I’m ashamed to admit it, but I am starting to passionately despise my cats. These feelings are intense; these feelings are also embarrassing because I have always been a devoted animal lover. What’s wrong with me? I won’t kill a spider or a wasp if it’s outside, and the only snakes to meet the end of my hoe are of the poisonous variety. I even get teary-eyed when a schizophrenic squirrel makes his final desperate sprint between the wheels of my car.
But my six furry, freeloading felines have pounced on my last nerve and clawed it into tiny shreds. In fact, on really bad days I fantasize about slipping on my motorcycle boots and launching every last one of them into the next county (and since that county is less than a mile away, I just might be able to do it if I can kick high enough to clear the treetops).
Now, before you start dialing the number for the Humane Society to report me for animal cruelty, realize that I won’t actually kick my cats. I’ve never intentionally hurt a defenseless animal, and I don’t plan on starting now. But it sure is tempting.
I first became a cat owner several years ago when I realized cats would keep mice out of my house and copperheads out of my yard. Admittedly, these are duties that they have performed quite well–I haven’t seen a copperhead in at least two summers, and the only mice I’ve seen have been the dead ones left lying in front of the kitchen door for my inspection and approval. It is for these reasons–and these reasons only–that the cats are still allowed to congregate on my back deck.
In fairness to the cats, part of the problem is me and the fact that I’m more of a dog person. And I don’t mean those little yip-yip lap dogs; I prefer my dogs big and frightening and protective of their owner. My two dogs meet these qualifications–seldom is there a stranger brave enough to exit his car when my dogs are snarling at his window, and yet these same ferocious dogs will let six measly cats–who should be their natural-born enemies–wreck and roam at will.
It’s also my fault–as my husband frequently points out to me–that there are six of them instead of only one or two. If I had spayed Mama Cat a couple years ago (like all conscientious animal lovers are supposed to do), I wouldn’t have flooded the local kitten market and been forced to keep the surplus as my own. How could I have known that Mama Cat would turn out to be so promiscuous and so fertile? And how could I have known that Mama Cat would even stick around this long? My last female cat ran away–the day after I paid $200 to have her spayed.
I used to like these cats; I used to pet them and even knew their names (now they’re just referred to, collectively, as “Stupid Cats!”). And I still provide for their basic needs–which is probably more than they deserve after all the havoc they have wreaked. They chase each other up the hood and windshield of my car, leaving dirty paw prints and tiny scratches in their wake. They chase each other up and down the screen door, tearing tiny holes in the mesh–tiny holes that are growing into bigger and bigger holes. They chase each other through my tomato plants, splattering almost-ripe tomatoes onto the gravel driveway below. And they save their worst destruction for the middle of the night, frequently jolting me awake with their back-deck chases that knock over lawn chairs and potted plants and food bowls (while my guard dogs snooze nearby).
I could probably still be fond of these cats (they are pretty, and for some strange reason they seem to like me) if their destruction were limited to just the above-named violations. But it’s not. Even worse is that they have turned all my remaining potted plants into their personal litter boxes. I’ve tried lacing the potting soil with crushed red pepper and moth balls and upright toothpicks and everything else I would think a cat might find repulsive or mildly painful–but to no avail. At the beginning of summer, I could walk down the deck stairs and be greeted by the sweet aroma of petunias planted in the whiskey barrel under the stairs; now the petunias have all been scratched up, and every morning I’m assaulted by the odor of fresh feline feces left from the night before.
And worst of all, these cats–these Stupid Cats!–weave and wiggle between my feet while I’m trying to walk. I’m not the most graceful person anyway, and walking down a flight of wooden stairs while wearing bifocal contacts is challenging enough without having to worry about half a dozen cats pouncing at my feet. More than once I have tripped on them–grabbing at the rail and catching myself just before tumbling–and I now have visions of my crumpled body someday being found at the bottom of those stairs–with six cats chasing each other back and forth through my blood pool.
Don’t worry–no matter how annoying I find these “Stupid Cats” to be, I won’t kick them or starve them or bludgeon them or even speed up when they run in front of my car; I’m not that mean. I will, however, continue to scream at them and occasionally call them names that I hope the neighbors can’t hear. And to all the cat lovers I have offended with this post, I am truly sorry–so sorry that I am willing to make it up to you by giving you one of my cats absolutely free. Two for one?
Free delivery to anywhere in the continental United States.
Hurry while supplies last.