2.17.2013

Cats

I have a love hate relationship with CATS.
Doesn't everyone?
When I was a little girl, a favorite activity on a trip to the family farm involved barn kittens. Climbing around in the loft of the calf barn to find their clever hiding spot, managing to catch one and hold on long enough to tame it. Oh So Sweet Babies! - after they had finished hissing and spitting, and had become 'tame', of course. Warm and groggy after being lavished with hours childish love, they were content to lay flat out in the crook of an arm. I always arrived back at the house in time for dinner with my eyes red and itchy, and every scratch a welt.
 So allergic but completely happy! 

My childhood best friend had cats at her house. I did not love them. They were elusive phantom-ish cats - never allowing themselves to be caught and loved but leaving enough dander around to cause my itching eyes to swell shut. It was pretty embarrassing to be the only girl at the pajama party with weeping eye blisters. 
What? You didn't know that eyes can blister? 
 It's not pretty,  folks.

As a teenager, my family kept outside cats. I did love them and defended them from my brothers  who collaborated with my boyfriend to discover if cats really walk backward when their ears are taped down. By then I'd learned to have (a little) better self-discipline and found that I could manage my allergy and still snuggle my cat if I washed my hands immediately afterward and changed my clothes. 
It was worth it, Whiskers!

One of my dearest friends in high school (and to this day) had cats. We called her pets the Demon Cats, and they earned the title. They attacked at dinner, after our vulnerable legs had been tucked under a tablecloth.  When you least expected it, after you thought you might be safe, maybe as you raised a forkful of Aunt Shirley's luscious chicken dumplings to your mouth, a tiny furry rocket would race from a hiding place and launch to your leg, all claws extended, hang on for a frantic ride and deliver a final spiteful bite before racing away.  Aluminum dining table chairs were flipped over backward and we would lay gasping and bleeding like carp on a dock.  My friend declared that her cats were only 'that way' around us. 
I think they were  just un-tamed barn cats. 



(photos of my cousin's cats just before Christmas this year) 



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