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My Autocatography (Part seven)

Story ID:9897
Written by:Charles Dishno (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Biography
Location:Dillon Montana USA
Year:1996
Person:Max the cat
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My Autocatography (Part seven)
By Max - As meowed to Chuck Dishno

The Start of the New Year…

In a few days the newness of Christmas had worn off and I heard Chuck talking about New Years Eve. Once again I didn’t know what he was talking about but good old Amy filled me in. she said it was the start of a new year and when we went to bed on New Year’s Eve it was 1997 and when we woke up the next morning it would be a new year, 1998. This really confused me but I just took it in stride figuring I had to learn about these things the hard way. Amy was helpful but sometimes I don’t think she knew what she was talking about either. She did say that the grown-ups would go out that evening and celebrate the New Year by getting drunk and dancing. She said we would have to be extra quiet the next morning since Chuck and Roz would probably have a hang-over. I said that would be nothing new since his belly hung over his belt all the time. Amy said that I shouldn’t say things like that and even though it was a long way until the next Christmas I needn’t get a head start on that naughty and nice list.

The next morning we were very quiet until we found out that Chuck and Roz didn’t have anything to drink the night before and consequently had no hang-over. I learned that they didn’t drink alcohol anymore and I was glad.

They did meet some friends at the New Years dance though and they brought their own bottles of booze and proceeded to put on a toot. Chuck commented that the band at the Rec. Hall was so bad and got so drunk that they could hardly play their instruments. He and Roz laughed at how one would start playing some piece and then the other would join in and play something else. Finally their friends took all of this they could take and left for their own park. At that time Chuck and Roz came home.

Now that Christmas and New Years was over it was quiet again in the park. I heard Chuck say that some of the people would be getting ready to go home for the spring and summer but we would be staying until about the first of April. I knew it would be getting warm by then but that was alright with me. I figured it would be snowing in Dillon and I wasn’t anxious to go back there just yet. Thinking about it, I don’t know what difference it makes since I never get out in the snow anyway, but I recall once last fall, Chuck did take me out and put my feet in about 4 inches of snow and I didn’t like it. When he took me back into the house and let me go, I really ran around shaking my paws. At times like that I am very glad I am an “inside cat”.

About a week after New Years, Frank and Eleanor came back from Washington. Now I looked forward to getting my head scratched again by those nice fingernails of Eleanor’s and getting my kicks listening to Frank talk. They talked of what a great Christmas they had with their children and grandkids. I now felt that we were their children too. If I really concentrated, I may even be able to meow in”pidgin cat”.

The next few weeks were spent just lying around and doing much of nothing. One day, I heard Roz say that Bobbie was coming for a visit. I didn’t know who Bobbie for was but I had heard them mention her. When I found out I was really excited. She was Roz’s daughter and that made her my step-sister. It had been a long time since I had a sister and was looking forward to meeting her.

About the same time, Roz said that her sister, Virginia and her husband Donnie were also coming. They would be here at the same time. I figured out that Virginia would be my auntie. The worst part of it was that they had a dog and you know my feelings about dogs. As far as I was concerned they rated just above coyotes on the cats “not to like scale”. Even worse, the dog, Cookie, would be my nephew. Now I had heard of kissing cousins and hoped that there was no such thing as a “kissing nephew”. I wasn’t relishing getting kissed by a stupid dog, related or not!

When the great/dreaded day arrived, I need not have worried about the dog. Not only was it a dumb looking thing but stayed on Donnie’s lap the whole time and never took his eyes off me. I think he knew that I was a macho cat and could take him at any time. Besides I had Amy to back me up and she outweighed Cookie by a couple of pounds.

Bobbie was delightful and she talked about her cat, Mousse. At first I thought they said Moose and that scared me since I had heard about those big Montana Moose with their big rack of antlers. That was all a little cat like me needed a huge moose for a relative.

Bobbie was very loveable and I could tell right off that she was a cat lover by the way she talked to me and held me when I got on her lap. Her lap, by the way, was nice and soft. Mom had a soft lap too but her legs were a bit bony. Chuck on the other paw, had a nice lap if I could get to it but that wasn’t too easy since his belly was always in the way.

Bobbie and Roz talked an awful lot and you could tell they really liked each and missed getting together more often. Donnie and Virginia were OK too but sometimes they talked in a foreign language that I later learned was Chinese. I always thought they were talking about me and didn’t want me to understand them, as if I could. It kind of ticked me off but Chuck said not to let it bother me since they did the same thing to him and he couldn’t understand them either. When this happened, Amy and I would just go off and talk “catese” which we figured would confuse everyone. For those of you who don’t know, catese is a combination of meowing and tail twitching along with an occasional slow wink of an eye. It really keeps them guessing and totally grosses out dogs. Only cats know this language and we are not about to teach it to anyone else.

After Bobbie had been here for a few days, she said it was time to head home to Los Angeles. I would miss her. At the same time Donnie and Virginia decided they had better head home to Fresno with Cookie. It made me meow and purr with joy to see that dog go. I really had nothing against him except he was a dog. My greatest fear was that he would start to sniff me, you know where, and even worse leave one of his dog “messages” on me. I sure didn’t want to go around being a “dog daily”.

After our visitors said their goodbye’s life returned to normal and we started looking forward to heading north ourselves. Not that I was that anxious to get into that trailer again but life was getting a little routine here and I was ready for a change. I knew it would mean a stop in Lake Havasu City again to see Bud and Beulah but hopefully they would keep their dog home. In a couple of weeks Roz started packing things away and before I knew it we were rocking up the road in the trailer again.

Back In Dillon…

After what seemed like an eternity and three overnight stops, one at Buds, we arrived home in Dillon. Even though I was born in Arizona, I had become a Montana cat and claimed that as my home state.

