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One big, happy family full — and a berserker

Meow! I've got cats on the brain. And Squiggy is freaking me out.

But first I want to send out a hearty huzzah to the great collaborative efforts of four of our local shelters for their CATSTRAVAGANZA adult cat adoption effort. I love it when adults play nicely together — especially when it benefits our kids (finned, furry or feathered.)

As I type on Friday afternoon, I'm hoping this weekend's adoptions have emptied cat cages at Southern Oregon Humane Society, Sanctuary One, Committed Alliance to Strays (C.A.T.S) and Jackson County Animal Services.

Because until people get serious about spaying/neutering their pets, the cages will be filled before the cat can lick her proverbial whiskers.

I've mentioned in recent columns that Squiggy and I are getting new roomies. The Professor and his spotty moggy, Pinknose, are headed our way come the end of this month(ish).

I'm excited about these two new additions to our riverside cottage. And I expect the two parrots will be on board, too. Especially because it will be one more soul to torment. But one member of our blended family is going to have a freaking hissyfit.

The venerable Ms. Squigmeister hates other cats. And when I say "hate," I don't mean dislike, as in how some people don't care for Brussels sprouts. I mean "fling yourself like a four-legged berserker at the plate-glass window whilst yowling like you're being disemboweled by a rusty spoon" kinda hate.

I have never heard worse noises come out of any animal as those Squiggy emitted upon spying a sweet kitty sitting in our mossy courtyard one moonlit night. The guttural growl rose from her throat only slightly faster than the hair stood up on the back of my neck.

Freaked, I spun to see what monster lurked. My movement startled the visiting kitty, who made a beeline for the neighbor's yard. Frustrated with her inability to morph herself through living room window and finish him off, Ole Snarkypants sped off to an adjacent window.

"WHAT is your problem?" I asked, prying her claws from the screen. "This is really not acceptable behavior."

Squiggy rolled her grass-green eyes wildly, slipped my grip, and raced back into the living room, where she redoubled her yowling. Clearly I was too stupid to understand the orange interloper needed to be dispatched — back to Hades.

The Professor assures me our furry children will work out their feline differences. Mainly because his much younger cat has a benevolent temperament and was well socialized with other critters.

"She's a pretty savvy cat," he says.

I'm hoping she's made of Teflon. Because Squiggy is pushing 17 years old. And while I'm a great believer that old dogs (and cats) can learn new tricks, this moggy had never known a normal life until she came to me about seven years ago — arriving with a ton of mystery ailments and considerable emotional baggage.

We've come a long way, Baby. But I fear for us all. Especially since she's taken to speaking English. Yeah. You heard me. And I heard her.

When she's not fending off the Spawn of Satan, Squiggy is a rather silent feline. But she does have a certain loud, plaintive and demanding "Mowow!" she'll occasionally offer up. She's always in another room when she calls. And I always answer back. "Hello!"

This week she upped the dialog ante: "Mow-wow!" (Hello!) "Meh-wow!" (Hello!) "Meh-woh!" (What the hell?)

Lord help us all. She's been learning from the parrots. Run, Pinknose! RUN!

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 541-776-4497 or sspecht@mailtribune.com.