The wooing of Spook


As if we don’t already have enough dependents on this property, another freeloader surfaced about 6 weeks ago.

Martin spied him in mid-December, this blur of fur that popped out of the cat food container like a jack-in-the-box and shot out of the barn. What the hell was that? A cat, a fox? A raccoon?

We didn’t give it another thought until the morning after a trip to LA. Jet lagged and bleary eyed, I dumped cat food into the trays and noticed that our orange cat had morphed into two. I blinked a couple times. No, there were still two orange cats. Weird.

Enter Spook, the feral cat residing in our barn. I think he’s an adolescent, neither kitten or cat, who set down his little rucksack and threw out the welcome mat in the hayloft. It’s warm, there’s a nearby food source, why not?

I have to interrupt to say: I don’t even LIKE cats. I am a dog person for Christ sake.

As a kid I knew that felines were inferior when my granny’s cat Grover was begging at the table, and my father thumped Grover on the head with his butter knife. (Granny took note, another strike against Dad. But he had never been a contender for son-in-law of-the-year anyway.)

I grew up knowing that dog owners were active, social, outgoing people who belonged to tennis & swim clubs, and went to dinner parties where they kicked a few bottles of wine, bitched about their bosses, debated Reaganomics and argued about who really killed JR.

Cat people were eccentric weirdos who wore house dresses to the grocery store, used coupons, and drove rusted caddies that they parked in carports and then draped in car covers. They never mowed their lawns and they popped up at yard sales where they bought bad paperback romances that never should have been published. Cat people were crazy.

But here’s the thing: if you have horses and you have a barn, it’s your civic duty to own cats. Aside from their mousing services, there are far too many cats in shelters. You got a barn, toss ’em a bit of food and they’re good to go.

So, back to Spook. Call it my pet project but I’m determined to de-feralize our wild cat. Plus, I’m out of work anyway. I’ve got nothing better to do than work on my resume. Uff.

That’s why I’m clutching a store-bought rotisserie chicken under my arm like a football and perched alone on the hay loft stairs singing out “Spo–ook. Come here spooker…come on…comere kitten…”

Holy crap.

I’m becoming a crazy cat person.

I only want to win him over. Earn his trust, pet him and love him and wrap my arms around him….and then shove in a cat box, drive him to the vet and have his balls cut off.

I don’t know why he won’t come to me. Maybe it’s time to try pot roast.

Tempting Spook with freshly cooked Harris Teeter chicken (nothing but the finest)

Unfortunately, he’s not so sure

Spook status reports to come….