WARNING: This isn’t graphic so much as kind of sick…the kind of sick that boys think is cool and is coincidentally the reason that dogs are better pets. AND IF YOU’RE A CAT LOVER, please don’t continue, you’ll just not like me. That being said, this is true..
Kayla is my girlfriend. She’s a very sweet girl. So sweet in fact, that I could tell how genuinely happy she was when she tip-toed around the corner of the cabin with a box of kittens. It was hard to argue with her, really – there isn’t much on this planet that is as comforting as a box of pussycats.
She leaned over and spoke what is one of the few words that can come out clear without her lips touching, which is a good thing since her smile prevented it, “Look,” she said, “kitties!”.
The no-more-than-4-week-old cats were cuddled together around the one calico…all 4 of them blind as fuck. We found them in the panel of the new hot-tub that was getting installed just off the back porch – hidden by the mother. They didn’t have much of a chance in life – their father was a tomcat and they were mothered by an obvious harlot. We had gotten word that this was her third batch – the previous two presumed to be alive but feral – which made the joy on Kayla’s face that much more genuine…these kitties could be saved.
She had a habit of saving animals. I watched her fiddle with the cats and was reminded of Presley – her old, lazy dog that was a spitting image of the dog you’d see in movies that never leaves your side. He’d find a nice piece of shade on the porch and make it his home until the sun forced him a few feet over. She did a good job with Presley, finding him in a similar manner…abandoned…alone…needing loved.
Unfortunately the timing of the kitten find was ill-fated – to mean that we had made the discovery minutes before we were due for a hike at the lake. Fittingly, Kayla had decided to keep the cats in the box and put them under the porch so they would be protected from the sun and upon her return the whore mother-cat would easily be able to find them with navigational meows or echo-location or whatever it is that strumpets use to find their young.
FAST FORWARD 2 HOURS
Fresh from pulling into the driveway, I opened the door and stepped out to the aftermath – 4 dead cat bodies lying in no discernible pattern in the yard. I automatically assumed that their blind high-pitched meows sounded like squeaks…the same kind of squeaks that you’d hear from a dog toy. I assumed right – Presley had hit pay dirt when he found a box of dog toys under the porch.
Upon realizing what had happened, I flung around in order to obstruct Kayla’s view of what looked like Jonestown. Unfortunately, she was getting out of the driver’s seat and my 7-year-old son was getting out of the back seat on the passenger side. I did a quick shuffle while simultaneously trying to intercept both views while only succeeding to stand in the middle of the car and block neither. They both looked on with mouths agape.
Kayla, with a frown barely hanging onto her face, began to well up with tears. Jack, his mouth still open and in shock ran for a closer look at the nearest body. It was then that I knew I had failed to soften the blow to both.
Since Jack was already poking one with a stick, I figured I could have the life and death talk with him at a later time. Right now was damage control for Kayla’s emotions. I hugged her and explained that it’s a part of life, and deep-down Presley is still a dog and that he has animal insticts – if he could apologize he probably would, and the kittens were in cat-heaven or wherever they go when they get mauled (NOTE: Don’t tell girls that cats get “mauled”).
I have to admit that while she was crying I was kind of smiling to myself – I mean, who puts kittens under a porch where a dog sleeps? Sure, they get protected from the sun, but fuck man, they’re still technically dog food.
DISCLAIMER* Since she’ll be reading this, it is fair to say that no, I did not think of the dog situation either, it was all in hindsight.
Now for Jack. I walked to my son who was still poking the cat with a stick. I took the stick away and sat next to him and asked if he was ok.
“Yea, I’m ok” he said, but his tone was somber. I explained again how life and death works and told him that it’s a natural occurence in life…the same kind of conversation you’d have with your child when their goldfish dies.
He sat still looking at the wet and dead cat then looked at me…
“Dad,” he mumbled.
“…that…was awesome!” he smiled. Apparently that whole somber-tone thing was because he had missed the action.
“Yea it was” I laughed.
We both looked back to see Kayla running into the house while still sad (the fact that she knew we thought it was funny in a sick way probably didn’t help). Then we got up and collected the bodies and buried them, caught between sadness and sick giggles here and there.
FAST FORWARD TO DINNER TIME
Nobody talked about the cats. It was over. They were buried, in a better place, and their dead-beat mother hadn’t come back so we all swept it under the table. Kayla had forgiven Presley and we were all sitting at the table snacking on pretzels and playing checkers.
Presley moved from Kayla’s side and went to sniff his food bowl which was empty.
“You hungry, boy?” she asked.
Jack looked up as if he found the opportunity of a lifetime, “He shouldnt’ be, he ate 4 cats.”
I shooshed my son and kind of let a laugh slip out and looked at Kayla…she had stopped walking, slumped her shoulders, and did that thing where your body shakes and you can’t tell if they’re laughing or crying.
She wasn’t laughing.
It was safe to say it was bedtime, so I put Jack down (he was still laughing, which was making me laugh) and then took Kayla to the room and tucked her in. Mind you, this was still a situation similar to being in class and having someone fart and everyone trying not to giggle.
I finally stopped long enough to hold her and comfort her and tell her that it’s ok. She finally smiled and told me she loved me, gave me a kiss and then rolled over so that we were spooning. It was completely silent and comfortable. Jack had apparently giggled himself to sleep, everyone in the cabin was in dreamland and we layed there…not even the crickets were awake.
Then the silence had broken.
“RWEAOOWWR” came from outside our window…it was that guttural meow that cats use to locate their young.
I busted up laughing.