Last fall, a stray cat wandered onto our property (I'm sure you know where this story is headed). We fed the emaciated thing, then I made a bed for it on our back porch with an old sleeping bag. I explained that eventually the furball would move on, so every morning, the girls would race to the back door to check and see if it was still there--and yep, of course it was. My daughter checked and told me it was girl, and such a pretty little thing she was. This cat wasn't your average stray, by the way. Solid gray, super fluffy (hard to tell in this picture, I know), big green eyes...this friendly feline was quite the looker.
After a week, my older daughter asked if we could keep it. I said no, but she begged, and begged, and BEGGED. What can I say? She's just like her mother. LOL And just like my mother had done many, many times, I caved. So we took her to the vet to get checked out and...ooh, funny aside. They asked the sex of the cat, I told them it was a girl, and the nurse lifted her tail. Her brow creased, and she said, "Um, she has testicles." LOL Anyway, I knew that if we were going to keep him, we needed to have him neutered, declawed, and vaccinated. Plus, the poor thing had a bad sinus infection, which took several trips back to the vet, and numerous prescriptions to shake.
Unfortunately, the stray, now known as Moonshine, hated our other cat, a female named Sunshine. He viciously attacked her, hurting her pretty badly, so I told my daughter she would have to keep him downstairs in her room for the time being. We figured the cats would eventually learn to co-exist, we just needed to be patient. Only it didn't seem to be happening. Everytime we brought him upstairs, he raced straight for Sunshine, and it became clear that he had no intention of sharing space with another cat. Oddly enough, he seemed to get along just fine with our 90 lb. mutt.
Last Monday was the final straw. He got loose upstairs and attacked Sunshine again. Only this time, when my husband tried to break them up, Moonshine bit him up pretty badly. His whole arm went numb; he said it felt as if his arm was broken (admittedly, he's a bit of a baby, but it really did look painful). That was it, we both decided. As much as we hated to do it, Moonshine had to go. All I could think about was what if it had been one of my girls he'd attacked, or one of their friends, or anyone, for that matter. I gently explained to my daughter that we simply couldn't take a chance that he'd hurt someone else. And though heartbroken, she understood.
So Friday morning, after the girls had left for school, daddy drove Moonshine to the Humane Society. As if he knew his fate, he walked right into the carrier and lied down. My husband said they oohed and aahed over him (the little stinker could be a real charmer when he wanted to be), and swore they'd find him a good home, no worries. My daughter cried her heart out that night, and suddenly I understood exactly how my own mother had felt...many, many times over the course of my childhood.
So then Sunday, my husband decided it was time to cut down the swingset and trampoline. We gotten the swingset when my older daughter was four, and the trampoline when she was three, so on top of losing her cat, this seemed to push her over the edge. While he was outside sawzalling like a madman, my daughter storms in, grabs her iPod and says, "Daddy's stealing my childhood...and I'm getting it on tape!" She's a true redhead with the temper to match. LOL Thankfully, the job was a lot harder than he'd anticipated, and by the time he was done, he couldn't lift his arms. So the trampoline stays. For now.
If you've made it to the end of my rambling, thanks for reading & see you next month! :-)