The Devil Cat   Somewhere, standing at sunset on a warm tropical beach is a beautiful blonde in a white bikini and lace sarong reaching out with a chilled rum drink in her hand and I know that I’ll never be there…   The problem with having friends is they occasionally ask you for a favor. It is one of the reasons I avoid having many. Still, I was asked by one of my friends who was going to a weeklong convention in Las Vegas to watch his cat, a three-legged black cat who acquired the name DC, short for Devil Cat, although she has never been anything but a friendly, lovable creature every time I had been around it. Although I will admit, she has a tendency to throw herself at your feet as you walk around the house, which is not a great habit if you don’t have a leg to spare and tend to blend in with black oriental rugs and runners throughout the house, several of them well over half a century old. While you might see a three-legged cat from time-to-time, you don’t see any two-legged felines hopping around.   Now you would think babysitting a three-legged cat would be easy in itself, but the century old home I was going to be staying in resembled the mansion in the movie Psycho, complete with yellowing wallpaper and water-stained ceilings. Every time I visited the house I expected to see mother’s shadow in one of the second floor windows.   Creaky old hardwood floors, a Dutch dirt basement, the strange groans and moans that comes with a house settling , my friend, moved into the place when he was seven-years-old and it was his home. The furniture was still a reminder of his parents that had passed away decades ago.  It was filled with couches, chairs and cabinets that were built to last forever, but were showing their age. Teacups, tin toys, faded photos and knick-knacks, mementos whose full significance had been lost with time, could still be found here and there.   A creepy old house and three-legged black cat, who wouldn’t want to spend a week in such a place? I should add one thing. My friend is a massive Star Trek collector. Yeah, he loves Star Trek and has thousands of pieces of memorabilia and merchandise. Spaceships, Christmas ornaments, posters, action figures, signed photographs, if Paramount Studios licensed it, he probably has it.  He even has a life- sized Borg figure that stands at the top of the steps.  Every once in awhile when I walk by those steps I swear that Borg is looking at me.   When you agree to do something, the full reality of what you are going to do does not hit you until you have to do it.  Even the morning my friend’s plane left, I did not fully appreciate the reality of the situation. It was only when I went to his nephew’s to get the keys that I realized I might have bit off more than I could chew. His nephew, who had watched his place on several occasions gave me a bit of advice as he handed me the key, “The last time I watched the place to get away from the cat, I had to hide in the upstairs television room, shut the door, and wrap myself in a sleeping bag. I can still remember her paw reaching under the door trying to pull it open. Good luck.”   The first couple of days flew by. Although I will admit the first creak and groan the house made convinced me I was not going upstairs even if my life depended on it.  I had trouble enough finding light switches downstairs. I hadn’t the foggiest clue were they were upstairs. The house was several decades old before it had been wired for electricity and the light switches had been placed in some unusual locations. All staying downstairs meant was I slept on the couch and only had use of the downstairs bathroom.     The cat was the loving, gentle creature that greeted me every time I visited the place.  She would show up for five or ten minutes of attention and then disappear upstairs for five or six hours, only to return when she felt the need for food or attention. From time to time she would spring out of nowhere to attack my feet when I walked to the kitchen or bathroom, but other than that I truly had no clue why this feline was christened with the moniker Devil Cat.   By the third day she had decided I wasn’t going to leave. She stopped going upstairs as much. DC decided that we were friends. She sat next to me as I watched movies. In fact, she was quite a little movie critic. She loved the new Ghostbusters, The Secret Life of Pets, and A Hologram For A King. Russell Crowe not so much. Every time he appeared on the television screen in his latest film, she howled, meowed, and carried on until I finally turned off the set, which proved to me she had better taste than Meg Ryan.   While my family had dozens of barn cats, growing up, we only had a couple of cats that lived in the house with us and they acted more like dogs than cats. So, I had no idea that there was this thing called crazy hours when it comes to felines. Around midnight, something in a cat’s brain flips and they just go nuts for a few hours. Some felines go from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde. They just go nuts. DC, the devil cat, is one of these animals. It was like she was a Trump supporter trapped in an elevator with Hillary Clinton.   