2013-02-28 / Lifestyles

Averting a cat-astrophe

Lois A. Corcoran Lois A. Corcoran Personality conflicts exist in the best of families. In our case, a clash arose between my husband Dan and Caramel Cat, pretty much from day one.

When our tabby joined the family, he trained us rather than the other way around. Even as a kitten, Caramel took orders from no one. The word “no” means nothing to him, nor does a disciplinary blast of water from a squirt bottle.

Like Garfield, his primary focus centers on food and how to derive more of it. Among other activities, he sneaks potato peelings out of the trash can.

He also jumps on the kitchen counter the minute we leave the room. We keep our bread there, and one time Caramel tore open a new loaf and enjoyed a hearty meal.

This prompted the purchase of a wooden breadbox. “Let him try to eat through that,” said the store clerk.

Still, Caramel’s sneaky antics continued to get under Dan’s skin and he finally blew a fuse. “Either that cat goes or I do!”

So I placed ads on Freecycle and in the local papers, earning a call from a retired guy in the next town. We chatted about Caramel and his quirks, which the man found endearing. “He can jump on my counter any time,” he said. Then he added, “I’m disabled, though. Would you mind delivering him?”

Bright and early the next morning, we lured Caramel with a “last meal” of tuna fish, and packed up his lifelong possessions. But just as we headed out the door, the phone rang.

After identifying himself, the caller said, “I’m sorry but I changed my mind about the cat.” In essence, a last minute pardon from the governor.

Dan was livid. “He thinks he’s disabled now? I’ll show him disabled!” But he calmed down and, to my amazement, began speaking for the cat. “You can’t get rid of me. I’m Lucifer!”

“Aw, let’s just keep him,” he said finally, and I put away Caramel’s belongings before he could change his mind.

Over the next few days, my ads prompted more calls by some interested parties. “Um,” I told them. “It looks like we found a home for him.” This, I said with fingers crossed.

And so, our kitty remains a member of the family. A feisty one, but a member all the same. At least till the next conflict occurs.

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