My brother’s post about frozen felines has particular relevance to me today, because our eldest and evilest cat is having some difficulty with this week’s frigid weather. It is so frigid my kids have been out of school for two days. It is so frigid I nearly caused a fender-bender yesterday, because I put my foot down on the brake but my van kept on going on the ice. It is so cold that Sophie wanted to come in.
(Confidential to S__Diddy: I no longer believe in Global Warming.)
Sophie, age 15, is an elegant, petite cat and the mother of our other two, distinctly unpetite kitties. She’s cranky and mean. Were she human she’d be the old lady yelling at the kids to get out of her !@#$ yard. In her younger days she could kick the ass of any tomcat in the neighborhood and often did. She hunted with such agility that she could leap six feet straight up to snag a juicy moth. She survived any number of injuries and several illnesses that would’ve killed a lesser cat.
Much as we admire the old woman, we don’t allow her in the house much. Ever the independent iconoclast, Sophie disdains modern conveniences used by softer cats. “Litter boxes are for suckers,” she snarls, and promptly urinates on whatever strikes her fancy. Hence, Sophie receives her ration of the high-priced, foul-smelling prescription food the vet recommends on the front porch. She spends her days roaming the cul de sac, but thankfully doesn’t fight with other cats anymore.
About a month ago we became concerned that Sophie was looking wan and not enjoying the colder weather. We bought her one of those igloo shaped dog (ahem, cat) houses and installed it between the shrubbery and the house, where she likes to sleep. If our neighbors object to this violation of zoning laws, they haven’t spoken up. Sophie seems to like her house and has even posted a tiny “no soliciting” sign on the door to keep the missionaries away.
This cold snap, though, has made her miserable. Usually, after she gets fed, she stomps off without saying “thank you.” This morning after her food arrived and the ice in her bowl was replaced with liquid water, she stayed on the porch, whined, and even scratched at the door. It broke my heart, but not enough to let her pee all over my house.
We took out the crate we use to haul cats to the vet, set it up in the living room with towels, water, and catnip, and put Sophie in it. Kitty prison, to be sure, but she looks quite warm and happy (and a bit stoned, if you must know). It may be an undignified way for a cat of Sophie’s former stature to spend the day, but it beats becoming a catsickle.
(In case you were wondering, the cat in the profile pic is not Sophie but her son, who is as big a scaredy cat as ever lived.)