Dec 2 2010
I’ve envied Martin’s “Mouse House” office arrangement for the past year. While I commute Monday through Friday to my muted beige cube, Martin logs his days 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 the window at a field dotted with sheep and horses. And while I listen to passing coworkers and the clacking of my keyboard, Martin blasts whatever music he fancies. Cue the chirping birds and open the window on a balmy day and — face it, folks — he’s got a sweet set-up.
Well, he did. Before the maulings began.
Toulouse and Olive, the two kittens we adopted weeks ago, started as helpless, hapless balls of fur. But recently, they’ve been growing like weeds…. and trashing Martin’s office in the process. They claw up his chairs, wreak kitty-litter havoc in the bathroom, doze on his keyboard and yank the cables from his computer. And now they’re honing their hunting skills. On him.
On a typical day I receive at least one Martin email that reads something like this:
The cats are awake and are looking for fresh meat.
Even demure Olive, who Martin deemed “house cat material” because she’s “too sweet to live in the barn,” spends the daylight hours raking Martin’s calves, mauling his feet and practicing her mouse pouncing skills on his fingers and thumbs.
At first I thought that he was exaggerating and being melodramatic about their hijinks. But then I saw the scratches. He needs protection — an X-ray apron or a suit of armor — something 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. Behold, a brief glimpse into his typical work day:
The short term solution has been to shut the kittens in the barn during the day, expanding their domain and sparing Martin the daily abuse. But lately it’s been chilly 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 called “The Money Pit,” whereby the couple plan to fix up a nice-looking house that turns into a hellacious renovation. As months pass, they ask the contractor when he’ll be finished, and each time he shells out the same answer with a dismissive wave.
I’ve been practicing this move. When Martin calls from work, pleading, “How long until these hell cats move out of here?!” I lob the contractor’s line from the movie:
“Two weeks! Just another two weeks…”