Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Territory

Simon, our cat, has terribly crossed eyes. He was a "house-warming" gift to Jeremy when he bought this house. Meaning: I really wanted a cat. Jeremy laid the ground rules for choosing the right kitten. He planned to stick his arm into the cage at the animal shelter, and the first kitten to crawl into his hand would win a ticket to our place. I figured it was only fair that we both get to stick our arms in there. A tiny tabby crawled into the palm of Jer's hand and her brother, a cross-eyed tabby/siamese kitten, batted my finger with his paw. Sold. The one-kitten house warming gift turned into two. The rest is history. We lost Cecilia, Jer's cat, years ago. But her brother Simon remains a fixture, nay - a menace, around this place. The thing is, Simon's got territory issues.

So really, I should have known better than to spray paint various items in the backyard and then leave them unattended for hours. Anything that enters Simon's front or backyard stomping grounds must immediately be entered into his complex filing system. Items arrive in his territory (car in the driveway, stray flip flop on the sidewalk, empty cooler draining in the front year - you get the picture) and Simon emerges from the neighbors bushes in order to quickly mark the object and add it to his coffers. Regardless of those severely crossed-eyes, the cat's got dead-on aim when it comes to marking his territory. He backs right up to the thing, tail straight in the air, intense focus in the eyes, and out squirts a stream of pee bulls-eye onto the object: "Mine!" The light fixtures and oven hood that I'd painted in the yard were no better protected from Simon's filing system than any of the car tires or shoes that he's claimed over the years. I know this, but in my idiocy, I still left them out there, inviting him to stake his claim. OH, and stake he did. In 10pm darkness I finally remembered to retrieve the oven hood, bent over to grab it and felt warm liquid pour off the bottom rim, over my fingers and down my elbow. "GRRDDAAMMITTTSIMMMMONNN!" I shouted, as our stealthy antagonist slunk by my leg and trotted under the porch.

(the targets)

So I'm wondering what we'll do with the little guy when he's moved onto the property. No cat, with even the largest bladder and greatest intentions, can possibly stake out that much territory. But by golly, I know he'll try. I'm worried we'll find him weak and dehydrated under a cactus, his stores depleted, after trying to claim every last bush, rock, and rusty tin can. At least the guy's got goals though, and that's more than I can say for most of us.

(the culprit)

And to follow this theme of claiming territory, it's important to note that we finally, actually, totally and really really really did - FINISH INSTALLING WATER LINES - 'cause nothing says "it's mine" more than pouring your blood, sweat and tears into 2,000 ft of 4 inch trench. Last night, at approximately 7:18 p.m., I used the plastic cup to scoop my last scoop of dusty dirt, rocks and sticks. Emptied it onto the ground beside the trench, coughed out a cloud of dirt, sneezed a pound of sand, laid down, shut my eyes, and swore I'd never clean another trench again. Just as this happened, I heard the familiar sound of the rock bar breaking rocks and peered down through one open eye at Jeremy who was, tragically, starting to dig a new water line for a trailer hook-up. Needless to say, the marriage is over.

1 comment:

Megan Kuhlenschmidt said...

Hahahaha! Loved every word. Simon's "filing system"...god cats are weird. Keep it up, this blog is great.