CATastrophes

Effie’s Nightly Cat-Collecting Ritual

I have a nighttime routine like I’m sure many people do. Nothing special. But my wife — oh lord! She is incorrigible! She has to make sure all of her cats are in the bedroom before she will even crawl into bed. (She could care less about the whereabouts of my cat Mayonnaise.)

One by one she seeks out each cat (this alone can take some time), carries them back to her bedroom and places them on the bed. It’s a rather time-consuming process considering she only has one arm. Some of the cats don’t like to be picked up or carried, and all of the cats hate to be put in a particular spot, much like every cat in existence. Cats are independent, they prefer to pick and choose their own spots. Once all cats are present and accounted for, she can then get into bed peacefully.

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, it gets tricky…

For starters, while she’s out collecting the rest of the cats, some of the already collected cats (you know who you are!) attempt to escape. Sometimes they do. If this happens the process suffers a major setback or she might even have to start all over.

Certain cats have specific spots on the bed. For instance: Effie wants her dear, sweet (socially awkward) Linus as close to her as humanly possible so that she can snuggle him between her warm nub and body. Oscar, on the other hand, she wants at the foot of the bed because he is a “miserable beast who pretends to be asleep and bites in the night.”

Then there’s Frederick, who has a personal vendetta against Percy that my wife says stems from deep rooted jealousy. Apparently there’s some sort of torrid love triangle involving Fredrick and Percy competing for the affections of Lady Marmalade. Effie insists that the three of them must be split up at night and that neither male can be closer to Marmalade than the other so as to discourage either from engaging in unauthorized nighttime canoodling with Marmalade because that would lead to confrontation. For the record, all of these cats have been Bob Barker’d (spayed and neutered).

Effie is only satisfied once she has seen all of her cats in the same place at the same time. Why, you ask? Well, she has theories (lord, does she ever have theories!) that some of her cats collude to delve into trickery together to outsmart her. She posits that if, say, one of the cats (in most cases it would likely be Oscar) wants to sneak out of the house that a devious arrangement would have been pre-orchestrated between said cat and an accomplice cat to fool her. Meaning, one cat could be accounted for in one part of the house and then quickly, under the cover of darkness, travel to a second part of the house where he would be counted a second time in place of the escaping cat. And before you ask, yes, she can tell the difference between her cats, she chooses to perform this cat collecting with minimal lighting so that she can sneak up on them quietly and catch them off guard. Let me tell you, there is nothing sneaky or quiet about a one-armed lady who goes bump in the night. It’s a catastrophe!

The cats are in no way required to stay on the bed or in her room throughout the whole night, although she prefers that they do and takes it personally when most of them decide to leave.

Yes, I am married to a crazy cat lady. And I love it!

Mayonnaise Investigates

Effie woke me up to investigate a noise she claims she heard coming from outside. Said noise was described as: “A series of random claps followed by a loud clang.” I peeked out the bedroom window but did not find any marching band trespassers. I told her it was nothing and to go back to bed. Unsatisfied, she added, “Probably prowlers from the internet! This is all your fault for telling them where we live!”

“I did no such thing,” I said.

“Well then the internet told them!”

Upon further insistence, I went out into the living room to get a better view of the backyard. As usual, Mayonnaise was way ahead of me. Effie may be the Great Cat Detective, but Mayonnaise is the Great Cat Detective.

“See, there must be something out there if fatty got up to check,” said Effie. I snapped a few quick pictures of Mayonnaise perched on the back of the love seat. “Don’t take pictures! Go see what it is.” I donned my robe and slippers and headed outside with the camera. Effie locked the door behind me. “Just in case.”

Outside it was completely dark, Effie didn’t want the floodlights to spook whatever it was. I couldn’t see anything. I moved a few feet over knowing the motion censor lights would detect my presence. The lights came on and spooked the trespasser. I heard a calamity and saw a black object run from the side of the house — a black cat.

“What is it?”

“It’s just a cat.”

“Bring it inside.”

I snapped this picture just as it jumped the fence. We’ll be seeing him again.

Back inside Effie debriefed me and shared her own deductions: “I think it’s obvious your sweet little Mayonnaise has been secretly consorting with mischievous black beasts in the night that have been God knows where. This is going on her permanent record.”