I should probably own up to the fact that I have a cat.
I have a cat.
See? It just sounds fundamentally wrong.
Now add seven.
I have eight cats.
Crazy. Crazy cat lady.
Traditionally, every winter, a stray kitten adopts us; it sits outside our sliding glass door shivering and eventually someone takes pity and feeds it scraps from the table and the leftover daycare kid milk–which, by the way, adds up to a lot of milk. Enough to entice the cat to stay.
So it's my cat, right? Because I fed it.
But I never get the cat fixed/declawed/whatever it is a responsible cat owner does, because invariably, within a few months the hawks or the coyotes catch up with it. Or once, I think I drove off with one under my hood. (Do not tell my kids that.) And besides. I'm not an animal owner. I don't do veterinary clinics.
But this cat has proven more wily than the rest; she's survived 18 months so far. And had nineteen kittens. (Adopted out: 8, part of the neighborhood food chain: 3, freak accident: 1, living under the jungle gym:7.)
I said–after the last litter–that the cat must go. Note the absence of an honest-to-goodness moniker. I refuse to name the beast. But she's still here. Because who wants to kill a cat? And how does one transport a clawed animal to the pound?
She does keep the rodents at bay.
Also the mink that ran up our steps, bold as brass, a few days ago.
(Yes, a mink. I had never seen one before; I had no idea they were so fearless. Or beautiful.)
Not to mention the snake. As for the rabbits, I really couldn't care less if she leaves them alive or not–just so long as she keeps them off my porch.
I'm getting tired of challenging her right to enter my home though. She runs in, I chase her out. She runs in, I throw her out. She runs in–it's like the Flintstones, only I have a better arm than Fred ever did.
And now there are eight. Eight!
You know how many dead animals eight cats could bequeath me with in the middle of the night?