Monday, March 9, 2009
"Death Wish Kitty" starring: Gatsby
My cat, Gatsby, apparently has 9 lives. If the Humane Society had known at the time of his adoption that while in my care, this cat would “jail break” countless times in our various neighborhoods, unknowingly get locked in numerous closets and cabinets, almost suffocate under a plastic tarp (Jill found him with his little faced pressed against the plastic, eyes wide with fear, gasping his last dying breath….), and set himself on fire three times, they never would’ve let me take him home.
I adopted Gatsby from the Chicago Humane Society. I went there hoping to find a purse-breed dog…you know the kind….fits in your purse? More accessory than animal? Jill, my roomie, and I were perusing the cat department, oohing and aahhing over the friendly cats that were rubbing up against their cages, meowing, begging us to take them home, when I saw him. On the top shelf, of course. He was sitting in his cage, glaring at everyone with disdain. I’m a sucker for the mysterious, brooding, pouty types. He was black and fluffy and beautiful, so I asked if I could hold him. As soon as he was in my lap, he became a loving, rubbing, purring machine. There was a gay couple off to the side, mindlessly stroking a domestic short hair, but they had their eyes on Gatsby. Another couple walked over to his cage, and I heard the girl say, “He was up there. I don’t know where he went.” I suddenly went into “garage sale mode”. You know when you’re holding some random object that’s for sale, and you’re not sure if you want it or not? As soon as you see someone eyeballing you, waiting for you to put it down, you realize you’re probably holding on to the next best thing to the Holy Grail and dammit all to hell if someone else is gonna get it! Yeah. It was like that. A volunteer for the shelter walked by and I heard someone say “Excuse me, I’d like to take him.” Crap. Crap, crap, crap! That voice I heard was my own! I even had my hand in the air, just so he would know it was me claiming my prize, and not one of the gay guys! So my fluffy baby got neutered and named Gatsby, and came home a few days later. Instant parenthood. Crap.
The first (and third) time he set himself on fire we didn’t see it happen. There was a funky smell in the air, and a candle burning on the coffee table. Gatsby often enjoyed parading himself around on the coffee table for our benefit. He jumped up on table, next to the candle, and I freaked. “You’ll set yourself on fire!” I said. Then I realized he had already done that, about an hour earlier. The funky smell was burnt fur, and he had the singed tail hair to prove it. We didn’t learn, obviously. I thought I was being smart by putting a lit candle on the end table, one day. He never jumped on the end table. Unless of course there happened to be an open flame. Damn cat. His tail went up in flames in a second. Had this been a cartoon, “POOF!” would’ve flashed across the screen. I screamed, grabbed a toss pillow off the sofa, and starting running down the hall after him. With two flicks of his tail, the fire was out. His fluffy marabou boa of a tail was thinned and patchy, but at least he survived.
I was given two votive candle holders as a Christmas gift a few years ago. The giver included two battery operated tea light “candles”. Your cat sets himself on fire three times, and suddenly you’re not trusted with real candles?! I know it was three times because the signs were all there that day. #1: open flame #2: funky smell #3: Gatsby was M.I.A
(the picture above is him next to a HOT iron. damn cat)
- ▼ March (10)