Friday, December 30, 2011
Hobie Cat's Last Ride
*insert here clip from The Godfather where Vito Corleone says to Tom Hagen “We’re not murderers, regardless of what this undertaker thinks”*
A determined albeit unskilled do-it-yourselfer, I began the task of installing the two cat doors (not good for resale) starting with the laundry room door. I discovered that they sell pet doors but they don’t tell you how to install them. So, under the influence of that old handyman adage: “measure twice – cut once”, I measured and measured and measured. Only problem was, I had the door off its hinges, lying across two sawhorses when this measuring was done. So it was only after I had finished installing the pet door and had begun to put the utility room door back on the hinges that I discovered a problem. I had installed the pet door, not in the bottom left corner as planned, but in the top left corner. I told no one. I just sneaked back to Lowe’s for another door.
Hobie grew progressively worse in the psychiatric department. She hid in the crawlspace beneath the neighbor’s house and uttered moans that could only be described as macabre. Maybe blood curdling. Anyway, they were loud, long and guttural sounds that frightened the neighbor's two small children in the middle of the night. The neighbor’s name was Jamie. He came over one day while I was outside and began the conversation with, “Is that your cat?” I knew this wouldn’t turn out well.
He told me about the moaning. He was nice about it, but the message was clear. Also disturbing was the fact that Hobie had begun the nasty habit of bringing home trophy kills and depositing them on the welcome mat. Mice, mostly. Some song birds. One very large Blue Jay. I wondered how in the world she managed to catch these birds. Were birds really that slow? I have to say I was as impressed as I was disgusted.
Although we did our best to care for her, Hobie's health soon began to fail and on the rare occasions when we saw her it was shocking to see her looking so scraggly.
“Just do it and don’t tell me about it until after it’s over,” Lorraine said to me one day.
“Do what?” I asked.
“You know… take care of Hobie,” she said.
“Oh… you mean eliminate her,” I said, doing my best mobster impersonation. “Wax her. Neutralize her. Take her out of action. Do her. ”
“Stop it!” she cried.
I was still going. “The big sleep. Off her. Turn out her lights….”
“I mean put her out of her misery,” she said quietly. I shut up.