Since Rea flew to Mississippi to be with her family over Thanksgiving this year, and we couldn’t afford two plane tickets (one ticket was $1,000!!) I decided to pack up our pet family and stay with my Mom for a few days in Mount Vernon, WA. Our pet family consists of Nash, a 9 year old yellow lab, and Lucy, a flame point Ragdoll kitten.
Nash LOVES road trips! All I have to say is, “Wanna go visit Grandma?!” and he starts to dance and wiggle and make a total fool of himself over the whole thing. Lucy on the other hand; she equates getting loaded up into her pet carrier with going to the veterinarian to get a thermometer stuck up her rear end, so she was not exactly sharing in Nash’s enthusiasm for the upcoming event. However, once I let her out of her pet carrier prison, and she was allowed to roam freely about the cabin for the duration of the road trip, her little kitten heart began to fill with joy. She even sat on my lap, purred, and gazed at me with so much kitten love I could hardly even take it.
I stopped to go through a Starbucks drive-thru in Smokey Point, WA, and Lucy was still sitting on my lap. The Starbucks barista was incredibly impressed by Lucy, and Lucy even offered her a couple of silent, seductive kitten meows to seal the deal. The barista of course asked if she could pet Lucy, and that’s when Lucy set her Kitten Trap. Lucy lures you in all seductively, and then as soon as you go in to pet her softest little tummy, she hooks her claws in and goes for the DEATH GRIP! To prevent any injuries from occurring, I held Lucy’s paws while the barista gave her a quick pat and she wished us away with a “Happy Thanksgiving!”
So far, so good…
Not like when I took Nash to my Cousin Eric and John’s outdoor wedding last summer…
When we arrived at Mom’s I put Lucy, along with her food, water and litter-box, in my bedroom and closed the door so that she could become acclimated with the house, while Nash went crazy sniffing around the yard and peeing on every single tree and shrubbery on her property. Lucy was content to explore the bedroom for about an hour or so before she began to scream her fool head off as though she were dying a slow and painful death in the pits of Hell or something. Lucy can be quite dramatic. I went into the room and gave her a talking to. I explained to her that Grandma had other animals that weren’t going to be very happy about there being a little kitten in the house, so she’d better be respectful to them and not be too obnoxious, etc, etc, and that I would let her out to roam around the house as long as she promised to be sweet.
She looked at me with her sweetest little face, and gave me her silent meow in response. How could I resist that? I picked her up and she turned on her little motor-boat and rubbed her face against mine. She is seriously the softest kitten in the entire world and she uses that to her advantage every second of every day. I left the bedroom door open when I left, so that Lucy could feel free to roam Grandma’s house as she felt fit to.
It did not take long for Lucy to meet the Matriarch of the house, Baby Ruth, as Baby had been casing the halls since we’d arrived. Baby Ruth had actually been my cat originally. I had chosen her as a kitten from the litter because she was so adorable with her crossed eyes and little buck teeth, but when I moved away to Idaho for college, I was not able to take her with me. Baby Ruth is an old lady now, and those cross-eyes and buck teeth that had once been so endearing are now just super funny-looking, and she has a face that only a Mother could love. She also does not meow like a “normal” cat, but she chirps like a bird; Baby Ruth would technically be classified as a “special needs” cat, but we prefer not to use labels.
The meeting between Baby Ruth and Lucy went something like this:
“HI! I’m LUCY!
WANNA PLAY AND CLEAN EACH OTHERS’ EARS AND BE BEST CAT FRIENDS?!?!”“HISSSSSSSSSSSSSS-SPITTTTTT-HISSSSSSSSSSSSS!”
“HISSSSSSSSSS! SPIT! GROWLLLLL! HISSSSSSSSSSSSS!”
“I’m a little confused here…Are you hissing at me?”
“I hate to tell you this, but it kind of looks like you’re hissing at yourself…?”
“HISSSSSSSS!! GROWL! SPITTTT! HISSSSSSSSS!!!”
“Just out of curiosity…
Has anyone ever told you that you come across as a little bit on the intense side?”
“GROWL! HISS! HISSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!”
“Okay, okay, I get it. But you’re missing out on the best kitten friend in the whole wide world.
Just so you know.”
“GROWL! HISSSSSSS!!” SMACK!
“Well gee-whiz you didn’t have to go and smack me! I was just saying hi!
The least you could’ve done is give me a warning hiss first, gosh!
For the record…If you keep on making ugly faces like that then one of these days your face is gonna
FREEZE THAT WAY!”
So clearly the first meeting didn’t go very well, nor did any of the meetings thereafter, since Baby Ruth wanted to make it consistently clear to Lucy that she was an UNWELCOME GUEST in HER house. Lucy did not let it get her down at all; she actually seemed to find the whole thing to be rather hilarious. Lucy’s new obsession became a game of “how close can I get to Baby Ruth before she will know I am behind her and hiss at me with her cross eyes”? As soon as Baby Ruth started to hiss at her, Lucy would take off running like a rocket and zoom a few laps around the entire house.
At one point, Baby Ruth was sitting on Mom’s lap and Lucy was on the floor, pondering what it might be like to be able to climb up onto Grandma’s lap and join the Grandma/Baby Ruth cuddle session. Of course once Baby Ruth noticed Lucy’s cute little kitten face she was filled with rage and gave her the biggest cross-eyed, buck-toothed hiss she could muster. Mom gave Baby Ruth a stern talking to: “Baby! You be sweet to that little kitten!” That turned out to be a mistake on Mom’s part.
Baby Ruth froze in mid-hiss, and turned her head toward Mom in slow motion and made eye contact with her as if to say, “You’d better choose right now MOTHER. It’s ME or that KITTEN!”
Mom turned and looked at me with fear in her eyes and said, “Did you see that look that Baby just gave me? There was PURE HATE in her cross-eyes!”
This happened on Thanksgiving morning, and Mom’s birthday had actually fallen on Thanksgiving Day this year, so during one of my many trips to the grocery store buying last minute baking items for Mom’s pies and homemade dinner rolls, in an attempt to be the sweet daughter that I am, I had purchased a cute little poinsettia that was potted in a planter that resembled a bright-red Christmas bulb. Apparently Lucy had had enough with the hissing and the cross eyes, because she hopped right up onto the table with the cute little birthday poinsettia and gave it one subtle little smack. Just enough for it to topple over onto the floor, and for the Christmas bulb to break in two.
Mom: “Oh no! My poinsettia!”
Me: “I’m sorry that my kitten is throwing a tantrum, Mom. We can probably glue it back together. The flower itself still looks to be in good shape.”
Mom’s little wiener dog, Spencer, had had enough of the drama at that point. He started barking like a maniac and jumped off of Mom’s lap, which scared the bejeezus out of Baby Ruth. Spencer was about to take chase on poor little Lucy before Nash stepped in with a giant, “WOOF!”
Nashy says, “Everybody chill; it’s Thanksgiving AND Grandma Margaret’s Birthday! Let’s go outside and poop and pee wherever we want!
(Preferably at a gay wedding, and ESPECIALLY during the vows…)”