So, I was on my way to a meeting the other day, when I inadvertently kidnapped a neighbors’ cat.
Really… it wasn’t my fault.
See, we have this big black cat named Oliver. And Oliver has gotten it into his head lately that he should be able to roam about his domain, namely everything he can see from the window behind my work chair, any time he wants.
Sometimes, the boys let him out in the morning.
And sometimes, he slips out when no one is looking.
And there are those days when he sits on someone’s keyboard or climbs on the back of their chair in order to attack their hair while they’re typing forcing someone to decide to actually throw him out… but, I digress.
Any who, I was just driving down the street, sort of patting myself on the back for being on time for a change, when I see a couple of guys in a state vehicle, standing on the side of the street with this black cat.
Immediately, it registered with me that it looked like Oliver.
Almost simultaneously, it registered that even government employees don’t deserve that kind of torture.
When I was three blocks away it also registered – “Holy monkey pee, they might actually take the cat with them!”
I mean, it is my youngest son Max’s cat, and for some bizarre reason he actually likes the furry little asshole, despite his tendency to attack Max when he’s trying to sleep.
So, I doubled back and pulled up behind their truck.
“Did I see y’all with a black cat earlier?” I asked them. “I think that’s ours. He likes to get out in the morning and terrorize the neighborhood.”
They pointed to the other side of their truck where a black cat with a pink ribbon around its neck was standing.
Naturally, since I was now running late, I grabbed the cat, threw it in the van, thanked the guys for their help and took off.
It wasn’t until I was halfway to the highway that I realized…Oliver doesn’t have a collar.
Looking a little closer at the cat, I realized Oliver doesn’t have as round of a face or such a small body.
Then it hit me – I’d grabbed the wrong cat!
Apparently, you really CAN just grab ‘em, even if you’re not a celebrity. Some of them really do just let you.
There were other indications this wasn’t Oliver, as well… for instance, this cat was nice.
This cat would let you pet it more than three times in a row without feeling the need to attack your hand like it was a mouse bathed in tuna juice.
This cat looked up at you with eyes that said “Love me please!” instead of glaring “Are you planning on feeding me anytime soon, or do you get the claws again?”
This cat was also a girl.
Clearly, I’d made a huge mistake.
I decided to name her LaLa Land.
Barreling down the highway, late to my appointment and talking to LaLa, I tried to figure out what I to do. In response, LaLa decided to curl up in my lap, rest her head on my arm and fall asleep.
Who can resist that?
I briefly considered taking off the collar, putting it on Oliver and switching them out when no one was looking. Hey, if it worked for Patty Duke…
For the next four hours, I talked to LaLa as we ran errands and ate lunch. She curled up in my arm while I was driving and wandered the car when I wasn’t. I shared a bit of my chicken caesar salad with her, and poured her a cupful of water. She purred in contentment and never once nipped at my fingers to protest anything.
Finally, I stopped in front where I’d snatched her from and put her back where she belonged. She alternately clung to me and scrabbled to get away as I took put her on the sidewalk.
I swear she looked back at me with the melancholy gaze of a hostage with Stockholm syndrome.
And although I briefly thought about grabbing her back up and whisking her away to our house where she could live as my special cuddle cat for the rest of our days… I resisted. Two cats are enough, my husband says. Anything more than that borders on hoarding.
Or so I’m told.
I’m not sure I believe that.
LaLa was a pretty good listener, despite being a catnapping victim, and she was much nicer than Oliver ever had been. She didn’t even mind being in a minivan – which is more than I can say for my other son.
But still, kidnapping someone else’s cat, no matter how nice and accommodating the cat is, is no way to acquire a new pet.
Again, I’ve heard this, but I’m not quite sure I believe it. Surely there are exceptions … like when a cat really likes you, right?
And even though she was in my life for only a short time, I like to think she was happy… and that she taught me a life lesson I’m not soon to forget – namely, that I am seriously just one bad relationship away from becoming a crazy cat lady…
Copyright (c) Liz Carey 2017