Posted: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 8:02 pm
By: By Lisa Smartt
If you see a gray or orange cat on Highway 22 with his paw out, give me a call. Our cats are going through that “rebel stage” and lately they’ve taken to hitchhiking. Pretty soon my billfold will be missing and our credit card company will call to inform us that a cat wearing a red bandana on his head is trying to buy a Harley in Louisiana with our Discover card. Naughty cats.
As you may remember, we never really asked for a whole herd of adolescent cats. Oh no. We didn’t want kittens. An expectant mother cat was just thrust upon us in the dark of night. When she had five kittens, we explained to our boys that we would give away three and keep two. We’re now the proud owners of four nine-month old male kittens. I know. Our math skills need some work.
A few weeks ago, one of our prized adolescent cats went missing. We searched the woods. We walked the road. We called his name. We shook the food bowl. Completely vanished. A few days passed and we continued the desperate search. Of course, we cried and cried. Our oldest cat had just died a few weeks before and we were all still hurting over that and now one of our little teenagers had made a run for it.
“That’s it! I can’t do this again! I cannot keep loving these stupid cats! This is just a heartbreak waiting to happen ... and I’m done with the whole thing.” Yeah. I kept saying it over and over again trying to convince myself that if the little orange prodigal ever did come home, he’d find his bags packed and on the front porch. A small kitty backpack containing a few pounds of Cat Chow™, a water bottle, a nice note saying that his rebellion was sending me to an early grave. But when a week passed, we gave up all hope that he would ever return. Then came the phone call from some good Samaritans. They had seen our posting on the Pet Patrol. Our little rebel had shown up on their porch and he was safely waiting for us to come retrieve him. It was a glorious reunion. But get this. He was at a house NINE miles from our house. It was a grave mystery. Until now.
This week while on the way to church, we were zooming down Highway 22 at a cool 65 miles per hour when a gray ball of fur came flying out from under our SUV. Phil stopped immediately. “Oh no!! That was Tiger! He’s in the road!” And here’s the educational take-away from today’s column: An adolescent cat can evidently fly out from under an SUV going 65 miles per hour ... .and live to tell the tale. Tuck and roll, boys. Just tuck and roll. Well, I didn’t actually hear him tell it. But our boys sure loved telling it at church that morning. One paw was scuffed up and his ear was bleeding a little, but he was miraculously unharmed. Our cats had been hitching a ride into mayhem. It was like they were riding the rails and we were operating the train. But no more. We’re honking the horn. We’re doing a full blown inspection. No more kitty hitchhiking. If they want adventure, they can learn to operate the riding lawn mower. Tails up, boys. Tails up.
For more information about Lisa Smartt, visit her Web site lisasmartt.com.
Published in The Messenger 3.17.10
Lisa Smartt, The Smartt View