The Cat Lady ReturnsSaturday, September 09, 2006
30 years ago, when we lived in a townhouse on Springer Avenue in Burnaby, our neighbour was a cat lady. She was a from Checkoslovakia. We were sure her husband (who would sneak bottles of wine into the house every day) was an alcoholic to escape his wife's madness for cats. After all, she baby talked to her couple of cats but shouted at him for this and that. We had a cat. We didn't talk to him much. We were ignorant of why cats spray and I vented my anger on the poor cat every time he would do something in our living room.
Now my wife Rosemary, baby talks to her cat Toby and my cat Plata. I am jealous. I just wish she would baby talk to me.
Our present cats are replacements to Polilla and Mosca who had a heart seizure on our bed while Rosemary was watching Hitchcock's Vertigo. I broke my spade burying him in the garden. I found Plata (her name was Cash so Plata is Argentine slang for cash) at the SPCA and brought her home. She looks like a miniature snow leopard to me. The quickest cure to the sorrow of a dead cat is an instant new one. But Polilla (moth), my white cat, did not take kindly to competition from another female. A few months later I found Polilla outside eviscerated by a Racoon. It was not a pretty sight. I broke another spade burying her. Niño, came as a replacement for Polilla but had a short life with us. He died of cancer. I had spotted Toby, who has perfect markings, at the SPCA when I brought Plata home. I returned and he was still there. Nobody wants a 14 year old cat. I came home empty handed. I returned with Rebecca (a mistake) who told me that unless we brought Toby home he was going to end his days in the cage. So Toby came home, even though his records warned us of his preference for jumping on horizontal surfaces in the house. His records did not tell us that also would push stuff from night tables (like the phone) to get us out of bed to feed him.
We have a harmonious household with two cats who love the garden. They sleep with us. Toby only drinks water from the bathroom sink tap. He insists on finishing my bowl of ice cream. Plata likes to walk around the block with us and with Rebecca and Lauren. People stare at us and look at my seriously when I tell them that Plata is a dog that just happens to be cat-like. Plata has a little orange cat who comes to visit her but Toby chases him away.
My oldest daughter bought me a heavy duty spade which I hope not to have to use to bury a cat for a long time.