Tuesday, May 4th 2010
Feline Soap Opera

Yesterday was a soap opera around here. It started with a small boy showing up unannounced in order to meet his daddy for the first time.

And this is the baby-daddy:

That’s Charlo. Our cat. Who gets out occasionally, despite our best efforts, and is not ‘fixed’ due to a heart murmur and the vet’s advice that he not be anesthetized.

And yesterday, a cat who looked eerily similar showed up. As if to say, “Ah. This is where the Fluffy, Pretty-Boy Cats live. And I am that. So here I am. And I’d like to meet my daddy. Meow.”

For kids’ purposes, we name all strays we rescue “Visitor.” We’ve always done this. It helps whenever the owner shows up and claims them and they go away and we can say, “It was only visiting. It was never ours.”  And behind the kids’ backs, we discuss names. And behind our backs, the kids discuss names. But we all pretend we’re not doing it, and it’s dysfunctional, and I like it and I’m not changing it.

And I liked the name, “Larry.” Yes, I did.

So Larry proceeded to hang out in our garage (because we closed the door behind him and wouldn’t let him out) all day and act just. like. Charlo. And look just like Charlo, down to the most minute physical traits. And convince my mother and I completely that he was SO Charlo’s kitty-baby. And he is. I am still convinced that Larry is Charlo’s  son.

So Mom and I are in the garage, sitting on kid-size foam life preservers and holding/brushing the cat and she says to me, “If he’d shown up with Charlo’s celery green eyes, it’d be 100% DNA proof.”

At this point I broke into song. If you can call it that. And I can’t sing and I compensate with extra twang which is an awful thing to do – especially to a Tanya Tucker song –  but off I went.  And because my mother figured I had a point (or had no other choice), she just waited it out.  Even though it was probably way painful.

“What’s your mama’s name, child?
What’s your mama’s name?
Does she ever talk about a place called New Orleans.
Has she ever mentioned a man named Buford Wilson?

Just because he asked a little green-eyed girl a question,

Inside the old man’s ragged coat, they found a faded letter.
It said: “You have a daughter and her eyes are Wilson green.”

I couldn’t remember “Buford” and substituted “Owen.” Which is kinda fantastic, right?  (And those are not all the lyrics, just the ones I could sorta remember)

Anyway. A plan was hatched. My mom would keep Seth-4yr while I posted “Found Cat” signs and took Larry to the vet. He couldn’t meet his daddy until he had a health check. We are sentimental but cautious.  Also, we didn’t know if Larry was a boy or a girl. We are not farm women. Or doctors. We looked. Laugh if you must, but we just couldn’t tell.

The vet (as previously reported here) is WEIRD. He took one look at Larry and said, “This isn’t a stray. It’s someone’s pet. Well. Maybe not. He has balls.”

Kinda thought I’d bite my bottom lip in half.

The vet assistants who work there were fascinated at the story of Larry’s parentage and instinctual pilgrimage to the FatherLand.

We decided he needed an HIV/Leukemia test and all shots. And so he got them. And later Mike gave him a bath, because Mike is the designated Cat Washer in the family. Because… claws. Eh.

And THEN?  Some lady called and said he was hers. And she knew about the broken, golden heart shaped locket that only his true mother knew about. Nevermind, that was Annie. Okay, but she knew about the mustache. And that’s the same thing. And then she came and took him. Took him away. She seemed a bit surprised that he had an AIDS and Leukemia test and had been vaccinated AND bathed and pretty much had a real big day. When we rescue a cat around here, we really rescue the tar right out of that cat. (ohstop. it makes sense to me.)

I didn’t tell her how he’s really my grand-cat and Charlo is his daddy and his name is Larry and I want partial custody or every other weekend visitation rights, and also, I had told the vet he would be back for castration next week, because he’s MY KITTY.

The lady thanked us, gave me money for the vet expenses, and told us his name was Caesar.

I smiled and gritted my teeth to keep from saying, “Like the salad? Or the other, more historical one? And neither one of those is good. REALLY, lady? What’s wrong with LARRY?”

Charlo was mad. All day. He was mad about the meowing Larry in the garage. When Charlo is stressed, he beats up the 80 lb. dog. A lot. He can be mean.

Notice how Duke is imploring me with his big doggie eyes to save him. Instead of getting up and walking away. Or acknowledging that he is bigger and doesn’t have to take this.   That never occurs to him.

We weren’t very sympathetic to Charlo’s plight. At one point I poked him in the ribs and said, “I’m pretty sure you brought this one on yourself, Charlo.” And then he went and swatted the dog again just to let off steam. Seth-4yr said to him, “Hello…?! DENIAL!?”

But Seth-4yr says that to everyone all the time and it just happened to totally make sense when he said it to Charlo. It usually doesn’t.

Seth-4yr and I drove by the kitty’s street twice today. Slowly. Looking for Larry. Cruising with total intent to cat-nap.

I’m hoping he comes back.

This soap opera needs a happy kitty reunion ending.

~hm

3 Comments on “Feline Soap Opera”

1

[...] the sort of day where I find myself slowly driving down Larry’s street and realizing I haven’t been this pathetic over a boy since 9th [...]

2
Annie Joy
May 6th, 2010
6:11 pm

I love this story — but not the ending. Ours had a better ending — Mr. Malone (our dog) is still here and nobody has claimed him, so (hooray) so he’s ours. It helps that he was lost in Oklahoma City, 50 miles from here, but the effort was made to find his parents. I still look into his big black eyes and ask him where he came from and tell him that we’re really happy he found us. But I can’t help but feel sorry for whoever lost him. He’s such a sweet little guy and so well behaved that it’s obvious somebody really loved him. So I understand about Larry and don’t have any wise words, except that I’m really sorry.

3
Christiana
June 21st, 2010
11:39 am

I can tell you why the “Sanchez” joke was funny and also why it isn’t an inside joke. Fortunately for you, you are too nice to have gotten the reference.

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