On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

How did you get up there, Kitty?

While I was raising my son, I often said that kids and pets will eventually make a liar out of you. For example, as soon as you tell the hostess he won’t eat pot roast, he eats his and yours and asks for more. Later, when you tell Grandma he has learned his multiplication tables through the tens, he can’t manage to count to three. And when you write a column bragging on Kitty’s tree-climbing skills, your husband has to climb on the roof four days in a row to rescue her.

Two weeks ago I wrote that Kitty had learned to back her way down a tree and that we hadn’t had any 911 calls from her in a while. The Monday after I submitted that column, we came home to find her whining pitifully from a perch fifteen feet in the air. After trying to talk her down, David climbed onto the roof and coaxed her out on a limb until he could grab her.

We had repeat performances Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I was losing patience with her, saying she was just doing it for attention. Then, Friday morning David saw a large feral cat who roams the neighborhood chasing her. He grabbed his bb gun, and although he was too slow to catch the intruder, he was able to stop Kitty before she was too far up the tree. She stayed grounded for a couple of days, but when we pulled into the driveway after church on Sunday, she didn’t come to greet us like she usually does.

“She’s up the tree again,” I said with a sigh. I wasn’t dressed for Kitty retrieval, so I went inside. David had pretty much perfected his rescue routine without my help, so after I put on my shorts and t-shirt, I headed to the kitchen to start lunch. He changed, checked the afternoon football schedule, and then went outside. In a couple of minutes, he stuck his head in the door.

“I thought you said she was in the tree.”

“She was.”

“Well, she’s not now. She’s on the front porch.”

Since then, we’ve seen her climb up and down several times, so we’re confident that David can stay off the roof for a while. That’s not to say that she’s not becoming quite spoiled. She’s spent several nights in the house this past week. It was a medical necessity since we had her spayed on Wednesday. She wasn’t allowed to have anything to eat or drink after midnight on Tuesday, so she spent the night in the laundry room in her carrier. After the surgery, we were told to restrict her activities for a few days, so she has continued to sleep indoors.

It’s inconvenient to do the laundry while she’s in there. First, there’s hardly room to move without stepping on her since most of the floor space is occupied by her litter box and the sleeping pad we fashioned out of an old mattress pad. Second, it’s hard to keep her out of the dryer, and finally, she hears me coming and waits at the door to dash out as soon as I open it a crack. It’s easier to just let her roam the house rather than to fight her desire to explore. She’s easy enough to capture, though. All I have to do is sit on the floor, and in a few minutes she comes to visit for a back rub or a wrestle.

We didn’t intend to have a pet, but since Kitty walked out from under our steps a few months ago, we’ve become pretty attached. My cousin summed it up pretty well after reading one of my Facebook posts about her. “It’s good to hear that you and David are adjusting well to being owned by a cat.”



winding road Cover 25 percentA LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos

Available in paperback and digital versions.

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Comments on: "Who Owns Whom? | by Linda Brendle" (2)

  1. Diane LaFerney McDowell said:

    Linda, I enjoy your posts. I am sorry that your travel is going to prevent us from seeing you at the MHS reunion, but I know you will enjoy your trip! I believe I remember correctly that you had a trip scheduled during the time of the reunion.

    • Thanks, Diane. Yes, we are leaving Friday and will be gone most of October. I hope you have a great turnout and lots of fun. I expect to see lots of pictures on Facebook!

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