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Christmas means they just have to share

By GRETCHEN LEIGH
Covington Reporter Columnist
December 15, 2013 · 6:27 PM
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A couple months ago we rescued a cat from my mom’s mobile home park. It had been drifting around for a couple years and had become the unofficial trailer park cat. The problem was, no one would take her in and she survived on scraps and her own wits. Additionally, after having her first litter at nine months old and two since, she was undersized.

She has always been a friendly little thing, coming up to me and bumping me on the leg for some attention when I was working in my mom’s yard. It was hard to fathom that someone would have abandoned her. I tell everyone she was a trailer trash, street walkin’ kitty we rescued and made a lady out of her; kind of like Eliza Doolittle in “My Fair Lady.”
Not wanting to introduce her to my current animals until I knew if she was healthy, I took her straight to Sawyer Lake vet. I knew they rescue wildlife and would probably have the facility to house her while she was spayed, bathed, got shots and was tested for any diseases.

When I brought her home, since she had just had major surgery, she lived in my oldest daughter’s room. That was two months ago. To move forward with this story, I have to explain the set-up of my house: I have a small rambler, in which the main living spaces are separated by a doorway.

In order to spare my sanity, I had my husband install a glass screen door to separate the ends of the house, keeping the animals in the back of the house. I don’t have to listen to clicking nails in the kitchen while I’m sleeping, wondering who is getting into what. The problem is our new cat is not getting along with our current cat and vice versa. I think they are fighting for dominance.
I decided I had to take a stand and reclaim my living room this week, especially my brand new couch, which I had to cover with a blanket to keep it from getting hairy. To fully commit to this relocation, I bought a “cat bungalow” for the family room, cleared a shelf so she had her own eating station if sharing food became an issue, threw them together, locked the screen door (they know how to open it), and left the house to enjoy the Holiday Light Festival at Wild Waves Theme Park.
When we got home, there was some indication of a tussle or a desperate attempt to flee, but they seemed no worse for the wear. I have no idea what occurred in the night, but I suspect they are still in a tussle for dominance, because our older cat refused to go to her eating place on her own this morning. So I escorted her, she ate quickly, then went back outside.
This really is a Christmas story, though. I have to stand firm on this separation of kitty and kitchen, because it’s time to make almond roca. I don’t want to spend my day guarding the candy on the table while it cools and then while the chocolate exterior hardens.
I don’t want to keep watch over the Christmas tree, which will probably be a new experience for our little cat, as well as wrapped Christmas gifts; anything that crinkles is fair game for a mischievous cat. But mostly, it’s the Christmas season; the season of kindness and giving.

So to loosely quote Dr. Seuss’s Grinch: “Then the kitties thought of something they didn’t dare! What if Christmas, they thought, isn’t about what is most fair? What if Christmas...perhaps...means they’d just have to share!”

Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Covington. She is committed to keeping the cats at the back of the house whether they like it or not. You can also read more of her writing and her daily blog on her website livingwithgleigh.com or on Facebook at “Living with Gleigh.” Her column is available every week at maplevalleyreporter.com under the Lifestyles section.


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