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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Daddy's Stealing My Childhood... ~ Donna

These are the words my older daughter flung at me Sunday while her father was busy cutting down her swingset. Here, let me start from the beginning...

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! :-)

~ Donna


  1. Sorry about Moonshine, Donna. My boys had a really hard time when we painted over the tree we'd had painted in the corner of their room. They were upset about that for a long time.

  2. Thanks, Jamie. It funny, but things we don't think are so important, turn out to be incredibly important to our kids. Miranda is too old for the swingset anymore, but I think the thought of it not being there anymore really threw her for a loop. :-( I was pretty relieved when her father didn't have the strength or energy to tackle the trampoline. It's 10 years old, but surprisingly, it has no holes, so I told him to just fix the sides and we'll keep it as long as we can (he hates having to move it when he mows the lawn, but he's just going to have to deal with it a while longer...my baby's suffered enough trauma for one week...LOL).

  3. Miranda the drama queen--just like Morgan! Not that I'm saying her feelings aren't completely justified. Maybe not to the same extent as I would've as a kid, but I still get a bit nostalgic when my parents change something around the house and it's no longer what I remember as a kid.

    The yard does look nice with the swing set gone--if it makes you feel any better. :) I noticed it when I picked up the awesome tomato and pepper plants you grew for me, but then we got talking plants and I forgot to mention it.

    And yes, sorry about Moonshine, too. Now you can store up the stress you won't have from him for when you get that second dog. LOL

    1. I know exactly what you mean. Things just hit us harder at that age, every emotion is on steroids. I remember walking around the neighborhood in the rain, crying, when I found out my best friend kissed my boyfriend. Now I'd just roll my eyes and tell her to keep him...LOL

      I still get nostalgic when I go to my grandpa's house. Like you said, when something is different, it gives you a little heart tug. But yeah, life goes on.

      We're getting a small dog, though I was trying to talk them into a Great Dane. But they all want a little itty bitty dog, so I'll just have to deal with it...and hope Sassy doesn't mistake it for a bunny...LOL

  4. Oh,the dramas of growing up. My poor kids never lived long enough at any one place to put down too many roots. Just last night I was telling Steve I've planted I don't know how many lilac bushes but never lived anywhere long enough to see any of them bloom. I'm like the fricken Johnny Appleseed of lilacs.

    If only we didn't have Tuna Catterole, our own stray and Moonshine hadn't been declawed, I would have been happy to take him and turn him into a barn cat. Oh well, I'm sure a beauty like him will find a home soon - hopefully one where he's an only cat.

    1. And this is my kids only home (and will be forever since I'm never ever moving again...LOL), so they have opinions about everything...sigh We truly intended to keep him when I got him declawed, but yeah, I kind of wish I hadn't either. Though we've checked the Bay Area Humane Society's website, and so far no picture of Moonshine has gone up, so I sure hope it's because he was adopted right away. I didn't think they euthanized there, but I was wrong. :-(

      Tuna Catterole...love that name...LOL

  5. Donna,

    Moonshine is a lovely cat but definitely a high maintenance male with a strong "it's all about me, folks" catitude.

    Loved the story and sorry to see it ending. I find those moments when the realization strikes that we've become our mothers in what we say, do with our children. Be comforted that someone your daughter will have that same moment and remember this one with you.

    I do realize this would be a great scene used in some way in your Redemption series.

    Hugs, sweetie