by J. A. Buxton
A few of my new kitten's antics through his first year of living with me.
|February 26, 1999
I have a privacy problem. The door to my bathroom doesn’t close tightly all the way, and at times I feel like I’m in a castle surrounded by an invading horde.
This morning, a body slammed against the door. Long paws slid under the door, first one black one and then another. One of those tiny black paws next found the small crack on the side of the door and wormed its way in, slowly widening the crack. All the time, a horrendous hue and cry was going on out in the hallway. The door slowly started giving way as a body pushed against it.
I watched mesmerized when the door opened far enough for a head to emerge. Using his small body as a battering ram, the frenzied kitten made one last frontal assault on every cat’s natural enemy…A CLOSED DOOR.
The door swung open; the castle was taken. The victorious animal raced into the room with a look of triumph on his furry face. At this point, I threw up my hands in surrender.
July 14, 1999
Just as I was walking into the living room, Fred jumped to the top of the screen. He managed to pull it out of the frame, dragging it down with him as he fell, letting in all the bugs.
My good old duct tape came to the rescue since I couldn’t get the screen back into the edges neatly. To think that years ago when I bought my first roll of duct tape I had no idea how valuable it would be.
I wonder if anyone wants a hyperactive black cat. I’ll throw a roll of duct tape in for free. On second thought, maybe I’d better keep Fred. How boring my home would be without him!
September 10, 1999
Yesterday, I opened a large bag of uncooked vermicelli for lunch. Walking across the room to put it away, I suddenly realized I had previously opened the OTHER end of the bag when pasta poured out all over the kitchen floor. Fred raced to play with it, and I attempted to sweep it up without catching him in the dustpan. The garbage bag wasn’t full yet, so I left it in the kitchen.
Today, when I returned from doing errands, the garbage bag had been knocked over, and vermicelli was scattered all over the house. I actually caught Fred walking around with a long piece of pasta in his mouth, looking extremely pleased with himself. Do you think if I leave it alone, Fred will come back and clean up his mess?
September 23, 1999
I had no gray hairs until today. About 3 a.m., I was abruptly brought out of a sound sleep by a noise in the back of the house. With the bedroom pitch black, I turned my head back and forth like a radar screen trying to isolate the noise. It was definitely coming from the back hall.
Still with the lights off, I got out of bed and headed on tiptoes from my bedroom into the kitchen. I quickly grabbed Webster, my floor mop, from beside the refrigerator as a weapon, if one was needed. The noise was getting louder the closer I got to the back hall. What type of robber would make this much noise? One who knew I lived alone, that’s what type!
With Webster held in front of me for protection, I finally reached the back hall. By the pantry door was a tall wooden clothes drying rack Perhaps, I thought, I can use this rack to slow down the intruder.
Still walking stealthily through the darkness, I turned on the light. I held Webster over my head like a baseball bat in my free hand and yelled as loudly as I could, “Go away!”
Hanging from the middle rung of the clothes rack, scrambling to climb up further was Fred. Each time he tried for the top rung and missed, the clothes rack would bounce against the pantry door with a loud wooden thump. At my yell, he totally freaked out and jumped straight up in the air. This caused him to finally manage to reach the top rung, the rack making one last crash against the door.
As I sank to the back hall floor due to legs suddenly turning to rubber, I swear I felt the gray hairs popping out all over my head.
October 18, 1999
I’m feeling deprived today due to a sneak thief. I’d bought a large piece of carrot cake yesterday, the kind with that nice thick butter frosting. As I was reading on the sofa this morning, I put my cup of coffee and the plate with the cake beside me on the bookshelf. It was an interesting book and, as usual, I wasn’t paying attention to anything else.
A few minutes went by before I wanted another bite from my cake. To my surprise, that’s all that was left, cake. NO FROSTING! Sitting one shelf up was Fred, my black kitten, looking down at me. He tried to look innocent, but the frosting stuck on his whiskers and fur was a dead giveaway. You’d think at least he would have had the sense to wash the evidence off his face.
December 31, 1999
Fred absolutely loves to step on the base of my phone to make it ring. The first couple times this happened, I automatically picked up the cordless part of the phone and answered, “Hello, this is Judith,” thinking it might be someone from work calling.
I do know Fred doesn’t like me actually talking on the phone. He picks this time to start gnawing on my arms or playing with any other available and naked body part.
The people at work must be wondering about me as I’m always yelling at Fred to stop nibbling on my ears or to stop licking my toes.
Some day I guess I should tell them that Fred is a cat.
If you want to read more about Fred, here's your chance.