Dead Cats

Dead Cats

A Story by barleygirl
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true story . . .

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Anyone who knows me will realize I’m an animal nut job. I gave up on humans years ago and now I get all my sustenance from pets, as well as random wild creatures wandering my wilderness enclave. So I guess it will be a surprise to hear me say: I’m glad my neighbor’s cat died!

My neighbors are hoarders. Such a curse is complicated by country living. An unfathomable array of rotting treasures and junk-filled vehicles can be spread out over rustic acres, camouflaging the extent of this affliction. It’s pathetic to see termite-infested scrap wood and logs stacked along outer walls for years, when their stone-crafted fireplace is buried deep with overstuffed containers of never-worn clothing and accoutrements of pipedream hobbies.

When I moved to my cabin seven years ago, I was unable to unpack due to a painful disability, so my boxes were stacked around the place for quite a while. I used to say (jokingly): It’s good to live by hoarders, because then my place doesn’t look so bad!

In an early conversation, getting to know my neighbors, Doofus said to me (jokingly): My old lady and I sat in the hot tub last evening watching rats climb along that oak limb (as he points upwards) . . . they must’ve been ditching our place and relocating to your roof!

There’s always truth in joking. I went through a case of rat bait, the first year I lived here. Finally I got the rats cleared out and my boxes unpacked.

In time, my neighbors gave me a key to their place so I could care for their three “inside” cats whenever they spent long weekends away. Since I use crutches, this was a hardship. I had to leave walking aids at the front door, with movement only possible along narrow aisles of cleared space. I didn’t dare steady myself by touching dusty leaning towers of mysterious rubbish.

One of these weekends was spent nursing a flea-infested cat that died on my watch. On a different cat-care weekend, I unlocked the front door and opened it up to a big dead rat in the foyer. At this point, I unceremoniously tossed the rodent carcass into their mossy and leaf-loaded pool. I guess I’d stopped respecting their space, with no evidence of their own respect.

Every time I was summoned for cat sitting, kitchen counters and sinks were obscured by stacks of dirty dishes. I held my breath against the stench of rotting food whenever I needed to store a partial can of cat food in the refrigerator. A stunning wilderness view was blocked, impossible to gaze out floor-to-vaulted-ceiling windows covering an entire wall of their crammed living room.

Over these recent holidays, I cared for their last living cat. I narrowly side-stepped several puke piles in the dimly-lit corridors of castoffs as I made my way to their dining table, where cat supplies were arranged around a dirty bowl surrounded by half-eaten dried chunks. A cheerful handwritten note of thanks was accompanied by a jar of honey from their beehives.

The other morning I was out walking my dogs and I met up with these neighbors. As I stood listening to their tearful tale of kidney failure, I faked the appropriate sympathy sounds. But as soon as I was alone, I let out a celebratory yelp that echoed off the rocky ravine: I’m so glad my neighbor’s last cat just died!




© 2018 barleygirl



Author's Note

barleygirl
Who needs fiction when real life serves up such tales?

My Review

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Featured Review

This is a horrific story presented with compassionate and heart-breaking words. Your writing style is genuine, honest and superbly detailed and keeps the reader’s interest from start to end. I have seen hoarders on tv but you bring this ‘disease’ to putrid, selfish life. Dangerous for you and yet you braved it to provide care to the poor cats. You are so hands-on wonderful Margie, but give those neighbors their dirty keys back and stay away from their hell-hole!!:):):)







Posted 4 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

3 Weeks Ago

I used to be afraid I'd track home vermin to my own home & pets! So glad they aren't going to be get.. read more
Annette Pisano Higley

3 Weeks Ago

I and the cats thank you for your generous heart my friend. You are a giver and may God always bless.. read more



Reviews

Oh' my Margie, what a tale you tell & every word of it true. I could read ya forever. You are nothing short of a hero in my book & deserve a decent break........N

Posted 3 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

3 Weeks Ago

Thank you for understanding my distaste for clutter & rank living conditions! My dad was a hoarder, .. read more
Neighbors, cats, dogs, hoarders and wilderness and the sights and smells of it all in an adventerous type story and straightforward honesty. You are great.

