Enough with the cats already!

By Helen Row Toews

August 8, 2017 11:39 PM

While making no secret of the fact that I’m a card-carrying member of the, I love cats club, a line must be drawn somewhere.
As a brief refresher I can tell you a stray showed up on our deck this past April, pregnant and abandoned.
We created a warm kennel for Coconut – so named for her creamy mottled fur – and she gave birth to four adorable kittens.
All was going well until the afternoon she disappeared. We searched for her in vain and it was concluded, with much sadness, she had fallen prey to a coyote.
In desperation we rang dad to check if he had any milk replacement we could feed to the kittens, “You want milk for WHAT?” he asked incredulously.
But that didn’t work anyway, since who knew cats were lactose intolerant?
They were barely two weeks old so Aliyah started researching information on how to raise them, they were brought inside, and a frantic trip was made at 10 p.m. for supplies – thank you Weir Vet Clinic. Aliyah and I sat cross-legged on the floor much of the night trying to force food down their resistant little gullets.
And here’s a further bit of news – kittens can’t eliminate waste (I’m trying to be gentile here people) without stimulation from the mother on their hind ends.
This put us in the awkward position of massaging the posterior of a young cat, repeatedly.
The sentence, “Yay, he peed on my leg,” was not one I’d ever imagined myself uttering, let alone being happy about.
Thankfully, late next day, Coconut returned. Or, to put it in other terms – we thought she was a goner, but the cat came back (sorry, it was too good to resist.) 
Aliyah’s room was turned into a cat den, Coconut was brought inside, and the saga continued.
Fast forward a few weeks and there are cats every bloody place you look. Six cats are too many for anyone I tell you! My friend (and at this point I use the term loosely) Susan, has all along laughingly maintained I’ve acquired a “crazy cat lady starter kit”. Grudgingly, I may admit she’s right since, as I write, one kitten scales the drapery, another tussles with his mother’s tail and two more claw their way up the sofa.
Mouse, our previous resident, occasionally pins one down, despite shrill protest, and licks it thoroughly. Initially Aliyah was concerned he was tasting its fur to see if it could become dinner but, no, he was just giving it a good wash.
The other night I heard an insistent tapping on my bedroom door, “Mom, I need you,” Aliyah hissed. I padded out into the living room where she grasped my shoulders and searched my face with a wild eye. “A cat has pooped in my bed,” she pronounced in despairing tones.
“Good to know,” I said, turning sleepily away with a yawn, “Bye.”
“No!” she leapt forward blocking my path, “You’ve gotta help me remove it. Well, to be honest, I’ll wait outside while you do it,” she finished truthfully.
My eyes narrowed and then resignedly I shrugged and shuffled off to fetch some tissue and fresh sheets.
“It’s under there,” she declared, pointing with a quavering finger to a spot on the bed.
I peeled back the offending covers – with effort since they were sticky – and beheld a nasty, brown, flattened mass.
Grasping it firmly with the paper towel, I began to peel it up. “Ack,” Aliyah shrieked as a portion of the mound came away in my hand, “How revolting.”
Strangely, the room began to take on the pleasing scent of spearmint and tentatively I brought the wad up to my nose for further inspection. “MOM, are you crazy?” she yelled in disgust from the doorway.
I took a deep sniff and then turned to her night table where an empty box of treats lay discarded and forgotten.
I regarded her hovering by the door, “Snacking under the covers again I presume? This isn’t cat poop you little ninny, it’s a melted mint patty.”
All in all, the cat theme has been entertaining and at times a trifle overwhelming, but I’m not really complaining – kittens are so cute, and we’ll find them homes. There’s only one significant problem at this point – a new cat is sitting on the deck peering through the window at me as we speak. ENOUGH ALREADY!

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