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Scat of the Black Cat

One night, returning home, much intoxicated, from one of my haunts about town, I fancied that the cat avoided my presence. I seized him; when, in his fright at my violence, he inflicted a slight wound upon my hand with his teeth. The fury of a demon instantly possessed me. I knew myself no longer. My original soul seemed, at once, to take its flight from my body; and a more than fiendish malevolence, gin-nurtured, thrilled every fibre of my frame…From The Black Cat, written by Edgar Allen Poe.

“How do I love thee?/ Let me count the ways…” I often think of my husband when these verses cross my mind and they often do.  Not that I don’t love my husband with all my heart, that I do.  But I think of these verses in terms of how much he loves me.

You see I’m an animal lover.  Never in my life have I not had a dog or a cat or two or a monkey or forty-two Shetland ponies.  They have given me lots of companionship and devotion.

At this moment I’m in bed with my dog Matt, lying clamped to my side.  He’s scared of storms and his barometer tells him we are in for hellacious thunder and lightning.  Two torture-dealing black cats lie next to me on my other side.  Not that they are scared of storms, they just need a mother and they think I’m she.

On the other hand, John is not an animal lover.   But the trials and tribulations my animals have put him through during the thirty-six years we’ve been married…”How do I love thee?/Let me count the ways…” attests to the solid foundation upon which our marriage rests (no ending this sentence with a preposition).

“Let me count the ways”  First way: the day I brought home two wild Kubota black cats.  When I arrived in the garage,  I realized I would not be able to lift the carrier over the hood of the Suburban to get them in the house.

I gingerly opened the carrier door and solidly gripped the closest cat.  Quicker than a snotty sneeze the second cat lunged by me, shot out the garage door, down the side of the garage, and leapt atop the cyclone fence.  Still clutching Cat One in a death grip, more my death than hers, I flung open the door and the cat exploded off my shoulder.  I screamed, “John! I need Help!  Help! Help!”

He flew out of the office (I hadn’t mentioned I was getting two cats from the owner of the Kubota store or I can assure you his speed would have been greatly reduced to a voice from inside the office, “What’s going on?” if he had responded at all.

In one short breath I announced, “Cat. Loose. On fence.”

“What?” he asked, totally clueless.

I’ve forgotten to mention it was sleeting.  Leading the chase to the fence, I quickly tried to fill him in.  He reached the fence before the details sank in.  There the cat hovered, all four paws balanced on the knob atop the corner of the fence.  Sleet pinging us so hard we had to shield our faces with our hands.

Still a couple of sentences behind in comprehension, he asked, “This it?”

Duh.  How many other cats are on the fence? I wanted to ask.

Cat sprang onto a tiny tree branch a second before John could grasp her.  He hoisted himself atop the iced fence and grabbed the limb.  The cat looked like a scud missile as it shot over four neighbors’ fences, never to be seen again.

“You didn’t tell me you were getting a cat,” he said just as the tree branch he was holding onto snapped.  Actually his fall to the icy ground was pretty graceful considering all.

“Okay,” I responded. “Actually, I got two.  The other one is loose in the house.  They came in a set.”

I could see disappointment written all over his face.

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3 Responses to “Scat of the Black Cat”

  1. Tpirtle says:

    Yes, reminds me of all the sweet animals we have loved and he has tolerated buried in the backyard pet cemetery, love you daddy!

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