by VINCENT CARDEGIN
AWARD WINNING COLUMNIST
My wife’s male cat was fixed before he fully entered puberty, so I don’t know why he suffers from wanderlust, but he does, and he hunts the house looking for trouble. Oh, he pursues the usual stupid cat thing of leaping up on tables and shelves and knocking pictures and knickknacks over and onto the floor while rubbing his scent against them. But lately he’s been onerously adventurous.
Before the week of Thanksgiving I came home from taking my mother-in-law to her foot doctor and found a potted plant, which my wife had recently put on the kitchen counter, completely dug up. I know it was him because I’ve caught him digging in pots around the house before, but he’s never emptied one so thoroughly. Previous to that he started dragging the rug from the small bathroom out into hallway where he clawed out bits of fiber that he then batted around the house, so now I have to keep that door closed. A week earlier he destroyed both of our living room lamps by running into the extension cord and pulling them off the end tables. The shades were dented, and the ceramic cores were shattered. I saved the bulbs.
The day before Thanksgiving I kept catching him on the kitchen counter doing something to the turkey I was thawing in the filled sink. I didn’t find any claw or teeth marks, but there was always water everywhere. Maybe he was drinking, or more likely he was pawing at the bird to see if it was dangerous before taking a bite. Later that afternoon, with the Butterball in the fridge, I made pies, two pumpkin and one pecan, and decided to protect them with a big bowl and cake covers, just in case he decided to explore.
My wife’s name for him is Holmes. My name for him has been Stir-fry, but now I call him Eight Lives Gone. One more bad-cat move and I’m buying a skinning kit, turning him into gloves, kitty potpie, and donating his bones to the comparative anatomy department of the local museum. When I was younger, I could tolerate such felonious hijinks, even appreciated some, but now pets are just a nuisance. The media insistence that they lower your blood pressure is a lie to me. I’ve asked around, and it’s a lie to others, also.
Oh, the female cat does stuff, too, but it’s my impression that she’s just following the male, checking out what he’s doing and getting some of the blame that way. Mostly she’s a docile cat, even timid. Still, every morning when I get up I sing aloud a cats version of the theme song from Cops: “Bad cats, bad cats, whatcha gonna do…,” even before I see what damage has been done. I’m tempted to start an organization called No Pets Allowed (NPA) with a hat and tee-shirt logo of a pawprint in a red circle and two diagonal bars for a red X.