- Category: Family
- Written by Jim Dee
Things came to an ugly head at the Hillman compound last week. In as-yet-unreported news, our feral cat colony has expanded (as cat colonies are prone to do). What started as a couple of wild kitties has blossomed into a family of six. To any normal person, this is a complete disaster. However, to my daughter, this was a wonderful development.
As soon as we found out about the kittens, we started having serious talks about spaying the females ASAP! (That's the best practice, by the way -- spay the females & you don't get more kittehs. The males, quite luckily, avoid neutering.)
With preparations already in motion to fix up / sell the house and then head off to the west coast, this cute cat colony had culminated in a complex conundrum. Pretty bad, right?
Well, it gets worse. Ages ago, I introduced the real-life inspiration for one of my favorite fictional evil character inventions, "Mrs. Pipistrello"(*). Well, Mrs. Pipistrello saw said kitties and went hysterical on my daughter. Threats were uttered, harsh words spoken, dirty glances exchanged. Then, my daughter noticed a mysterious white powder lining Mrs. Pipistrello's back porch. Yep, it seemed the ol' crank intended to poison the colony.
Action was required. So, I picked up the phone and called out to a nearby horse barn at which my daughter used to ride. I asked for the owner (a guy I'd never met) and then explained the situation.
"You called at the right time," he said. "We could use a family of cats here at the barn. As long as you fix the girl cats, we'll take 'em all." He added that, not only could they live peacefully in the barn, but that all of the riders who frequent the place usually treat the barn cats extra special -- bringing them food & treats all the time.
I'd say the odds of a satisfactory resolution to this problem were about 6.5 million to 1. The odds of addressing it via a single, on-a-whim phone call were incalculable. But, there it is. Cat problem solved. Q.E.D.
(*) Just as a footnote: In my fiction writing, I allow a few characters to pop up in various, otherwise unrelated works. This particular lady was the inspiration for "Mrs. Pipistrello" who first appears in my NaNoWriMo novella, "Pirates of Pamlico Sound" (available for download along the right side of my blog). In real life, this woman's Italian. The word pipistrello is Italian for bat, (as in, she's an old bat ). Also, I should note in fairness that, upon the resolution of this problem, Mrs. Pipistrello claimed that the white powder was some kind of detergent that she'd reportedly heard cats do not like. So, her excuse was basically "cat repellent." Um-hmm ... Like I'm buying that.
Below, are the original comments on this post. Additional comments may be made via Facebook, below.
On June 16, 2008, wrote:
I heard that .45 caliber sized pieces of lead deters bats from hanging around and is an effective bat repellent.
On June 16, 2008, wrote:
Old ladies are supposed to like cats. This character is not fitting her archetype.
On June 17, 2008, wrote:
Is there a male equivalent of an old Cat Lady with 36 cats and a bicycle?