Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Columns

February 17, 2014

Kids, cats and escapes

ASHLAND — At the risk of making myself sound old, I must announce I am now a grandmother-in-law. My oldest grandgirl was married over the weekend in a lovely ceremony attended by friends and family, a perfect event despite the stresses and hassles preceding it.

The bride was beautiful, the groom handsome and their dog left in my care while they spent the weekend away.

Yes, I am talking about Carmyn, the yellow lab that has resided at my house with said grandgirl for nearly a year now.

I realize, of course, that it takes labradors a little longer to become big girls than, say, my Sheltie but Carmyn did her fair share of acting out while they were gone.

And the cats took advantage of that.

Carmyn was pretty certain she didn’t want to come in on Saturday night. So I left the door open a little longer than I should have while I yanked her chain to get her inside and Batman, the black girl cat, escaped.

As it has been for weeks now, it was cold and snowy Saturday night. I figured it wouldn’t take long for that spoiled house cat to be at the front door meowing to get in.

Sure enough, she was at the door within 10 minutes. But she spotted Carmyn when I opened the door and took off again.

The next half hour or so was interrupted by my going to either the front or back door to try to get her in. I caged Carmyn during the attempt and finally Batman deigned to come in through the back entrance.

And Tabby, my six-year-old part-Siamese, went out.

No big whoop there. Tabby is the leanest and sleekiest of the three cats. With not much meat on her bones and no fat layer to keep her warm, I knew her endurance was limited to minutes, not hours. So I confidently opened the back door to call her when bap! Out went the third feline, Bitsy.

Bitsy is a small cat with lots of thick fur. She is also the hardest to get back in. I will admit, I was tempted to just let those two fend for themselves, but I’m not that cruel.

Finally a yowling came at the front door. Tabby was more than ready to come in. Bits pretended she was too but took off before I could grab her. Still, two out three’s not bad, as they say.

Dear Daughter came over from next door to rehash the wedding. I asked if she’d seen Bitsy. The answer was yes, the dang cat was sitting on the table on the porch.

DD put some shredded cheese on a bench by the front door. She figured when Bits came to eat the cheese, we’d grab her.

Yeah, like the cat is that stupid.

We maintained the vigil. The cat stayed on the table and we peeked out the window every so often to see if she’d taken the bait.

Of course not.

DD planned to grab Bits as she left but the darn cat ran to a corner of the porch when the door swung open.

I was ready for bed. So were the dogs. But I reminded them we couldn’t sleep until everyone was in the house and safe. So I watched TV and they pretended to sleep with one eye open and watching the door.

Finally I heard the gentle meow that is Bits’ “Hey, come here!” command. I opened the door; she walked in.

And I used a handy section of newspaper to swat Batman back before she ran out and it started all over again.

CATHIE SHAFFER can be reached at cathieshaffer@zoominternet.net

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