Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Toothbrushes and $75 Cats

When I read the blog about my Dad and the pictures of you in the early years with your cat Peaches , it prompted a memory I wanted to share.

When our ‘little H’ (known here as MrsHH) came into the world her Mom and I were both working. We found the most wonderful woman to babysit her. Keeping with the theme of not using real names I will refer to her as the Cat Lady. The Cat Lady loved little H and cared for her as one of her own. To this day I am thankful for the wonderful help she provided in the raising of little H. However, she had flaws. She loved cats. Now I don’t mean she had a cat. I mean she LOVED cats and could never have enough of them. She had them everywhere. Naturally, she made my daughter a cat lover. As a child, little H subscribed to the “can’t have too many cats” philosophy. This was one of her few flaws. But I know it is hard to see flaws in your own children. I think that being tightly wrapped around a pinky finger tends to distort your vision.

Me at the Cat Lady’s house, apparently being brainwashed into cat-loving

The Cat Lady provided a continuous stream of cats for my daughter. For some strange reason the girl named them all after food. We had Peaches, Pepsi, Oreo, and many more I can’t remember. But there was a problem. Where we live the wildlife strictly adhere to the hierarchy of the food chain. What was a beloved cat to my daughter was also a tasty treat for one of the many coyotes on the farm. But no matter who was a nighttime snack for Wile E. Coyote, the Cat Lady always had a replacement. Our cat population was inversely proportional to the coyote population. One year when disease decimated the coyotes we had 21 cats in the barn. I think that was a county-wide record. At least no one wanted to admit to having more.

Later, I tried to do the politically correct thing and neuter the cats. I took two to the local vet for the “fix”. I should have asked about the cost first. I thought if it cost $5.00 to turn a 400 lb. bull calf into a steer, how much could it cost to change a 5 lb. tom cat into a tammy cat , or whatever a neutered cat is called? Evidently small animal vets are to regular vets as brain surgeons are to chiropractors. The bill was $150. I had never seen a $75 cat and now I owned two of them. I don’t remember what gourmet food she named those two after. But, since they were now worth $15 per lb, I hope the name was befitting their stature as the most expensive animals on the farm.

Possibly the actual toothbrush cat? My, what shiny fur you have, Cookie Crumb!

Or was this Pop Tart?

Once during the early years of the cat explosion, I think little H was about 4, I came home from work and found her brushing one of the long haired cats with a small brush. I had been wondering how she kept the cat’s long hair so shiny. It seems the trick is daily brushing with a small fine brush. She needed a small one with a long handle in order to properly brush all those hard to get to places like behind the ears and along the tail. That’s when I found out that my toothbrush was perfect for the daily grooming. After scolding her about using my toothbrush to brush her cats, I told her I would now have to buy a new one. She looked up with tears in her eyes and said, “But Daddy, I always put it back”. For years when I had a dry cough I never knew if it was allergies or a hair ball.

Loved every minute of it.


--Guest blog, written by Mr. H.

(thanks Dad!)


Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh!! that is hilarious!! I didn't know about the cat used toothbrush, but I can testify to little H loving cats and the cat lady having too many. She babysat me at the same time as little H. Even though little H and I were both only children in our own respective families, we grew up as sisters with the cat lady. Even in high school, if you saw one you saw the other.

Oh many great times!!!

Little J (kid #2)

Mrs. HH said...

Comments are having some issues today, but they should show up soon.

Mrs. HH said...

Agreed, LJ, many great times indeed. said...

Great story! Great photographs! No other guest contributor could top this!

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