by Celia Rivenbark
Loyal readers may recall that I was given two black-and-white kittens for my birthday back in September.
“Kittens! Tuxedo siblings! That’s all I want! Nothing else!” I told Duh Hubby, who secretly set about to make my wish come true. A few leads didn’t pan out but, a couple of days before my birthday, a friend at the humane society mentioned that she’d seen month-old tuxedo kittens on Craig’s List.
Duh made arrangements to meet the boys and their owners, who interrogated him about what kind of home these kittens would be going to. Duh pinky-swore we would neuter them (well, the vet would), keep them indoors at all times, feed them only high-end dry kitten food and raise them Presbyterian. OK, maybe not the last.
A few hours later, I was happily introduced to Joey and Chandler (our names; their original names were disappointingly void of any reference to ancient TV sitcoms).
Fast forward three months and the boys are whimpering loudly because they want to scale the grass cloth on the bathroom wall all the way to the ceiling again. I can’t tell y’all how unexpected it is to look up and see two 5-pound kittens on the ceiling watching you.
Because I’m crazy about my wallpaper, also not having cats falling out of the sky at the most inopportune time imaginable, I had to fix this. I imagine you’re saying: “Just shut the door.” But this is a very old house with very old glass doorknobs that work roughly 15 percent of the time. The rest of the time? Kittens on the ceiling.
So, using my superior problem-solving skills and an old bathrobe tie, I secured the bathroom door to the linen closet door down the hall. Score one for opposable thumbs. Although, I have to admit that when we have guests, they stare for a long time at the “robe tie as door lock” system before deciding to just pee in the yard. Kidding! That’s just us.
Duh Hubby doesn’t care much for the system because, being of a certain age, he often gets up in the middle of the night to, you know, and forgets that there’s an elaborate tangle of knotted robe belting keeping him out. The kittens find this quite amusing.
A dear friend, noting the Uncle Fester dark circles under my eyes (the boys are nocturnal), gave me the new book “The Trainable Cat” but, eight chapters in, things aren’t going that well. The author says I must call their names and deliver a treat “ideally in less than one second.” Southerners are not hardwired to move that quickly unless somebody is moving toward the last deviled egg on the platter.
The book talks of systematic desensitization and counter-conditioning, but so far, it’s not working. They have destroyed all my houseplants, shredded my couch and fashioned a crude likeness of both of us in their morning poo. Or maybe I imagined that. As Chandler Bing might say: “Could I BE any more sleep-deprived?”
Rivenbark is the author of seven humor collections. Visit her website at www.celiarivenbark.com ©2016 Celia Rivenbark. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.