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Memory Monday-Cat Puke and New Cars

Memory Monday-Cat Puke and New Cars

Memory Monday-It’s a thing…

Some friends of mine were moving across the country and couldn’t keep their cat. They asked me for help to find it a home, and I talked Mom into taking the cat. I still lived at home then and was working midnights. I told my friends I would come pick up the cat after I got off work the morning they were due to leave. They agreed to save a box to haul the cat in, and they swore the cat had been spayed.

I arrived at my friends’ apartment and watched while they packed and loaded the last few things into their car. As I stood there watching, I noticed the cat was very vocal and very um…affectionate. Having lived on a farm all my life, I was sure the cat not only wasn’t spayed as promised, but was currently in heat.

“Are ya’ll sure that cat has been spayed?” I ask.

“Yes. Absolutely.” My friend looked me in the eye and lied.

“Really? Because I’m about 100% sure she’s in heat.”

“Nope, she’s spayed. She’s just upset and knows something is going on.”

“Where’s the box to put her in?”

“Well, we had to use all of our boxes, but we take her for rides in the car all the time. Oh, and here’s some medicine for her ears. She has ear mites, but this will take care of them.”

There I stood at 9a.m. with a group of liars who were minutes away from getting in their car and leaving. In that moment, I knew four things:

-My friends sucked.

-The cat was in heat.

-My friends didn’t take that cat for car rides all the time.

-If I left without the cat so would they.

Everything in me screamed “This is a bad idea!”, but I put the cat in my car and started the hour long drive home.

Half way there, the cat started to make a gagging sound. My car was about two years old at that point and was my first new car; purchased with my own, hard-earned money. The cat puked all over the front seat and I was pissed. I pulled into a parking lot and tossed the cat out of the car. I used every spare napkin in the glove box to clean my seat as best as I could. The seats were cloth and with no water on hand, it was the best I could do. I got back in my car to drive away with every intention of leaving the cat on the parking lot. Looking to make sure the cat was still sitting where it landed when I ushered her out of the car, I realized I was in a church parking lot. While I won’t claim to be an overly religious person, there was something that seemed inherently wrong about leaving a cat on a church parking lot in a fit of anger over a car seat. However, I learned I’m OK with cursing on a church parking lot as I mumbled every four letter word I knew as I put the cat back in my car.

Five miles away from home, the cat started gagging again. The narrow country road didn’t offer a place for me to pull over so I guided my car as far off the road as I could. Again, I was too late and the poor cat puked in my car. Repeating the scene from before, I tossed the cat out of the car and she crawled under the car. I was out of napkins, but found a pair of gloves in my jacket pocket to wipe my seat down again. With my mind made up to leave the pukey cat beside the road, I was going to climb back into my car. I looked for her and found she was still under my car. While I was beyond pissed at the little furball, I couldn’t pull out and risk hurting her.

I get down on the ground and try to coax the cat out from under my car. She wouldn’t come anywhere near me and I can’t say I blamed her since I had tossed her out of the car twice. I imagine in her little cat-brain, I was somehow responsible for the puking too. Finally, a loud truck came down the road and as it went around my car, it scared her. She ran straight toward me and I scooped her up.

We make it the last five miles without further incident. Mom greeted me from the porch and asked about the cat. I didn’t even say hello to Mom, I hand her the ear drops and said, “The stupid cat is in the car. She puked in my car. Twice! She has ear mites. Give her that medicine three times a day. They didn’t have a box for her. Oh, and she’s in heat. I’m going to bed.”

When I got up later that afternoon, Mom had scrubbed my car seat for me. She tried to put the cat up as best she could (we didn’t have indoor pets at that time) until we could get her to a vet to have her spayed. That plan didn’t work out very well either and a few months later, this darling cat gave us thirteen kittens. Yes, thirteen. My sister was allowed to keep one, Angel. The rest, including the stupid puking cat, were given away.

I wouldn’t go anywhere near a cat for years. Now I have four little darlings of my own. I clean up cat poop daily and cat puke occasionally. However, my cats are only allowed in the car if they are in a pet carrier…much easier to clean that way.


Memory Monday-Monkey

Memory Monday–it’s a thing…

Yes, I took a little break from Memory Monday.  Not because I ran out of memories, but because I ran out of time to write them.  Plus writing about some of them and thinking about other memories I could share was a lot to deal with emotionally.  Who knew?

Growing up country, you can get a slightly different view of animals, both pets and non-pets.  Today, I find myself using words like “furever” friend and having anxiety attacks because people leave their dogs OUTSIDE!  Years ago, my attitude was much different.

First, I was raised on a farm.  Not a big farm by any means, but a farm none the less and there were animals that were useful and a source of food.  We raised cattle and pigs for the meat.  My parents and grandparents have shared stories about milking cows so at one point they kept them for the milk too, but I always remember my milk coming from the grocery store.  We kept chickens for the eggs and occasionally the meat if we had too many.  We had a garden too so we weren’t always raising animals to kill for food; we killed some corn, potatoes, lettuce, cabbage, carrots, and stuff too.

Being in the country, there were plenty of people who hunted, my family included, so it wasn’t uncommon to have chopped up bits of rabbit, squirrel, deer, etc. in the freezer.  There are some pictures of my father and I posing with his dead deer.  There were also animals that posed possible threats to the livestock and the people living out there.  We weren’t far from a state park and things like bears, wolves, coyotes, and mountain lions didn’t seem to notice the boundaries of the state park.  It was generally accepted if you see something like a wolf or a mountain lion near your house, you should shoot it.  The deer also endangered the garden so they were often considered fair game.  Yes, we did employ things like pie pans hanging off a string to scare the critters away from the garden, but it didn’t always work.

Then there were pets.  I had a dog growing up and had him for 14 years.  He lived outside all year round, taking shelter under trees, under buildings, between buildings, and a barn stall.  I honestly don’t think he would have came in the house and stayed even if carried him inside.  He ate table scraps and whatever the cheapest possible dog food was.  He drank water out of the creek, branch, or cow’s watering trough.  I don’t think he ever went to a vet.  He and I would play for hours upon hours outside.  He went on hikes into the hills with me, ran along side my bike, and wouldn’t let me out of the yard without my mom or grandmother around.  I can’t say I’d ever raise another dog the way we raised him, but he seemed genuinely happy.

Cats were another common pet.  They too stayed outside, getting fairly the same treatment as our dog.  The unfortunate issue with the cats was their ability to find the main roadway.  This often lead to cats being ran over by passing cars.  Sadly, we had a pretty long line of cats throughout the years.  One cat in particular stands out in my mind…Susan.  She was a calico cat and she was my favorite.  Then it happened…she got ran over after she went into the road.  The other seemingly cruel part of country life is that things aren’t typically sugar coated, even for the kids.  My grandfather sat me down and explained he had found Susan in the road and had buried her.  I was maybe 5 or 6 years old at that point, so I cried for a while.  I remember the short conversations going something like this:

Grandpa:  Stop crying.  I’ll get you another cat this week.  So stop crying and go play.

Me.  Ok.  But, Grandpa, if you can’t find another cat, just get me a monkey, Ok?

Grandpa (laughing):  Sure, if I can’t find a cat ’round here, I’ll just pick you up a monkey.

I’m not sure what made me think a monkey would be a little easier to find in southwest West Virginia, but apparently I thought they were easier to find than a cat.


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