Category: Pets and Animals
I love house-sitting. At NYU, when I had four roommates and no privacy, I relished the weekend because I was generally house/pet-sitting for some upper-middle class family.
Some weekends I lived on the Upper West Side, and walked sweet Chas, the Springer Spaniel, down Riverside Drive. I'd take the cash the families left me and eat brunch on Amsterdam Avenue before strolling over to Central Park West. Other weekends I would hibernate at 808 Broadway, just a block away from my dorm, but in a gorgeous pre-war building with high ceilings, the most amazing Egyptian cotton sheets, insane cable, and two sweet kitty cats whose names escape me.
I have a house now in a great part of town, and I thought my house-sitting days were over. That is, until I needed roommates. I love my roommates. There are no crazies here. They are each smart, motivated, creative women who rock. But I'm craving more and more alone time, and I spend hours in my cave of an unfinished basement because I can't get anything done with people around.
And so I have returned to house-sitting.
I love staying at the Searcy abode because they have a hot tub AND a drum kit. Plus, it's a fun area of town that I don't often frequent. I'm a Highlands snob at heart, so anywhere out of 40205-04 is like going to another country -- awesome to visit, but nice to leave behind.
A few weeks ago, another friend, who shall remain nameless, asked me to house-sit. I accepted.
What follows is an actual account of how I tried to let myself into her home and feed her cat.
Monday. 10:00 pm. Clifton area.
After a long night of rehearsal, I decide to skip Gerstle's Bluegrass Mondays and go straight to my apartment-for-the-week. I have been to said apartment on several occasions, and have scratched the kitty's ears. Only once previously did Roscoe the Kitty attack my ankles. It was funny, and it only hurt a little. Roscoe had been loving to me since that time, so I wasn't afraid.
I unlock and open the door quietly, tossing my purse on the sofa. Roscoe isn't to be seen. Suddenly, my toes and ankle are in searing pain, and I look down to find myself falling prey to what seems to be a miniature LION. This cat -- the cat that is the image of a sweet domestic traditional-looking housecat -- is DIGGING its freshly-trimmed claws and SINKING its teeth into my fair, freckled legs.
So I freak out. I'm sure I squealed or possibly even screamed. I shook my leg, trying to get the cat to detach, and he ROARS (seriously, he roared) while backing away a few feet. I scramble back towards the door when he attacks again, his paw reaching through the tiny crack in the door that I refuse to slam shut for fear of crushing the lion's toes. Were he not my super-good-friend's cat, and were I instead in a horror film involving domesticated house cats turning into fast-moving zombies (not like 1970's zombies, but like 28 Days Later rage-victim zombies), then I definitely would have slammed the door.
Obviously, I cannot stay here.
I call Peter.
"Kaelin, it's a ****ing cat. Get back in there and show the cat who is boss. No, I'm not going to come over there and help you. Goodnight."
Okay, he's right. Homo sapien versus Felis catus. I should totally win this boxing match.
I try the back door. Roscoe is not fooled, and he lunges toward my pant leg just as I close the door.
I'm about to get back to my car and leave when I remember that I have left my purse on the sofa!!!!
(Note: At this point, I need you, gentle reader, to imagine Elaine from Seinfeld as I walk you through my next movements.)
I search about the yard with my iPhone MyLite application and eventually find a stick. Slowly, I open the door. I am attacked immediately, but this time I have a weapon. I poke the kitty, simultaneously shouting gibberish that I'm hoping will translate into, "Get the hell away from me you insane beast! My Great Dane could step on you and you would be incapacitated, you Napoleonic twit!"
Roscoe pounces again, and I swear he was talking exorcist talk this time. I grabbed a Velocity that was on the coffee table and began crumpling it, waving it around madly until I could reach my purse. Then I threw the paper down and raced out the door.
Safely on the porch, I stared through the glass window that separated me from death. Roscoe was furious, and began beating against the pane madly. Seriously. I wish I had video-taped this cat, ferociously boxing, scowling, growling, glaring at me.
I felt safe outside, and I lowered my face to the glass to look at him. He went berserk. I got scared and ran away.
Monday. 10:35 pm. Gerstle's.
Bluegrass and bourbon calm me down, as I relay the story of the Killer Kat™ to Steve Cooley and the boys. They are not sympathetic. "It's a cat, Kaelin!"
So I went back to my basement in the Highlands and thought about how much I love my doggie.