When I was seven years old or so, I remember getting the bright idea from some boys in my class at school that it was hilarious to put paper bags on the feet of cats. Living on a tiny farm and having a few cats that I didn’t particularly like because they kept tearing up the screen doors of our old house, I figured it would be great to try that idea.
In my mind, since my mother complained often of the damage the cats were doing to her screen doors, and if I, a young hero of seven years, could “protect” my mother and get a laugh out of it then, why not?.
I set out to catch the barn cat that day after school. I was successful, I was proud, and I was up to no good. The cat was kind to me at the beginning, but things took a turn for the worse rather quickly. As I held him with one hand, I reached for the paper bags with the other, then, I learned 10 valuable lessons in the span of about 3 seconds.
- Cats don’t mind being caught as long as there is food and petting involved.
- Cats are extremely fast.
- Cats do not like to be startled, especially by the rattling of a paper bag.
- Cats are “armed” on both ends.
- Cats will make you wish you hadn’t listened to other seven year old boys.
- Cats can make you bleed fast and are happy to help you acquire many battle wounds.
- Cats don’t care how bad you scream.
- Cats will give you a “snotty” and “smug” look as they walk away from you as if they had no part to play in your pain.
- Cats blab to their friends and family and haunt you forever.
- Cats laugh at you as you limp away wounded.
To make matters worse, my mom’s response to my little experiment was, “That’s what you get! Now, go get the alcohol and a cotton ball.” Have you ever had alcohol on a fresh cat scratch? That will get your attention right quick!
Now, it seems that the cats of my youth were able to not only pass the story of my original sin against them along to the cats in my house today, but the word has gotten all the way to my son Austin’s house in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Keep in mind, when Ms. Toni and I got married over twenty five years ago, I put my foot down. I told her that I could put up with a lot, would meet her halfway on about anything, but under no circumstances, ever, and I mean never, would I put up with a cat in my house. We have four at last count, all shedding on my clothes, hacking up hairballs in my shoes, and generally terrorizing me and our great Labrador, Mack.
My son, Austin, called me a while back to share with me his own story of woe and despair related to feline menaces. Ms. Allee, his wonderful wife, has much in common with Ms. Toni in her love of hell’s little fuzzballs. I believe they have at least two cats and pray for Austin and Roper, their dog, regularly due to that fact. As they say in the south, “Bless his heart”.
Apparently, Austin climbed up into the attic to do “man stuff” and fix an apparent leak. As he sweated and toiled to complete the job in a cramped space he began to feel the pride of a job well done. His mom, Terri Lucero, had dropped by to watch little Corbin Ray while Austin fixed the problem.
As he tells it, “I was just beginning to catch my breath, feeling pretty proud of myself for being such an awesome husband and dad, when I heard a noise behind me. The cat had climbed up the ladder and squeezed himself into the space behind me very quietly. When he made a noise it startled me which then caused me to shift my weight a little too quickly. That was bad.”
He further explained “Dad, the next thing I knew I was in the floor of the hallway having crashed through the drywall ceiling! Once the dust settled, I looked up on one side to see mom standing there asking if I was okay, and one the other side, up the ladder, was the cat looking at me like he had nothing to do with it! It is a conspiracy I tell you!”
I agree with Austin and obviously the “curse of the cats” knows no bounds or borders. I assume the curse will be long lasting and no matter how many kitties I feed, pet, or let scratch me, I suppose the debt can never be paid. I am convinced that they hold a grudge for all time, but the last laugh may be mine as Ms. Toni is a big believer in having the critters “fixed”.
As the villains in all the old black and white movies would say, “BooAhaaa Haa Haa!” I win!
Wait a minute, she had me neutered too!