Friday, February 08, 2013

The Stuff of Family Legend

My parents live in a beautiful house on a breathtaking acreage, with a stunning view of the Teton mountains, with gorgeous horses and a riding arena and the greenest lawn you’ll ever see, and spectacular, beauteous, staggering, awe-inspiring, marvelous. With all those selling points, it’s no wonder feral cats are always moving into the barn and trying to call it home.

A couple of years ago, a nasty hellborn feline took a fancy to the place and promptly deposited four kittens from her uterus into the haystack. My mom, a conscientious pet owner who had of course spayed and neutered her own barn cats, was now responsible for these four little kittens, destined to become as hostile (and fertile) as their awful mother. VICKY HAD TO INTERVENE.

She called a local cat rescue and they offered to take the kittens from her hands once they were old enough, so long as she handled them daily to make them tame. Seemed easy enough; the problem was the dreadful mother, that spitting, hissing incarnate of the devil. My mom knew that as soon as she started handling those kittens the mother would move the lot of them somewhere unreachable, so a trap was constructed in order to get them all corralled in the tack room where they couldn’t escape.

It was a success, but when she first set them free to wander their new little space, my mom noticed that the kittens’ eyes were all infected and gummed shut and their noses were snotty. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. So now instead of handling four wild kittens once daily, she was stuck administering medicine THRICE daily and she had to wipe their little eyes and noses clean with a warm damp rag. So morning, afternoon, and evening, she would put on thick leather gloves, enter the tack room, grope around inside the cathouse for a kitten, shower it with eye drops, wipe the all the junky crap off of its face, then repeat. All the while, the horrid mother sat hunched in the corner, yowling and hissing and making pacts with Satan. So it went for a few days without incident.

But then, The Incident. And what an incident it was. Wait til you hear. It’s really good.

My mom had a little white kitten in hand – the cute little one she’d grown to like the most out of all the kittens and had named ‘Pinky’ because of his cute little pink nose – and had just finished with the eye drops and was preparing the rag for wiping, when the devil mother flew at her leg in a wild, noisy, blurry fit of angry clawing and biting. She panicked, forgot what she was doing, and tried desperately to extract the cat from her body. When she finally succeeded, she surveyed the damage: lots of bites and scratches on legs and arms, lots of blood. Adrenaline pumping, it took her a few moments to gather her senses.

Then she remembered little Pinky.

There he was, plopped on the tack room floor. HE WAS FINE, but yes, Pinky got dropped. Hastily. Possibly thrown, who knows. Anyway, from then on she wielded a garbage can lid shield in anticipation of future cat-fury, and the kittens got better and eventually the shelter adopted them out, and the moral of this story is HOW ADORABLE IS MY MOM, NAMING THAT FERAL KITTEN ‘PINKY’????? zomg.


  1. Mom protecting herself from a crazy A cat with a trash can shield. That image will never get old.

  2. Yeah, ya do what ya gotta do. (But please don't tell the story of the second batch of wild kittens!)

  3. Hilarious! When my mom was in college she had a grey & white tabby named Joshua, who was beauuuutiful but could be super nasty and aggressive (e.g. clawing the crap out of you when he decided he'd had enough petting, and regularly beating up neighborhood dogs). One time she had to give him a pill or eyedrops or something, and decided she'd wear her white satin opera-length gloves from prom as armor. Needless to say the gloves were completely shredded. The image of her trying to wrangle him while wearing formal wear just cracks me up!