So most of us wake up to a blissful Sunday morning with a big breakfast or donuts before church. Wellllll, the Mister and I were awakened by our cat Maximillian wandering around in the rafters of the roof. A closet door was left open, and curious kitties will explore.
What’s the big deal about a closet door being left open? Well in our quaint New England home, all three closets lead to crawl spaces used for storage. We found bags full of MBTA transit worker uniforms when we first moved in. But anyway, Maximillian first roamed the crawl space. Pictured below is the crawl space where we first took turns watching for signs of Max.
Squatting here and trying to avoid damaging any tubes or insulation, we discovered how our kitty managed to get into the roof area.
Mua ha haaaa.
Yep, a horrid, creepy shaft running inside the roof’s slant. So, I was already very frightened that Maximillian would be injured by nails or something else. But by now, my runaway imagination conjures ninja rats, rabid raccoons, freaky little fairies that eat teeth. Or worse: a spider.
Maximillian is finally lured down one of these shafts with some soft food. No nail punctures or evidence of being attacked by a horde of rats. But he was quite traumatized I think. At least for a few minutes. He tried to get into my closet a bit later. Sigh.
This Mother’s Day weekend, the Mister and Boy surprised me with the newest member of our family:
Meet Maximilian. Or at least I think that’s how we are spelling it. We need to decide soon, as this eight month old loves to attempt sneaking outside, so we must get him a collar.
The adjustment to his new home (and ours as we recently moved) has been relatively smooth. The first couple of days, he often hid. Then came the exploratory stage where he roamed and sniffed. Whenever a cabinet door is opened, he darts in and checks it out. He is extremely playful and often attempts jumps he cannot make. Maxim’s also a cuddle bum.
Here, he is snuggling with my son and his girlfriend. He twitches in his sleep. He enjoys briefly pouncing on feet moving under the blankets at night before laying down next to them. His favorite toy is a shoelace from my older Chuck Taylors.
And I fell in love with him at first sight.
This beautiful moment is brought to you by rodents.
Yesterday morning, as I gathered my things in my giant pink bag, ready to head to work, I heard the little unnerving noise that stops me in my tracks.
Maybe it’s some birds outside. After all, the weather has been insanely mild this winter and the birdies are out flying around. I dismiss it at first because I need to get out the door.
No, it is not coming from outside. I turn with widened eyes towards the electrical box in our large kitchen. I swiftly pull the door open.
Not one, but two tiny mice are stuck in the glue trap. One is not moving, and the other freezes, staring at me with its round black eye.
I close the door and walk away.
It is not that I am overly afraid of mice or rats. It is just the notion that they are inside my walls. Since I have not handled the glue traps before, I called the Mister to ask what to do.
“If you don’t mind, take the trap outside,” he said. I agreed to. “It’s too bad we no longer have Oli, our hunter.”
Yes, it is awful that he is no longer with us, our master mouse catcher. I began missing him horribly. So I took the oath to dispose of the vermin.
I opened the electrical box once more, peering down at the two mice whose bodies were no bigger than my thumb. I had one of those “aaaawwwwww” moments and stared at them with pity. They were quite cute and so little and helpless. I felt dreadful about sending them outside to a death by starvation or by consumption of a predator.
But then I remember why I don’t like rodents. They crawl into my walls. They chew things. They poop in my walls. They mate in my walls. Then their babies are in the walls, chewing and pooping and mating.
Sorry little guys, out you go.
Rest in Peace, Oliver
May 2002 – August 2011
I adopted you from my friend in 2003 because you were beating up the dog and being mean to the new kittens in her home. You grew on us quickly. While the Mister served in Iraq, you cuddled around my head at night and combed my hair. You climbed an occasional tree. You went on an exploration away from home a couple of times, but always came back. You used to strut along the wooden fence in the backyard, get all the dogs riled up, then trot inside, leaving them barking. You tolerated endless squeezing hugs from a little boy who grew into a teen-ager as you aged. You left us surprises, such as bird feathers in the basement. We never found the rest of the bird. My favorite cushy chair was also your favorite cushy chair, as you swished me in the face with your tail when I nestled into it. A moth entertained you for hours. Mice stood no chance against you.
You fell sick, Oli, and we treated you the best we could. I know you hated the trip to the vet’s, but we hated the news more. The news that you would not be with us much longer. We chose to bring you back home and spend your last days those who love you.
Goodbye, Oliver. We will miss you.
As I watch my Oli sleeping sweetly in one of his favorite spots, I think , ‘Boy, does he have the The Life.’ And sometimes I find myself wishing I was a cat. And this is what it would be like…..
Oli can go to work all day……while I lounge around, looking out the window at the birdies and squirrels.
Oli can get my food for me…….and sweep it off the floor when I drop some.
Oli can wash the dishes……while I snooze on the couch.
When Oli makes the bed……I will watch patiently for my chance to lay on the new blanket and shed my hair all over it.
Oli can do our yardwork…..as I tease the neighborhood dogs from the windows.
Oli can fold the laundry……after he shoo-s me out it because I was snuggling with it and making sure it was soft enough for my keepers.
Oli can clean my room……as I sharpen my nails on my favorite curvy scratching post.
Oli will go grocery shopping…….while I get hyped up on catnip and run amuck in the house.
Oli can help the boy with homework…..while I catch moths and mice and eat them….Wait, eeww, no. Not eat them…maybe just bat them around a bit.
Oli can play board games with the family…….and I’ll sit in the middle of it all and supervise it, making sure it’s played correctly.
Oli can clean MY toilet…..and I will chew on some tape.
And when I hear Oli comes home, I will wait lovingly at the door and stare at him admiringly, and then snuggle endlessly with him.
My cat, Oli, has also noticed that snow no longer terrorizes his neighborhood. More so, he’s hearing the birdies chirp and watching the squirrels scamper around. So, now he sits by the door and cries to go outside. I’m a bit nervous about this, as he chews on grass, recently threw up a worm, and once got a big gash in his back when outside. But one day, he wouldn’t let up with the yowling. So I caved.
Outside Oli went, with me in tow. He rolled around on the stone floor of the little porch. He sniffed around at God only knows what. When I decided it was time to go inside, Oli was quite reluctant. He crouched down and didn’t look at me. I scooted him towards the door and opened it, where he rolled around on the dirty stones again, then looked up at me with his “But Mommy, just three more minutes!” eyes. My neighbor chuckled and commented that Oli likes the warm weather also. When I glanced up at him, the brat cat dashed sideways towards the woods. And within two leaps, he was six feet up a tree. I screamed and ran after him, stopped at the bottom of the tree, and demanded for him to get down. Fortunately, he obeyed. I scooped him up and hugged Oli to me to carry him inside.
But this was a good sign. He’s got his energy back.