Oh, hell, you all know I have been a sad excuse for a blogger these past weeks (or is it months?) but, as I told my beloved cousin, Jessica, at lunch today, sometimes the Flame of Life burns brightly in me but occasionally it flickers a bit and causes me to rest quietly, nurture the spark and send out for more kindling.........which is where I have been lately.
However, as it happens, I am not the only crazy Cat Lady on Califa Street..........I have a neighbor (let's call her Marge) who is even a bit older than my 83 years and is, if possible, even crazier than me when it comes to trying to save every critter on earth. As of this writing she is the sole support of Emily (her own kitty), Blackie (her porch resident for nearly 20 years), Whiskas, a gorgeous tuxedo who has been deigning to grace us with his presence twice a day for going on 8 or 10 years, an unnamed new gray arrival, and Pookey whom we share custody of, sort of, plus many more too numerous to mention over the years. These so called strays who visit her carpeted garage or sheltered front porch several times daily are treated to fresh water, endless kitty kibble and impeccably fresh canned cat food daily and then there are the days when she rushes to our nearest supermarket to purchase the freshly roasted chickens offered up in their hot food section because, as she firmly believes and as we all know, cats cannot live on cat food alone.
Without digressing too much I must mention that she is also dogsitter for a neighbor whom we shall call J who is owned by a huge brown Lab named Jackson. Perhaps I had better let Marge tell the rest of this story since I am not sure I can do proper justice to it in my enfeebled condition.
"Well, Lois, you know I love that Jackson and I am happy to bring him treats and fresh bones from the butcher and take him into my yard and baby sit him whenever J finds it necessary, but sometimes I wonder about that boy.....I don't know how he manages to get the correct left and right shoes on his feet each morning and I worry about the fact that he is a husband and father as well as a dog and fish owner when he acts sometimes like he needs to be baby sat himself.
Now, I told you that he has given keys to both his Mother (who lives only 2 blocks away) and to me so we can take care of Jackson (and the fish) when he and the family go on a little vacation and that has worked out just fine mostly, but yesterday was the absolute limit let me tell you.......(sigh). Well, they went off on vacation for 3 or 4 days (I do not understand how they can afford to take so much time off especially after the fortune they must have spent redoing the bathroom and painting the whole outside of the house and the new front door and all, but I guess that is none of my business....) so his Mother called me and asked if I could feed Jackson this morning and she would come by later and give him his dinner and feed the fish, so of course I said yes and then after I hung up I remembered that when they put in the new front door they probably changed the locks and he never gave me a new key and she called me back a minute later about the same problem and we both wondered what we were going to do and I was so mad at J that I could have killed him then and there. (uttered in a smothered shriek)
Anyway, so I went next door into the back yard and gave the dog fresh water sure enough my key did not fit the new lock, but I noticed that they had installed a new doggy door in the back door and it was the super 3 XXX size so I figured maybe it would fit me and I managed to get down on my hands and knees and you know how hard that is for me what with my artheritis and the polymyalgia and all, and by gosh I managed to crawl thru and was able to get the dog food and shove it outside. And then I realized that I couldn't get out head first because the back steps were too steep going that way so I had to turn around and crawl out feet first and that darned dog just stood there and watched me the whole time like he thought I was out of my mind....which maybe I was.
Oh, and I forgot to tell you......while I was in there, just to be safe, I fed the fish with a couple of cubes of fish food in case we couldn't get back inside later.
So I filled his bowl and got him all fed and then I called J's mother back and told her what I had done and, can you believe it, when she came over that nite for the evening meal she did the same thing and managed to crawl in thru the doggy door just like I did...of course she is a lot younger than me, but it is a good thing she has kept her girlish figure because she was able to fit thru the hole too. Well, Lois, I'd still like to kill that boy, but I think we did pretty damned well for a couple of old biddies.......what do you think ?" ........(proud as punch of course and rightly so).
Marge.......I think you were fantastic and I have only one other thing to say on the subject.
Dammit, I wish to hell you had called me so I could have watched it all.
Moral: Don't ever underestimate the power of a determined crazy old Cat Lady.
The New Yorker covers: March 17, 1934
8 hours ago