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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Bigfoot of Cats

(Post written by my husband the Dumbplumber)

The tenth anniversary of finishing our new home also marks the arrival of a tiny kitten. Wifey and I have made a profound discovery. Many have been to our home, but other than ourselves less than five other people have ever seen our cat, our neighbor excluded. (He caught her twice in a live trap)

We don’t have a lot of visitors, but those that do come by only hear stories about the schizophrenic cat because she never reveals herself to others. And of those that have seen her, none have ever touched her or been within reach to do so. We did have one visitor about five years ago, my former grade school teacher, that actually had dinner with us and watched the cat casually stroll across the living room. We would like to use his confirmation as evidence of her existence , however, he took his testimony to the grave two years after his visit. It has become such a joke over the last ten years: Fewer people have seen our cat than have seen Bigfoot.

When we say it’s our cat, we really don’t mean it. She trained us to feed her ten years ago, never left, and has taught us to do many more things for her since. We actually thought about posting a story about the cat on our blogs with photos of the cat’s favorite resting spots, one near the dining table window,  another near the office window, another on the railing sheltered by a wild plum tree and of course the one on the bed. However, these photos would be much like those of the places Bigfoot was spotted, but instead of footprints, we only have cat hair to mark as evidence.
Office window spying on the quail.

We could also do a time lapse photo of her food bowl, slowly diminishing, but you would be confused that the water does not. That is because she prefers either the toilet bowl or her favorite larva infested stagnant pool outside in the garden bowls left for our local birds and other wildlife.

Sparky's afghan on the bed
And speaking of birds, we are left with much evidence of breakfast birds, lunch birds and the occasional afternoon ‘snack’ bird parts littering our yard and deck area. No, she is not a neat cat.

However an argument can be made that it is the local foxes leaving their calling cards. But I maintain that foxes do not do their bird hunting during the daylight hours and they certainly don’t drag their feasts near our house for devouring. No, it’s the cat. It is our policy (due to the many predators here ‘bouts) that we leave the cat indoors when we leave overnight. We joke that she is stationed as a ‘guard cat’, and I must report that, over the past decade, nothing has gone missing with her on duty.

About our only complaint is that we receive little in return for providing food, water, shelter and security from the cat. Her interaction with us is minimal at best. She sleeps on the wife’s side of the bed, she allows very little petting (preferring to present her tail for stroking), passes infrequently over the sofa for the cursory touch, only lounges outside on the deck when we are there, as guards, and spends the entire day lurking outside, scouting hidey holes and available critters.
Favorite railing sunning spot

She will not come when called and prefers showing up for her four o’clock treat, somewhere between 3 and 5, depending on the time of year and accuracy of her fur covered kitty clock. Timing has never been her strong suit. But she is given credit for never having clawed, chewed or shredded the furniture. That, she saves for her personal pedestal which has been fashioned into an homage to Edgar Winter.

Shredded cat perch.

Overall I should not complain. Having never been a cat-person, I do appreciate her low maintenance, but live in wonder at how many 50lb bags of cat food has been consumed by our 4lb cat over the years. About the only thing she demands of me (since I refuse to acknowledge that she is my cat) is to open the back door, then close it, then open it, then close it, then open it, then…well, you get the idea.

And on this tenth anniversary of her arrival, I would be less than honest if I didn’t confess that on more than one occasion I have dreamt of the day when we would be cat-free. No cleaning the litter box, no vacuuming the cat hair, no lugging 40 lb. bags of Cat Chow out of Costco, no listening to the wifey’s daily, screeching/calling of the cat, which no doubt is enjoyed by neighbors on both sides. But on the bright side, her going missing, or worse, could be assuaged by popping the cork on a new bottle of 25 year old Single Malt and hailing a toast to one of the least troublesome intrusions ever into our lives.

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