Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Last Year's CAT-astrophe...

Posted By: LilDevil Productions - 9:19 AM

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Ya gotta admit, she does a spot-on Tawny Kitaen.
My friends tend to say two things about me (that I can print, anyway):

1. Lemmy dislikes bad puns, and.

2. Lemmy is a serious "dog guy". Always has been.

Yet here I am making bad puns (CAT-astrophe?) while literally surrounded by cats.

It all started last summer, just as I was ramping up for the July 4th weekend. Seeing as how I wanted to stock up on my popular designs, I immediately alerted our production team (me) that overtime would be mandatory.

In lieu of actual photo, please accept this screenshot of The Chimney's TV doppelganger.
Around lunchtime, The Chimney (a.k.a. my chain-smoking mom, with whom I share the place here in town) informed me that a stray cat had appeared on the porch earlier.

"Hmm," I replied in between bites of a peanut butter and jelly sammich. Inside, the gears were starting to rumble: For a stray cat to wander into a fenced yard that is home to not one, not two, but THREE dogs on not just one but TWO occasions, this cat must know a bright red sucker when she sees one and is gonna give me the hard-sell.

I promptly forgot all about it once The Chimney left for the afternoon to check out a few garage sales.

After shooing off a customer by taking their money in exchange for boards and bags, I walked back inside, popped open one of those pure can sugar sodas and just as I was gonna do one of those soda commercial "ahhhhhhhhh"'s, I turn to my right and there's a cat staring at me on the ledge of our front porch.

She seems only half-surprised to find its a different person but quickly realizes I am hip to this new routine when I slide a plate of food in front of her.

While petting her for a few minutes, I give her the once-over and notice that she's quite malnourished.

The second thing I notice is that she's been nursing recently.

You know that scene in "A Christmas Story" where Ralph drops the lug nuts and says "Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuudge" except he doesn't say "fudge"? That was me, except mine was a Tarzan-like cry that I kept it all in my head and still almost blew out my eardrums.

As this strangely pale cat gazed at me with eyes that seemed to relay her backstory, I knew that somewhere out there was a gaggle of helpless kittens that had officially become my responsibility, yet there was nothing I could do to hasten their move to safer confines.

Wherever they were, by now they were probably eager for their mom to return, which meant that I would now have to let her back out into "the wild" so that she can take care of her kids.

final tally: four "Kitaens"
Each time, maybe she comes back, maybe she doesn't and, if she doesn't, guess who gets to live with the "what if's"? Did something terrible happen or did she wind up in another home? Back and forth like a tennis match, day after day after day on a loop. For those of us with overactive imaginations, the "what if's" can do a serious number on your head.

She came back, of course, and a couple days later, sure enough, as I was working in the driveway, Tawny "Kitten" sauntered right by me with something in her mouth and disappeared into the garage.

I pretended not to notice, but I was sure as hell-fire counting how many trips she made. After her fourth trip into the garage, I fell to my knees and prayed to any powers-that-be that might be listening:

"Mother Nature, God, L. Ron Cougar Mellencamp, whoever's up there, please, I'm begging you, please do not hit me with a tsunami of kittens just because you know I'll do them right."

See, I knew myself well enough to know I wasn't up for going through the big to-do of placing ads, putting up signs, taking calls, and trying to make snap judgments on a bunch of strangers when I could just as easily take care of the cute little rapscallions myself.

In the back of my mind, I also wondered if there wasn't some way I could put these cute but crazed daredevils to work for me. I didn't know how, or when, but made sure to keep my eyes and ears open for inspiration.

Little did I know the journey I was about to begin.

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