Jan 22, 2005

Trash Cat

My wife, who is also my blog critic and editor told me that my last post, on "Troy" and Brad Pitt didn't mention Hector at all (he was quite a well-played character) and that I didn't address certain facets of the movie, and that the post was, in general, rather flat.

So in response I present: Trash Cat.

We used to live in a mobile home. That's what you call it when you don't want to say "trailer." It was the first home I ever bought, paid cash in full for it when I was about 21, as I refused to ever pay on something I would never own (an apartment.) So, I had this little '82 model Skyline, about 1100 sq feet, and it was the place where I really learned true home improvement; everything from electrical to carpentry to plumbing, wallpaper, flooring, you name it, I improved it. It NEEDED it. And since I lived there 13 years (in lot #13, no less) when we moved that little 1100 square foot nest was jam-packed wall to wall with stuff. Moving into the new house we gained an additional 2000 or so square feet, and we sort of settled into it in the furntiure version of Brownian Motion--at first we lived in just the den, with everything crammed back there, then slowly we relaxed our clenched hold on space and eventually fit the whole place as we came to an equlibrium point.

The thing is, there was some furniture left here when Mom moved out. Most of it antiques, some of it very useful, and then there was The Dog Couch.

The Dog Couch was a remnant from when Mom kept her two dogs inside, for safety and companionship. Pepper, the half Chow half German Shepherd (sp?) never got on the furniture, he was always content to lie on the floor and cover most of it with Himself. Sugar Baby was the Boxer, and she had to be by Mom constantly. When SB slept, it was on an old hand-me-down couch my Mom had in the den from my brother. Naturally the couch, even though cleaned often and covered with a blanket, attained...uhm...a certain state. Complete, and not broken in anyway, just stained. Permanently. The cushions were terrible, it sat very low, it was old, and it used to be taupe and was now fast approaching a sort of brown dog colour.

We kept the Dog Couch when we moved in, sliding it into the living room and covering it with a big blanket because we already had a very nice couch for the den, needed a living room couch for the tele, and then we quickly learned to hate The Dog Couch with a passion. And thus spurned, we bought a new loveseat and chair set. The Dog Couch had to go.

The evening I brought the new furniture home the wife had already stripped The Dog Couch and pushed it into the den. Naturally the cats were all over it. I stood it on end, dislodged cats, and shoved it thru the door and out into the garage, then shoved it all the way down to the end of the driveway, where it and the cushions stayed overnight. New furniture came in, we had a nice supper, went to bed.

None of us missed Cracker, who is the quiet one.

The next morning at work my wife calls, nearly in tears, telling me she cannot find Cracker-man. I tell her to calm down, remembering the time she panicked and could not find Egan, who was asleep on top of the blankets in the closet, and the day she lost Cracker, who was sleeping under the bed. She calmed, and promised to go searching.

She called back a few minutes later in tears, telling me she had found Cracker. Outside. In the couch. Apparently at some point he or one of the other cats had made a small hole in the material covering the couch frame, and inserted himself for a nap. Being the quiet, noncomittal cat he is, he never made a single noise when we upended his new home, walked it thru the door, dropped it on it's edge outside and then pushed it over about thirty feet of concrete driveway to the road. He never made a sound when I tossed the cushions onto it, nor when I threw the feet out there, nor when I tossed out the box of new furniture packing material. He didn't say anything when I went to work the next morning, and somehow managed to survive the entire ordeal with only a tiny scratch on the bottom of his chin and a very small patch (half the size of a pencil eraser) of hair pulled out from the back of his neck.

And he's not telling us how he did it, either.

J. said she squeezed him tight as she could while she headed back into the house after his rescue, and he never once fidgited, which for him is unthinkable. She further relates that she dropped him on the den floor, the other cats sniffed him, he immediately bypassed the food and water and, tail high in the air, walked onto the back porch to stare out the screens.

Cats. Who wouldda thunk it. I'm just glad no-one came and picked the couch up to take it home with them, because they would have gotten a tousseled white surprise that night. Me, I do a head-count every morning and every evening now.

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