Still a little too early to watch for birds and I missed looking for those bunnies, but I really liked the warm sun that came through the windows and warmed my little body. Even though there weren’t any birds, there were always the neighboring cats to watch. They were sneaky and were forever coming up on the porch to spray the screen door. I guess they had their own newspaper and had to check-up on the latest gossip. I tried to get a whiff of what was going on through the door but I could never understand the writing. It was sort of a cross between Chinese and Frank’s pidgin’ English. Whatever it was, it stunk, and I could only take so much of it! I think I would have left a message or two but Amy said she didn’t think I could since Dr. Nelson had removed my “doo dads”. She said she didn’t think I had much “pen power” back there and I could never leave much of a message and it sure wouldn’t be understood. She really knows how to rub it in sometimes.
After we had been back a month the weather began to warm up and the birds started returning. This consumed most of my waking minutes and I do mean minutes since you all know how much us cats like to sleep.

Every day I would go to the window in the den and look out at the bird feeder that Chuck had put up. Sometimes I could count as many as 20 birds hovering around that feeder. I sure would have liked to catch one of them but had to take solace in just scaring them through the window.

Amy’s Look…

While we were in Yuma, Amy’s fur began to get longer and longer, which was OK with me since it gave more to cuddle up to when I got cold. The only problem with it was that it began to tangle and form large fur lumps on her body. Roz would pick her up and try to comb them out but Amy really objected to this procedure. I supposed it did hurt a bit when she would get that comb stuck in a lump of fur bit Amy was such a pill about the procedure she would growl and hiss at the sight of the comb.

The reason I am telling this is because of what happened to Amy a few days later. I heard Roz say that since she couldn’t get the tangles out and Amy was being such a brat about it, she was going to have to take her to the vet and get her clipped.

Now I remember when they took me to be clipped, and I hoped that they weren’t going to work on the same end. It didn’t sound the same but you never know and Amy was different. I heard Mom talking to the vet and setting up and appointment for Amy which I couldn’t wait to tell her about. She was visibly agitated at the thought of seeing that doctor again but I calmed her down by giving her some of my Pounce. A couple of days later, out came that pet carrier that Amy associated with the dreaded vet trip and she tried her best to hide from
Roz.

Now it’s not too easy for a 15 pound cat to hide and she could disappear quickly when the need arose. Fortunately, Mom knew where most of her hiding places were and soon found her and carried her back to the carrier. Now the struggle began as she fought being pushed through that small door. She held out both paws and braced herself all the while making horrible noises that must have been heard by the neighbors. After a few minutes, sheer determination by Roz won over and she was in the carrier with the door locked. I probably don’t need to tell you that I was sitting on the floor and enjoying every minute of the struggle. I might have even given out a hint as to where she was hiding since I knew these places too and had used them myself when the need arose.

Now that Amy was safely in the carrier, Roz took her out to the car and they were off to the vet for her “haircut”. I honestly, couldn’t see what the big deal was except that Amy had such a dislike for anything that the doctor did. I wouldn’t have minded it one bit, but you must remember that I am a macho cat!

I didn’t see Amy for the rest of the day and by evening I surmised (how do you like my increased vocabulary?) that she wouldn’t be coming back until the next day. As usual I was right and about noon Chuck and Roz took off to pick her up. I hate to admit it but I missed her and couldn’t wait to see her again. I vowed to be nice to her and compliment her on her new trim job.

As soon as they left I put a few Pounce by her bowl and then hopped onto the window ledge in the den to await their arrival. In about a half hour I saw the truck drive up and Roz struggling with the pet carrier. She brought it in and set it down on the kitchen floor. As soon as she opened the door to the carrier, Amy shot out and almost bowled me over. At least I thought it was Amy but at that time I wasn’t too sure. This “thing” that came out of the carrier sounded and smelled like Amy but, “Holy Mackerel” (us cats like to use that expression because it reminds us of fish) it sure didn’t look like Amy! Frankly whatever it was scared the heck out of me. I had never in my wildest dreams seen anything like that.
One time, Chuck was watching a nature channel on television and he showed me the lions in Africa and that’s just what Amy looked like. Her fur had been trimmed right down to the skin and she had this big ruff around her neck. She also had a ball of fur left on the tip of her tail and around her feet.

Roz said she looked just like a lion and she was beautiful but I couldn’t disagree more. Chuck said he thought she looked beautiful too but I don’t think he was too convinced. By this time Amy was nowhere to be found but after a little detective work on my part she was discovered hiding under the stereo in the living room. I took quite a bit of coaxing to get her out, and then Roz held her in her lap and told her how much she loved and wanted her. This seemed to have a calming effect on Amy and she was soon purring and kneading Roz again. She had this habit of turning upside down in Roz’s arms and cuddling up like a baby. I knew she was OK then and glad to be home.

Chuck and Roz kept telling Amy how beautiful she looked and I secretly thought so too but I wasn’t about to tell her that, just yet. Being the “mean-widdle-kid” that I was, I just kept taunting her and laughing at every opportunity where knew I had a clear chance for escape. You must have guessed by now that Amy outweighed me by at least 10 pounds, less the fur that they cut off, and could squash me flat if she got the “upper paw”. I think the only thing that kept me alive was when she was chasing me all I had to do was visualize her in that lion-cut and think of those lions that Chuck had showed me on the television. Just the thought of Amy taking on that role would add at least a mile per hour to my escape attempt.

It took about a week before Amy began to get used to her new haircut and would even let me near her without growling or hissing. One day I saw her looking at herself in the mirror on the coat closet door and she actually had a smile on her face. I guess she thought it wasn’t too bad after all. After that life began to settle back into its normal routine.

To be continued…