May 30, 2004

The Great File Purge

I was cleaning out my old computer files when I came across this -- it's the rough draft of a personal ad I wrote seven years ago...

"Mean heartless lady with no sense of personal responsibility seeks to unload terrible feline pestilence on unsuspecting household. Said pestilence pokes sleeping people with a dreadful prehensile finger of doom if it can see the bottom of the food bowl. It also hits babies and is ugly. And stupid. And hateful. Please come by my house and pretend to be a nice person so I can give you the cat with out waking my dozing concious, and then immediately sell it to a lab that will put horrible burning salve in its eyes so my shampoo can be safe and smell pretty."

I never placed it. Mostly because my husband told me it was not a very good ad because it was so long that it would cost a hundred bucks. Good point, said I. He also pointed out that not many people would line up to have a chance at a "terrible feline pestilence." Another fine point. And lastly, he mentioned that if I asked people to sell the cat to a lab, someone might actually do it.

The ad I eventually placed read somethign like this:
HELP MR. CAT!!! Charming people-loving weirdo with elegant Roman nose doesn't like our new baby. Great with school-age kids. Has shots, is neutered. Needs good home.

It was while I was writing this version that I dimly remembered that once, a long long time ago, I actually liked Mr. Cat, otherwise known as Stewart. I liked him a LOT. I thought he was his own pajamas, if you follow me. Because he WAS actually cute, he did have an elegant Roman nose, and he WAS a big funny weirdo. He slept in entertaining shapes, folding himself into a U belly up, or tucking himself all in and then pressing his face on the floor. He trilled charmingly when people entered the house, as if he was delighted to welcome them all to his humble abode. He sat on the back of the sofa as I read, peering over my shoulder as if he was reading too. When he was sleepy (and this is a cat we are talking about, so read this as "just about any time") I could set a full cup of juice or soda DIRECTLY ON HIS HEAD and he would hold himself remarkably still and act like a patient furry coaster.

So my real problem with Stewart (or St.Wart as my crack smoking ex-vet accidentally named him by leaving out the E) is that he hit babies. Particularly my baby. My friend had two little boys, ages 5 and 7, and Saint Wart worshipped them. He thought (Two Little Boys) + (x) where x was a piece of string or possibly a feather duster was the true mathematical formula for fun. And he may have liked other people's babies, who knows.

The main thing was, he hit mine. And to give credit where credit is due, he never bit the baby, or used his claws, he just hauled off and whanged the baby in the head. And to give more credit where credit is due, the baby usually whanged him in the head first. Never the less, it was righteously unacceptable to me, The Mommy of said whanged baby.

It made me nervous, and it made me worried, and worst of all, it made me VIOLENTLY LOATHE a perfectly darling little cat who was the blossom on the tree of my life until Mr. Baby replaced him. Which, if I cared about the psychological whatevers, is probably WHY Stewart hated the baby in the first place. But I do not care about the psychological whatevers. I cared about not having my baby hit. And since I was absolutely set on keeping the baby, Mr. Cat had to pack up and go.

We had another cat at the time, Walley, who NEVER hit babies. NEVER. If the baby hit Walley he just LEFT THE AREA which he could do, and which the baby could not do. So Walley was allowed to live. And with us. Stewart is gone...he went to live with folks in our neighborhood who had older kids and they ADORED him and he adored them back...He was still with them and happy (and getting obscenely fat) when we moved to Atlanta.

Ah the lunacy of new motherhood. The baby is now a 7 year old Manling who is perfectly capable of defending himself against multiple cats, but at the time I could not see past my hideous new mommy fear of CAT INDUCED BRAIN DAMAGE. I wonder where St. Wart is, and indeed IF St. Wart still is at all. He would be about ten? God Speed Saint Wart, where ever you are....

Posted by joshilyn at May 30, 2004 4:20 PM