DC ran in circles, attacked imaginary prey, and pestered me constantly.  One night I awoke to find her standing on my chest and another time dangling from the curtains next to my head. Any food I ate she had to sample, especially sweet corn, which I discovered was a favorite of hers. She jumped into a bowl of chips, slapped a Ping- Pong ball around, and made noises I never heard a cat make before.   She made it impossible to sleep, but I survived. By our final evening together, she had “kind of”calmed down. I stress the words “kind of.” Between the creaking and groaning of the house and the insane cat, I was kind of sleep deprived as I sat on the toilet, looking forward to going home in a few hours. Reaching for some toilet paper, I made the discovery that there was none left on the roll. If I had been more awake I might have noticed this. Scanning the bathroom, it quickly registered that there was not a spare roll to be found. As I fretted about what to do, it dawned on me that there was probably toilet paper in the upstairs bathroom.   Grabbing one of the loops on my pants, I did the John Wayne walk across the downstairs and gently climbed the darkened stairs. With the best part of me exposed, I was pretty sure if there were any ghosts in the place I was more frightening to them than they were to me. Each stair creaked with every step as I slowly made my way to the second floor.   At the top of the landing, I felt around with my free hand for a light switch, which I could not find.  Maybe it was behind the Borg I thought. I stepped towards the Borg. It was then that I heard the loud yelp. I had stepped on that darned devil cat’s leg. In the darkness it must have leapt at my feet.  Fear, panic, how was I going to explain to my friend that his cat now needed a cart or worse that I had probably killed her?   I shifted my weight  as quickly as possible, hoping that my whole weight had not come to bear on that poor creature’s leg and that I had not done too much damage to her limb. Off balance, there was no chance of regaining my balance. As I fell down the steps, pants now down around my ankles, I heard the devil cat scurry off, completely fine.   As I lay in a heap at the bottom of the steps, my naked backside in the air, I looked up and I swear the Borg was looking at me.  And I could hear the cat laughing.   Somewhere standing at sunset on a warm tropical beach is beautiful blonde in a white bikini and lace sarong reaching out with a chilled rum drink in her hand and I know that I’ll never be there…
The Devil Cat   Somewhere, standing at sunset on a warm tropical beach is a beautiful blonde in a white bikini and lace sarong reaching out with a chilled rum drink in her hand and I know that I’ll never be there…   The problem with having friends is they occasionally ask you for a favor. It is one of the reasons I avoid having many. Still, I was asked by one of my friends who was going to a weeklong convention in Las Vegas to watch his cat, a three-legged black cat who acquired the name DC, short for Devil Cat, although she has never been anything but a friendly, lovable creature every time I had been around it. Although I will admit, she has a tendency to throw herself at your feet as you walk around the house, which is not a great habit if you don’t have a leg to spare and tend to blend in with black oriental rugs and runners throughout the house, several of them well over half a century old. While you might see a three-legged cat from time-to-time, you don’t see any two-legged felines hopping around.   Now you would think babysitting a three- legged cat would be easy in itself, but the century old home I was going to be staying in resembled the mansion in the movie Psycho, complete with yellowing wallpaper and water- stained ceilings. Every time I visited the house I expected to see mother’s shadow in one of the second floor windows.   Creaky old hardwood floors, a Dutch dirt basement, the strange groans and moans that comes with a house settling , my friend, moved into the place when he was seven-years-old and it was his home. The furniture was still a reminder of his parents that had passed away decades ago.  It was filled with couches, chairs and cabinets that were built to last forever, but were showing their age. Teacups, tin toys, faded photos and knick-knacks, mementos whose full significance had been lost with time, could still be found here and there.   A creepy old house and three-legged black cat, who wouldn’t want to spend a week in such a place? I should add one thing. My friend is a massive Star Trek collector. Yeah, he loves Star Trek and has thousands of pieces of memorabilia and merchandise. Spaceships, Christmas ornaments, posters, action figures, signed photographs, if Paramount Studios licensed it, he probably has it.  He even has a life-sized Borg figure that stands at the top of the steps.  Every once in awhile when I walk by those steps I swear that Borg is looking at me.   When you agree to do something, the full reality of what you are going to do does not hit you until you have to do it.  