Throwback: Cat Whisperer
(Originally posted July 2008)
I love Cats.
The musical. I can’t stand real cats.
The dislike was probably born out of medical necessity. You see, I’m allergic to cats. BIG TIME allergic to cats. If I sit on a couch that a cat has been on or near, my eyes become a watery, itchy mess and my air passages start to close.
Plus, most cats seem a bit snobby to me. It’s my opinion, but it’s probably true.
So you can imagine my disgust when the apartment cat decided to befriend me the minute I moved into my place almost two years ago. He sits at my window and meows for hours. I have to turn my TV up really loud to properly ignore him. Rumor has it that the gal who used to live in my apartment fed him all the time. And before you call me a mean cat hater, just know that the lady upstairs feeds him EVERY DAY and sometimes lets him in her place.
I’m itching just now thinking about it.
So Drake, as we call him because that’s the street I live on, is not hard up for loving. He thinks I am the bomb and loves me even though I don’t return the favor.
And how would I know this?
Because that dumb cats INSISTS on leaving me fun presents on my door mat. Let’s begin with the headless lizard. Sure it was the size of my finger, but none-the-less, DEAD and HEADLESS on my mat. It took a lot of courage for me to pick up the corner and fling the reptile into the nearby bushes. And then there was the frog he left me last summer. Poor chubby thing probably never saw Drake coming. That took a little more chutzpah to fling its dead carcass in the bush.
But there was one day that still haunts me. It will forever be the reason why I will never, EVER, fly out of my front door in a rush without looking below to see what treats have been bestowed on the infamous door mat.
It was winter. I remember because I had opened the door and felt a gush of cold air greet me. I closed the door and ran to find my gloves. I was in a rush to get to work and in my haste, I flung the door back open and started to step out to greet my day with a big smile. Praise be to the good Lord, I happen to look down.
It was St. Valentine’s Day massacre at my front door.
I was in mid-step and it took all of the strength in my legs to catapult myself over the bloody mess. I turned around to find a headless rat that had been gutted all over my mat and door. And when I say rat…I mean RAT! By the looks of things, it gave Drake the fight of his life. Blood was spattered on my door, my window, the carcass bush…EVERYWHERE!
I start to sick myself out looking at the remains of this animal. And then I notice. My glove is among the perished.
I guess in my attempt to hoist myself up an over, I lost grip on one of my mittens and it landed in the middle of the aftermath. Who cares, right?
I loved those gloved.
Notice I said loved.
Being used to frogs and lizards, it took a major pep talk with myself to strategically lean over just to lock my door. There was NO WAY I was going to attempt to fling any carcasses into the carcass bush this go around. I somehow managed to lock the door and then ran away as if the headless rat could chase me. I spot Drake on my way out and manage a “BAD KITTY” as I’m running for my life to my car. With one cold hand.
I call the apartment people and say that a small horse had been murdered on my front porch and someone needed to make sure that was NOT there when I returned home. I encouraged the guy that he needed to bring bleach as well.
“That cat must really love you,” he said. “It shows a sign of affection when they leave something like that on your front porch. It’s like a peace offering present.”
Maybe a nice gift basket full of wine and cheese next time?
Since then, I’ve been civil to Drake. Knowing that he is trying, makes me want to be nice. I greet him when I’m on the way to my car. I don’t kick him when he rubs up against my leg. It’s something, right?
So this weekend, a new neighbor moved in. Guess what? She has a cat. It’s an outdoor/indoor cat. And she’s mean. On Sunday, I heard a noise that made me jump out of my skin, run to the window with my phone in hand ready to call 9-1-1. It sounded like someone dying!
It was Drake and the new cat fighting. The most AWFUL noise you’ve ever heard in your life. And she was instigating! I had to go out and break the stupid fight up because I thought she was going to throw down. And Drake, being a gentleman, was not going to get into it with a girl cat. She ran off. Drake went to sulk by the pool.
That night, Drake was sprawled out by my door. Feeling sorry for him, I took my foot and scratched him three times. Just three. Can’t have him meowing at my window like he used to back in the day. I’ve just broken him of this habit. But three scratches is more than enough.
And this morning, I was left with this present.
You are welcome Drake.