This is our cat, Kitts. Have I told you we have a cat? We do. She adopted us shortly after we moved here by depositing the innards of some poor rodent on the front porch, thus claiming our house as HERS.
We adore her. We are not cat people, as a rule, but Kitts is more like a dog than a cat. She jumps on the trampoline with the kids, follows them around, and is a dedicated napper. All things we prize in the House of Vitafam.
She’s also hilarious. She jumps up into the kitchen window over the sink each day when she hears us get up and takes wicked delight in giving me the morning’s first cardiac arrest. Her life’s mission is to become an inside cat. My life’s mission is to prevent it. Hijinks often ensue. At least once a day, you can almost hear the banjo music playing as we chase Kitts out of whatever inside room she’s taken up residence in.
This afternoon, Andrew and I snuck out on to the front porch to sip our coffee and catch up. We do this every day and the kids think this is their opportunity to talk to us. Sometimes we give up on adult conversation and let the kids chatter, other times we send them inside to play with sharp objects so we can finish a sentence.
We’d just sent Ellen back inside and I was opening my mouth to start a full and complete paragraph when Andrew said, “Uhhhhhh…” and gestured straight ahead. I assumed another child was in our midst and took a few seconds to respond.
And then I did a double-take.
Because Kitts was headed to her usual spot on the front porch. But hanging from her mouth was a L-O-N-G furry body with an equally L-O-N-G furry tail.
Itty-bitty Kitts had caught herself a full-sized squirrel.
I took up screeching and Andrew cackled while he reassured Kitts that she was a good kitty and we were super proud of her Mad Tiger Skillz. She plopped down ON MY FRONT PORCH RUG and began to preen. (In between swats at the squirrel, just to show it who was boss, of course.)
She flung her body wide and stretched, to show us how hard she had worked. Then she batted at the squirrel’s tail before giving him a good swift kick in the jaw with her hind legs.
The squirrel said nothing.
I continued squealing while the kids clamored at the front window to see. (We refused to let them out in case the squirrel was resurrected.) Eventually, I could no longer take the sight of Kitts batting around the giant squirrel body and begged Andrew to take it off the porch. “I GO BAREFOOT ON THAT RUG!!!!!”
Reluctant to put down his coffee, Andrew began dragging the rug along the porch, trying to convince the cat to take her prize elsewhere. She glanced up, indignant, but would not move, choosing instead to enjoy a free ride. Sighing, he went to get his shovel.
Andrew removed the squirrel from Kitts’s clutches and she trotted after him, mewing in pride. And then it got a little Weekend At Bernie’s when the squirrel fell off the end of Andrew’s shovel and dropped with a sickish thud to the sidewalk. I heard Andrew mutter, “Oops,” and stand to stare at the squirrel for a moment. I groaned and hid my eyes.
Kitts was looking away or she would have pounced, but Andrew got the squirrel back on the business end of the shovel and headed to the woods to make his deposit. Once the squirrel was properly “laid to rest,” we attempted to resume our relaxing porch time, but I was still staring at the empty rug and pondering how to DISINFECT such a thing. It’s pretty and I like it, so I don’t want to throw it out.
But… squirrel. DEAD squirrel.
What should I do? Douse it in vodka (a natural disinfectant?) Bleach would ruin the colors in the rug (it’s sissal) wouldn’t it? Soap and water? Gasoline and a torch?
Help me, people. I need ideas…