Even the morning my friend’s plane left, I did not fully appreciate the reality of the situation. It was only when I went to his nephew’s to get the keys that I realized I might have bit off more than I could chew. His nephew, who had watched his place on several occasions gave me a bit of advice as he handed me the key, “The last time I watched the place to get away from the cat, I had to hide in the upstairs television room, shut the door, and wrap myself in a sleeping bag. I can still remember her paw reaching under the door trying to pull it open. Good luck.”   The first couple of days flew by. Although I will admit the first creak and groan the house made convinced me I was not going upstairs even if my life depended on it.  I had trouble enough finding light switches downstairs. I hadn’t the foggiest clue were they were upstairs. The house was several decades old before it had been wired for electricity and the light switches had been placed in some unusual locations. All staying downstairs meant was I slept on the couch and only had use of the downstairs bathroom.     The cat was the loving, gentle creature that greeted me every time I visited the place.  She would show up for five or ten minutes of attention and then disappear upstairs for five or six hours, only to return when she felt the need for food or attention. From time to time she would spring out of nowhere to attack my feet when I walked to the kitchen or bathroom, but other than that I truly had no clue why this feline was christened with the moniker Devil Cat.   By the third day she had decided I wasn’t going to leave. She stopped going upstairs as much. DC decided that we were friends. She sat next to me as I watched movies. In fact, she was quite a little movie critic. She loved the new Ghostbusters, The Secret Life of Pets, and A Hologram For A King. Russell Crowe not so much. Every time he appeared on the television screen in his latest film, she howled, meowed, and carried on until I finally turned off the set, which proved to me she had better taste than Meg Ryan.   While my family had dozens of barn cats, growing up, we only had a couple of cats that lived in the house with us and they acted more like dogs than cats. So, I had no idea that there was this thing called crazy hours when it comes to felines. Around midnight, something in a cat’s brain flips and they just go nuts for a few hours. Some felines go from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde. They just go nuts. DC, the devil cat, is one of these animals. It was like she was a Trump supporter trapped in an elevator with Hillary Clinton.   DC ran in circles, attacked imaginary prey, and pestered me constantly.  One night I awoke to find her standing on my chest and another time dangling from the curtains next to my head. Any food I ate she had to sample, especially sweet corn, which I discovered was a favorite of hers. She jumped into a bowl of chips, slapped a Ping-Pong ball around, and made noises I never heard a cat make before.   She made it impossible to sleep, but I survived. By our final evening together, she had “kind of”calmed down. I stress the words “kind of.” Between the creaking and groaning of the house and the insane cat, I was kind of sleep deprived as I sat on the toilet, looking forward to going home in a few hours. Reaching for some toilet paper, I made the discovery that there was none left on the roll. If I had been more awake I might have noticed this. Scanning the bathroom, it quickly registered that there was not a spare roll to be found. As I fretted about what to do, it dawned on me that there was probably toilet paper in the upstairs bathroom.   Grabbing one of the loops on my pants, I did the John Wayne walk across the downstairs and gently climbed the darkened stairs. With the best part of me exposed, I was pretty sure if there were any ghosts in the place I was more frightening to them than they were to me. Each stair creaked with every step as I slowly made my way to the second floor.   At the top of the landing, I felt around with my free hand for a light switch, which I could not find.  Maybe it was behind the Borg I thought. I stepped towards the Borg. It was then that I heard the loud yelp. I had stepped on that darned devil cat’s leg. In the darkness it must have leapt at my feet.  Fear, panic, how was I going to explain to my friend that his cat now needed a cart or worse that I had probably killed her?   I shifted my weight  as quickly as possible, hoping that my whole weight had not come to bear on that poor creature’s leg and that I had not done too much damage to her limb. Off balance, there was no chance of regaining my balance. As I fell down the steps, pants now down around my ankles, I heard the devil cat scurry off, completely fine.   As I lay in a heap at the bottom of the steps, my naked backside in the air, I looked up and I swear the Borg was looking at me.  And I could hear the cat laughing.   Somewhere standing at sunset on a warm tropical beach is beautiful blonde in a white bikini and lace sarong reaching out with a chilled rum drink in her hand and I know that I’ll never be there…