During each summer, I made my usual pilgrimage to submerge myself in the hospitality of southern ways that only my parents, in their home, could provide. Each morning, Mom and I would sit on the back porch, rockin’ in the chairs and watchin’ the air stand still over the bayou. One morning, Mom decided to solicit my help with a project. Apparently, the neighborhood feral cat that she fondly referred to as Prostikitty had gotten herself into a predicament and had recently given birth to another litter of kittens. Now, you have to understand, Mama had a way with words. She could leave you in stitches without effort, which is why people loved being around her. So it wasn’t hard for her to entice me to join in on most of her schemes. I was typically a willing, if not eager, participant to say the least.
Our mission this go around was to trap these stray kittens for a vaccination visit to the vet. Most people might think you need to formulate a plan, but not us. We were already referring to ourselves as the “Cat Whisperers” before we’d even seen the bottom of a cup of joe. Really, how hard could it be?
Mom had already started putting food out to feed the kittens and had one in particular that consistently showed up each morning. We decided this was a good one to start with since she appeared to be quite docile. We set the stage. With cat carrier in place and food bowl stashed inside, all that was left to do was wait. We crouched patiently, peering out through the glass panes of the breakfast room door, waiting for the first kitty to arrive. Actually, I crouched and Mom sat comfortably in a chair providing guidance on how to avoid getting scratched, clawed, and bit by this stray. Before long our loyal visitor showed up and to be honest, it was like feeding candy to a baby. She slipped into that carrier and the next thing she saw was two kittynappers peering in at her from above. It took some time to coax her out of hiding, but before we knew it, she was roaming around freely and rubbing against our legs. We truly felt like “Cat Whisperers.” It was way too easy.
Smoothly would be a huge misrepresentation of our next conquest. Brother turned out to be a much bigger challenge. I deciphered this instantly when I picked up the carrier and he was already arms stretched, claws attached, clinging to the walls. We smartly approached him with much more caution. Again, we placed the carrier on the table to coax him out, which we soon found to be an unnecessary step. From the moment the latch was released he flung himself out onto the table and tumbled to the floor. This kitten did not cower in the least bit as his sister had. In fact, he appeared to levitate and proceeded to frantically circle the room using the four walls as his running track. Mom and I were beside ourselves. It was as if we were in a cartoon with some wild roadrunner whizzing around us. Both in a frenzie as to what to do. We had no choice but to open the door and set free the wild beast. That put a quick end to our dismal attempt as “Cat Whisperers.”
As to the fate of the docile little kitten, things did not go as planned. After receiving her shots and returning home, Mom just couldn’t toss her out. She fell in love with her and provided a home for her like no other. Free reign of the kitchen and breakfast room. Access to comfy chairs and entrance in and out of the home as desired. She lived through a turbulent kittyhood, torturous grandchildren and massive hurricanes. Alafair is a survivor….just like Mama. Today, she still lives with Dad and collects hugs and snuggles from all of us when we return home for a visit.
Mom had a way of touching lives. I believe she still does. You see, today is Alafair’s birthday. I only remembered that a few minutes ago. Now, I’m pretty certain Mom chose this date because it’s also her father, Papa’s birthday today. However, what I find a bit ironic is that this memory flooded my slumber last night. Just out of the blue…with no rhyme or reason. It’s a mystery…that’s for sure! But I can’t help thinking Mom had her hand in this.