Saturday, May 11, 2013

Open House

The rains are early this year, and ferocious. This spring-monsoon adds to my discombobulation, since I have felt stretched too thin these past weeks. I've added mileage to my life and car, neglecting parts of my life that have needed tending, juggling, settling, changing, cleaning, picking up and putting it all down in a different place. One of the most important parts that I've had to ignore is, of course, my writing: I've not written a single word in these past weeks, not a poem, not a story, nothing. I must confess I am feeling snarly, often tempted to spread a few hisses all around. Even as I write this, I know it is an indulgence, a sudden thunder storm that has forced me to settle on the sofa, to calm the cats.

Ever since I've moved back to my house, people have been asking me how I am settling down. Honestly, I don't know! My patient reader knows that I lost a cat in the fire and that the two surviving felines had to be well-nigh homeless for a few weeks. I am still reeling with the fallout from those two circumstances. So I don't know exactly how well I am settling down. I have been trying to reclaim my house from the cats inch by inch, with a great deal of help from the fragrance spitters and body sprays.

The fallout I referred to earlier is about some other stray or abandoned cats that my surviving cat seems to have befriended. Already, two of them have taken residence with us in the house and two more come at night to eat and visit. Sometimes, when I wander in during these visiting hours, I get a few causal hisses by way of greeting and warning. Sometimes, I have found "gifts" left by the visitors, namely dead birds, some even partially plucked. I wish I could tell the visitors to feel free to eat, but feel no obligation to leave behind gifts of any sort.

This has, of course, driven my cat food budget beyond the modest allowance granted to it, but that's not the worst. The worst has been the uneasy truce governing the space the cats share with me. We each have different views about how the space should be configured and inhabited. I have placed the fragrance spritzers at regular intervals around my spaces, which has kept the visitors and inhabitants away from my space, but also caused my older cat to feel ever more unwelcome and nervous. To remain fair, I have brought in some more cat furniture, to encourage the live-in cats to leave my perches alone and choose scratch-able, catnip infused, cat-friendly seats and perches.

I have spent weekends building cat shelters in my postage-stamp sized backyard, to give the old cat a place in my house, the old cat who is the only cat I can really call mine, in the sense that I had chosen her to live with me and who has, since, been driven out of my house by the other cats who have decided to cohabit with me. These shelters were meant to lure the old cat back, if not INSIDE the house then at least AROUND it, a safe place during thunderstorms.

However, both, the outside shelters as well as the cat furniture remain cat less and ignored. The old cat does come every time I call her because she has trained me to feed her, but she won't come in the house, nor will she stay. The live-in cats give my fragrance spritzed spaces a wide berth, but also ignore the perches I want them to use.  Of course, I love the cat snuggling between the back of my knees and the back-rest of the couch; after all, I HAVE been trained and conditioned well.

The first wave of thunderstorms has passed and I see three cats stretched out in their preferred spots around the room. I scarf through e-bay for inexpensive cat furniture and wonder how well I am settling down in the new house. I will have family and friends visiting the house over the Summer and I wonder how the visitors and live-in felines will react to this. Hopefully, I will be trained enough not to wonder at whatever awaits for us all this Summer!



  1. Those cats are so lucky to have find a mom like you!
    Happy Mother's Day, my lovely friend.