, she was her normal, loving self. For a while. Then she got a wild hair up her cat behind and scratched Ryan, who had made the obviously gigantic mistake of sitting down on the sofa with her. The thing is, Monster only had back claws (yes, I’m one of those horrible people who declawed her cat), so she really had to work to scratch someone. Then, she started hissing and biting at Diane and Ryan, and ended up chasing them into my downstairs bathroom. Diane realized that they could be trapped in the bathroom until I got home from work and she didn’t have any idea how long that would be. She needed her cell phone to call me, but her cell phone was in the kitchen, which would require her to leave the safety of the bathroom. When Diane would open the bathroom door, Monster was waiting there for her, like Cujo outside of that car. She armed herself with the plastic trashcan from the bathroom and performed evasive maneuvers by waving the trashcan back and forth in front of her vulnerable ankles as she scooted from the bathroom to the kitchen and back again. I received the panicky call after that daredevil mission.

On a normal night, not during rush hour, it would probably take me about 35-40 minutes to drive home. On a Friday night during rush hour, it took pretty close to an hour, if not more. When I opened my front door, Monster was sitting guard on the bottom step of my staircase. As soon as she saw it was me at the door, she ran to me and started meowing very loudly, winding herself around and around my legs. I’m sure she was trying to tell me about the horrible woman and child that had invaded our home while I wasn’t there and how she had them corralled in the bathroom to keep them from doing further harm. I picked her up and hollered to let Diane and Ryan know they could come out of the bathroom safely. Even though I was holding her, Monster still growled at them when she saw them. My cat growled.

Later Diane sent an e-mail to everyone she knows about the incident, and since Diane knows people on virtually every continent in the world, my poor, normally sweet Monster was maligned from New Zealand to New Jersey, when all she was trying to do was protect her home from the mean woman that took her mom away for two weeks the year before.

Monster's in kitty heaven now, but this is her with her head trapped in a Hecht's bag. Goofy cat.


Heather said...

Hahahaha!!! Love this story. I think it's hilarious that you had her for so long without even naming her. And I guess I didn't realize female cats sprayed stuff. I'm so not a cat person.
Sounds like Monster was a bundle of fun! :)

Diane said...

The best part was when my normally fearless, animal-loving child screamed, "KILL THAT CAT!!!" And she totally meant it.

Diane said...

Oh, and even better, when I told Ryan Monster had died, she said, "Mama, I know I'm SUPPOSED to be sad... and I AM... for Godmommy... but..."

Bless her heart.

Heinous said...

Well maybe if Diane hadn't taunted the poor thing and tried to usurp your household...

Protege said...

Mel, as always, your writing is incredibly entertaining! I laughed so much, as I can totally picture this story in my mind. Now I understand your comment a while ago on my blog.;)) Monster must have been a handful and I am sure she was and is greatly missed.
I hope Ryan and Diane has recovered by now.:))) And now I know why Diane is a dog person.:))

Anonymous said...

I've been waiting for weeks for you to offer to be my homey! I'll take you up on the offer...wait...that's not what you meant??? UGH! Whatever.


Jenners said...

Stopping by on my tour of MamaKat's writing workshop posts...

So funny how the cat adopts you and then lives up to her "joke" name years later! She looks so innocent in her photo!

Sam_I_am said...

oh my gosh, thats hysterical

Heather said...

I hearby grant you the letter L.
Good luck!!