Back in May I posted a picture online of a cat-trap that Little Missy and her father dreamed up and constructed on our front sidewalk. That was near the height of my daughter’s desire for a kitty, a kitty that her father and I were unwilling to adopt for her. So, taking matters into her own hands, she’d patrol the neighborhood and back alley, creeping up on unsuspecting kitties, tempting them with food and her tender “Meow meow, kitty?,” then carrying them around once caught. But she was growing tired of patrolling the neighborhood and desired something to catch cats in her own yard. Hence, the cat-trap.
One evening earlier in her cat-catching career, I found her in the alley behind our house carrying a kitty she’d named “Snowy” (aptly named for its stark white fur). When I told her it was time to come in for dinner the tears came as she released Snowy back to his place in the alley. I put my arm around her shoulders and listened to her tell me how sweet that kitty was and why couldn’t we have a kitty of our own?
There is another kitty that Little Missy catches, whose residence is at the end of our block, owners unknown, but owners for sure because it is well-fed and well-kept. Little Missy, G and Neighbor Boy have named the cat “Mrs. Vader” and apparently Little Missy is the Kitty Whisperer; we’ve been told that Mrs. Vader will have nothing to do with Neighbor Boy’s grandfather but will happily lie on its back for a belly rub once Little Missy comes around.
Everyday Hubby and I would hear about kitties: she wanted one for her birthday and if she didn’t get one for her birthday then she’d save all her allowance money for a year to adopt one from the Humane Society. And one day in the vehicle, in the midst of another cat story, my husband looked at me and whispered, “I don’t care if she gets a cat.”
But friends, we’ve had cats. Because I cannot handle the smell nor the sight of litter boxes, each of those cats was put outside with lots of food and lots of attention from us, yet each of those cats disappeared. They either fell in with the neighborhood’s feral kitty gang or were lured away by the neighbor who feeds all manner of cats and animals from his back deck. I didn’t want to miss another cat, no matter how hard-hearted I may come across in this column, and so I’ve held my resolve and repeatedly said, No. Until that day in the vehicle.
We soon asked Hubby’s father (a vet) to be on the lookout for two kitties that we could bring home, because maybe with a playmate those teeny kitties would not choose to hang with the gang of cats that lives in the neighborhood. And we’ll keep their food bowl well-stocked.
And--surprise!--we have two kitties, who are just as stupidly adorable as kitties should be. Little Missy and Baby Chickadee carry around the kitties like babies, the kitties snuggle with each other and with us, they stalk and pounce on each other and flop on the floor with the clumsy grace of kittens.
They’re inside kitties, for now. Our dog tolerates them, they no longer hiss at her, and the litter box is scooped by two kiddos who gag when it’s their turn but who are glad for the kitties.
The cat-catching days are behind her for now.