Attack Kittens

I once envied Martin’s office arrangement. While I commute each day to stare at the walls of my windowless beige cube, Martin logs the work week in a bright, airy space with golden hardwoods and lemony-yellow walls. I stare at a file cabinet and laser printer while he gazes out a picture window at a field dotted with sheep and horses. And while I listen to passing coworkers and the clacking of my own keyboard, Martin blasts whatever tunes he fancies. Cue a few chirping birds and open the window on a balmy day and – let’s face it — he’s got a sweet set up.

Well he did. Before the mauling began.

Toulouse and Olive, the two kittens we adopted several weeks ago, started out as helpless, hapless balls fo fur. But in the passing weeks, they’ve been busy growing up — ie, trashing Martin’s office. They claw up his chairs, wreak kitty-litter havoc in the bathroom, doze on his keyboard and pull the cables from his computer. And now they’re honing their hunting skills on Martin.

An email from Martin blinks on my screen:

The cats are awake and are looking for fresh meet.

Even Olive, demure little Olive, who Martin deemed house cat material because she’s “too sweet to live in the barn,” spends the daylight hours raking her claws on Martin’s calves, mauling his feet and practicing her mouse pouncing skills on his fingers and thumbs.

At first I thought that he was being a little melodramatic. Then I saw the scratches. They’re everywhere. He needs protection — an X ray apron or a suit of armor — to deflect the abuse.

And when the kittens aren’t sinking their claws into human flesh, they’re fighting one another. On Martin’s lap.

The short term, temporary solution has been to shut them in the barn during the day, enlarging their domain and sparing Martin the daily abuse. But lately it’s been colder and they’re not so keen to surrender their heat source.

 Or their human scratching-attack post.

There’s an old movie starring Tom Hanks and Shelley Long, “The Money Pit,” whereby the couple plans to fix up what turns out to be a hopelessly dilapidated house. Each time they ask the contractor when he’ll be done with the renovations, he shells out the same answer with a reassuring wave.

I’ve been practicing this move. So when Martin calls from work to ask: “How long until these hell cats can move out of here?!”

I say, “two weeks….just give them another two weeks…”