I want to be my cat when I grow up

20 Sep

We have an awesome cat. There are only 2 things about her that are sub-awesome. The first is her name. The second I’ll get to in a bit. We got her when child #1 was 9 months old. The cat was probably 6 months old. We’re not sure. Being first-time parents, we were still reeling from the changes to our lifestyle that came with adding a “+1” to our family. I think the creative or original thinking centers of our brains had been short-circuited, so the best name for our little furball we could come up was…

…Gray Cat.

Poor thing. We didn’t even decide on the spelling of her name until about 3 years ago when we realized that trying to be all fancy and spelling her name Grey was just messing with our kids’ grades when they got to the color unit.

Our Gray Cat. Also responds to Gray, Cat, or Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty. She is usually no less than 6 feet away from one of our family members, usually Steve or #2 child, A. She loves to sleep with any of us, and has known to nap under the covers with kids. She even patiently and silently suffers the indignities perpetrated upon her by #4. This cat thinks she’s one of our children.

When we moved to England for 6 months, we left her here with a house sitter who never saw her. Apparently she hid under the bed or hung out in the backyard the whole time. She has a cat flap so she comes and goes as she pleases. I think she went on a hunger strike while we were gone – when she showed up about 2 days after we came home, she was all fur and bones. But she’s fattened right back up. She weighs almost as much as #4. Baby K is about 20 pounds, Gray Cat is 14. That’s almost 3 bags of sugar! She’s a big kitty.

The second less-than-awesome thing about her are her mad hunting skilz. Remember this post where I talked about my fear of stepping on dead things in my living room? Yeah, it’s because of her. Despite the fact that she’s fat, she still manages to catch things outside and then brings them inside. So we got her a collar with a bell because all little woodland creature-loving people say to do that. Didn’t slow her down. She still catches things outside and brings them inside, dead or alive. I managed to cut her off at the pass once when she was about to bring in a lizard. I slid the window shut so fast on that cat flap I’m surprised I didn’t break it.

She has a spot where she loves to take her little woodland friends. It’s on the way to the kids’ rooms, but is out of sight of most of the rest of the house. I have dubbed this spot “The Killing Fields.” I know – original, right?

The killing fields. Like the dated ’80s carpet and Baby K’s sock over there? One of these days when I don’t have children who poop/pee/puke on my carpet or a cat who uses my flooring as a place mat for her gopher tartare, I’ll get something nice. Or at least nicer than this.

So this morning, the big 3 kids had already gone off to school and Steve was home killing some time before his dental appointment. I was doing hair and makeup in my bathroom when I heard Gray meowing through the baby monitor. It wasn’t really a meow, to be fair. It was her “Something is not right” yeowl that she’s trained us to recognize as her “Somebody better get their rear end in here and take care of this problem I have” cry. As I left my room, I saw that Steve was on his way to the back of the house, too. He had stopped at the killing fields and said, “This doesn’t look good.” All we saw were the black feathers you see above.

The cat came around the corner from the hallway to the kids’ rooms and started yeowling again. As I was playing photographer, Steve walked around the corner and said, “I know where it is.” He walked past me, grabbed the first flat heavy-ish thing off the kitchen table and went back to the hallway. I was stymied. Where was the bird and why did he need A’s composition book that says “[Heart symbol] my BFF 4-ever!”…? Was he going to shoo it off of a ceiling? Draw it? Smack it upside the head? I was confused until I followed him around the corner and saw this:

Yes, Steve was that blurry in real life. It was odd.

All I could think about (besides getting pictures for you fine people) was whether or not this was one of the lights I had just turned off. My kids have a nasty habit of trying to drain our power grid by leaving every light in our house on when they leave for school, so I’ve developed the habit of checking back there every morning. I know I’d turned off the light in the big girls’ room (the purple one behind Steve’s head there) and the one the in bathroom (at Steve’s back), but I couldn’t remember if the hall light had been on, too. The only reason I was concerned was because I didn’t want to have to clean up melted bird out of my light fixture. I didn’t really care about if it was too hot for the bird. I can’t stand birds. Ever since one of our chickens flogged me when I was 5, I’ve believed my part of the world would be better without winged creatures. I even have a hard time dealing with raw poultry. But that’s another post for another day.

The problem now was how to get the very excited bird out of the house. Steve doesn’t like little woodland creatures any more than I do, but he has valiantly taken on the role of critter remover. If we could have just lifted the glass part up, he could have carried it outside to free the bird. (Notice I said “we” – I really had no intention of participating.) He finally decided just to go get his critter removal glove (he’s man enough that he only has to wear one glove when removing uninvited guests), so while he left to do that, I took a picture of Gray Cat.

Like our ugly linoleum? We have the matching cream and blue variety in the kids’ bathroom. Again…when little things stop doing ugly things on my floor, I’ll get a pretty floor.

Poor Gray. She never learns. Every time we find something still alive that she’s brought in, Steve removes it and she never gets a taste. At least there were no kidneys to step on. She always leaves one of those. I think she forgets how bad they taste.

Steve came back and got the bird. It was such a mammoth thing, too.

I don’t know why he went to the dentist this morning. It’s obvious he needs to go to the knife store and get himself sharpened up. Blurry fellow.

That’s the head of the gigantor bird under Steve’s fingers. It kept flapping around, so Steve didn’t want to loosen his grip too much for a photo op. I’m not complaining.

We went out into the front yard and he asked, “What do I do with it?” What kind of question is that? Let. It. Go. “Put it underneath the sunflower. If it’s hurt, it’ll hang out there until Gray finds it again, otherwise it’ll just fly away.” He had just started to lean over when his grip was loose enough for the bird to escape and it made a beeline for the nearest tree with limbs at least 20 feet off the ground.

So – why do I want to be my cat when I grow up?

1 – she’s only 55 in people years and still very active.

2 – she’s fat and doesn’t care.

3 – she’s takes naps when she wants to.

4 – she’s obviously the one in charge. (we tried to put her on a diet, but she just went out and killed more stuff. we tried to keep her inside by shutting the cat flap but she just tore up our carpet around the back door.)

5 – everybody who meets her loves her. (except for my father-in-law, but he hates all cats so she doesn’t take it personally.)

6 – she doesn’t feel the need to love everybody she meets. (except for my father-in-law. she relishes harassing him.)

Gotta say, she’s one good cat. One time, she believed we thought she was obsolete, so she caught a mouse, brought it inside, let it go, then waited until we discovered we had a rodent problem. She caught that thing less than 3 hours after we realized it had “moved in” and solidified her place in the family.

7 – She’s resourceful and indispensable.

Yup. I want to be her.


3 Responses to “I want to be my cat when I grow up”

  1. angie September 20, 2011 at 5:50 pm #

    I spell “gray”, “grey”, and I can’t figure out why no one else does around here? 🙂

    • That Nolen Chick September 23, 2011 at 4:08 pm #

      Do you think Right Said Fred is too sexy for the “a” in gray?


  1. A Little Spice In My Life « that nolen chick - January 15, 2013

    […] remember our feline child, Gray Cat, right? She’s a great cat. Getting up there in years – she’s 11 – but still […]

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