You never know what you’re going to get at the animal shelter. Based on who she grew up to be, our last cat (RIP Stimpy!), came from a long line of domesticated couch potatoes. This new kitten? Not so much. I think her parents weren’t even one generation out of the jungle—they must have been straight-up feral. For instance, she refuses a water dish, preferring to take her water from what she considers “natural” sources (like the vase of greenery above) and her razor blade claws open up my kids’ skin so often I’m afraid the school will suspect them of being cutters.
A couple of weeks ago, new kitty woke us up “playing” at 4 am. She was running around the room like crazy, scratching around under the bed, meowing, and just being generally annoying. Later that day – out of exhaustion from the kitty night antics –I lay down to take a short nap before we had to go to a party. Once my head hit the pillow I heard a little scritch scritch sound coming from my bedside table. In an act of great bravery, I called my ten year old daughter in to open the drawer. “I think something’s in my bedside table,” I told her, adding, “open it slowly, please!” in a wavering voice. She pulled the drawer out an inch and we saw all we needed to see. Beady eyes. The kitty had dragged a rodent in to our bedroom, where it had sought safe haven in my bedside table, chewing nervously on a paper snowflake Juliet had made for me. Naturally, we screamed and slammed the bedside drawer closed so hard that it forced the little guy out the back of the drawer. By this time I had only a few minutes before we had to be at a dinner party, so we decided to let nature take care of the problem: we threw the cat in the room and closed the door. It was the first time in my life I’d ever left the house hoping to see a dead rodent in my bedroom upon my return.
Five hours later, we tentatively opened the door. On the bed was the kitty, sitting like a proud sphinx. At the threshold of the door was the poor furry creature, laid carefully on its side without any mess. That night I slept in my daughter’s room and the next day was devoted to deep, Clorox-fueled spring cleaning.
I’d hoped this was a one-time deal, but last night we experience rodent redux. This time we were able to corral the two into the bathroom. I had to sandwich my head in between two pillows to drown out the horror of mouse screams (yes, they scream). I felt great guilt at what was my second active hit on a rodent inside the house. But this time the cat got bored and mewed at the door after awhile. Scott went in to find the mouse doing skateboard moves up the half-pipe of the tub, completely unable to get enough purchase on the porcelain to get out. He put the poor thing outside where it ran back to the enormous hedge that surrounds our house. This hedge is like something out of a Beatrix Potter book, large enough to house all kinds of birds and squirrels and mice. A veritable buffet for our feral kitty.
Personally, I prefer my cats to be less “stalker beast” and more “lap warmer with attitude”. You roll the dice with pet adoption, and this time we came up snake eyes.