Friday, June 16, 2006

Bad day to be a squirrel

When we bought this house, we wanted to live in the country, with all its attendant glories. We have a pond (now with muskrats!), umpteen outbuildings, several acres of open field and another 10 of woods.

We also have mice.

We were okay with the rodentitial visitors until they started leaving evidence in the silverware drawer. That's when Husband bit the bullet and sent me out for a cat. A nice cat. With no claws, if possible, and one that won't suffocate the baby while she sleeps.

Armed with this list of requirements (and with one or two of my own) I hied myself to the shelter to search for The Cat.

I wanted a female, knowing the spraying issue would be infinitely less likely, and because I just dig chick cats. There was only one female at the shelter, a skinny, scared, blue with the most gorgeous green eyes. She'd been there for several months, according to the volunteer, and was pretty skittish. It was a bit of a struggle to catch and box her up, but I was able to leave, mission accomplished, with Thelma the Cat.

She spent the first several months lurking in the basement. She came upstairs at night to eat and drink, but otherwise chose a subterranean life. I think the noise and smells would be enough to send anyone over the edge, let alone an unsocialized basically feral kitty.

One day, I was getting something out of the basement and I saw her peeking out from behind the chimney. There was a narrow leash hanging on a nail next to me, and I dangled it in front of her, to see how she'd react. She batted at it for a second then backed away and hid. I knew I had her, though. She was so totally a string whore and I was going to work that angle like a dimestore pony.

So for several days after, I'd sit on the stairs into the basement with a string and toss it in, reel it back. Toss, reel, toss, reel. Flyfishing for kitties. One day, she took the bait and came close enough for me to scratch her forehead. That's all it took. Kitty ho'bag was in my back pocket.

She started coming upstairs at night to sit in the living room while we watched (far too much) tv. Then she started sitting on the back of the couch. Soon she was coming upstairs to our room and sleeping at my feet.

Now, she's a completely different animal from the scared, skinny thing I brought home. Well, she's still skinny, but healthily so. Svelte, I should think. She adores Perp, lies next to AMP if he has to wait for me to get him from the cosleeper, and shares the bed in front of the fireplace with the dog. Perp can do anything to this cat, and has never, not once, so much as looked cross-eyed at the child. Which is something I do several times a day. At minimum.

So you can imagine my surprise when I saw this tonight

I will spare you the closeup.


Devan said...

Sounds like the kitty fell in love. :)
Oh, and nice catch. That's what cats are for, right? AT least that's what D says when I find a dead birdie on the porch. :x

tracy said...

My eyes! Aaaah!

Wow. Nice work, little basement cat,

S said...

We live in a wooded area, although we're not blessed with all the space you have. But we do have the mice. Our three (now two) cats catch and play with them, but seeing as they're fat, lazy, and have never, ever had to work a day in their life for food, they have no idea what to do with the poor things, and just torture them senseless. The husband had to put one or two out of their misery, but most of the others have been released relatively unscathed back into the wild (so they can get back into our house ???).

Even though I don't want them in my house, I still feel horribly sorry for them. I hope the chipmunk (?) died a quick and painless death.

Oh, and I love the story of how you got your cat and won her love. Cats rock!