Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A View of Empty Vessels

The good news was that my cat's paws smelled fantastic - like Kenzo Flower with a hint of Jo Malone. The practical news was that I was able to get rid of some old junk I'd never use and sweep out months of dustbunnies from under my bed.

The infuriating news was that the kitten I rescued was illustrating the old adage that no good deed goes unpunished. Again.

It began Sunday morning with a very loud, heavy crash. The crash was loud enough to wake my family upstairs. It was heavy enough to shake the floors. It was intense enough to shake the floors in my flat. A Sunday morning that should've began with coffee, waffles, and Charles Osgood instead began with me cleaning up potting soil and broken clay. My sweet little seven month old tabby managed to come this close to taking himself and my picture window out with a two foot tall Yucca plant. He's been fascinated with the plant, not because he wanted to chew the leaves, but because he likes to sleep in dirt. He's managed to take out a corn plant and a rubber plant, and Yucca was the last plant standing in my (now barren) living room. Until Sunday, when a mistimed jump led to me having to get it out of my home and to a safe haven. Fortunately, the clay planter didn't break (the saucer the plant sat on took the brunt of the fall) and the plant survived in one piece. Yucca is now living a stress and cat free life in my office.

This was the second Sunday where the little fuzzbucket has wreaked havoc. On Super Bowl Sunday, right around the time that big guy on the Steelers was making his record breaking interception, Muffin was running a Hail Mary of his own by taking a dive down my clothes chute. I was running a bath and opened the chute long enough to toss down old pajamas and towels. In the blink of an eye, I saw him hop into the chute opening, lose his balance, and disappear. My sister was in the basement and had fortunately closed the other end which allowed Muffin to land on dirty clothes instead of an unfinished basement floor. He then, just as quickly, clawed his way up the chute, out the door and proceeded to run through my house at top speed for almost a half hour before I could catch him and make sure he was okay. Not a scratch on him, though it did take almost a day for him to calm down. And me. I saw him fall and just knew he was going to be hurt...or worse. My sister told me all she heard was a muffled thump, my scream, some frantic clawing, then the sound of a crazed stampede.

I highly recommend "9 Chickweed Lane "- it's funny, sweet, and always well drawn.

After flirting with losing at least one of his nine lives, I just knew he'd reached his peak. Wrong.

The first clue that he'd run amok again hit me when I walked in the door after work yesterday. My house smelled good. Too good. Perfume counter around Mother's Day good. The second clue was that there wasn't a cat in sight. Not one member of the Fuzzy Bunch was in his or her usual spot. The third clue was when I tried to push open my almost closed bedroom door and it got stuck on a weird plastic doohickey that turned out to be the atomizer on a little perfume sample. Oh yeah, and my bedroom smelled like Perfumania had exploded. I opened up the door, and here's what I saw:

I know this isn't very clear, but that's how I saw it because I was so damn furious. There was makeup all over the floor. Broken jewelry. The tiniest shards of glass I've ever seen from countless samples I'd collected over the years (For whatever reason, perfume samples come in very thin glass vials. Why is that?) The case my father's childhood rosary came in was in little pieces. (Thank goodness the rosary was in one piece. It's one of the only personal items of his I have.) There was stuff under the bed, stuff under the dresser, stuff mingled in with dustballs as big as that damn kitten who had waylayed the storage bins I keep on my dresser. My only guess is that he was trying to jump from my bedroom chair onto the dresser - for what reason, I'll never know - and missed. Badly. If anyone tells you cats are naturally graceful and coordinated, they've either never owned a cat or have no sense of grace and coordination.

It took over an hour to clean everything up. It would've taken half that amount of time had Muffin not strolled in right as I was beginning to pick things up and decided that this was the perfect time to play "Bat the Broken Lipstick Tube." When I tried to grab him, he made a break for it - right towards the tiny shards of glass. Somehow, both of us managed to avoid getting cut.

My sister came down to visit later that evening. The first thing she did was pick up Muffin and cradle him like a baby. The first thing he did was plop one of his paws over her nose.

"Tracey, you've got to smell his paws," she said, laughing so hard she turned red. They smelled good. Too good. Perfume counter at Mother's Day good. I had to laugh too. All was forgiven.

But not forgotten. This morning, I started closing my bedroom door.

More later, after I build up the courage to go home and see what hell hath Muffin wrought today.

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