Posted 3 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

3 Weeks Ago

Thank you for appreciating my country hick point of view! *smile* Love your new profile picture (((H.. read more
Sami Khalil

3 Weeks Ago

Glad you do. You are welcome.
I don't have a whole lot of insight to give but just wanted to stop by and say of this writing... I like your style!

Posted 3 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

3 Weeks Ago

I have a million of these stories, so hopefully our writing acquaintance will continue for a long ti.. read more
A interesting tale my friend. I would like where your live. Seem far-away from the city and busy life. I liked how you described unpacking and the cats. Always a pleasure to read your entertaining stories.
Coyote

Posted 3 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

3 Weeks Ago

Thank you for stopping by to share my simple little life! *smile* (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie
You're a compassionate soul, Margie, and a friend to animal kind. I'm certain most will see the humanity and mercy in your story, and so much better with the slightly twisted humor. It's good to read some different on here this morning. Thanks for sharing this story with us.

Posted 3 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

3 Weeks Ago

Thank you for your very interesting comments . . . sometimes I have no idea how such a story will co.. read more
Robert Ray

3 Weeks Ago

I understand. And, I'm sure you read my comments and ask "how did he come up with that???" Happy S.. read more
Ms Barleygirl..you are a Saint .. a genuine capital S Saint says i... Norma watches the TV show "Hoarders" and i dutifully watch along with her at times ..it is not something rational minds can grasp ..it is some alien form of harassment to all the "other" neighbors ... at least your loving hand graced those cats if only for the moments you were there ... can not help but appreciate your exasperated sarcastic humor in " I’m so glad my neighbor’s last cat just died!" :}
E.



Posted 3 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Einstein Noodle

3 Weeks Ago

i petted an armadillo today :))))) it was ambulating across our drive and front "yard". (we really d.. read more
barleygirl

3 Weeks Ago

This is an awesome share! I didn't know armadillos were so approachable! Now I want to write a poem .. read more
Einstein Noodle

3 Weeks Ago

they are so curious ... i intend to google for more info on them .. not sure what senses they have t.. read more
Your neighbors sound almost exactly like mine. They're massive hoarders; their property is covered in rust-stained vehicles and rundown structures and piles of scrap and metal. And they have a herd of wild cats, none of which are properly cared for. The people allow the cats to breed uncontrollably and don't care for the offspring. So many of those cat have skin conditions or permanent bodily injuries. It always makes me sad when I see a dead cat on the side of the road (knowing it's probably one of theirs), but I know that at least the furry creature isn't in pain anymore. I can see why you would be happy for the death of your neighbor's cat, for a number of reasons.

Posted 4 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

3 Weeks Ago

I was surprised by Sam's comment: "at least they don't hoard cats!" -- True! They did take their cat.. read more
These people sound unbelievable. During my brief spell of working as a welfare officer, I had to go into some vile homes, but none that could equal what you have described. The worst was with a house of about 15 cats and droppings all over the carpet. The worst part was the smell. It seemed to stay in my nose for hours afterwards.

However, back to my reaction to your story.
From the tone of your opening line the tension started to build and I was sure that some violence was going to emerge.
A perfect "shaggy dog" story, emerging from this cat alogue of accumulated rubbish.** wink**.
Pathos with humour. The perfect formula for a short story. Loved it!

(((Hugs))) N.




Posted 4 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

3 Weeks Ago

Many times in life, I put up with really gross stuff, but I don't realize how much I hated it, until.. read more
I am glad I don't live next door to Mr&Mrs Doofus. If I did I would be telling them constantly that their living conditions are unfit for their cats( I just can't stand people not doing right by their pets).I think their cats found their freedom only through death. What a colorful story! How are Paloma and Lola doing?- um beijo

Posted 4 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

3 Weeks Ago

I'm glad I never brought home any fleas or other afflictions to my own pets! I'm also glad they don'.. read more
Mrudula Rani

3 Weeks Ago

Your furry friends know you don't mind sharing the quilt. Finally it is raining here. I think I need.. read more
Margie i love this love your honesty and humerous tale telling. We know its real life, no bull... its true to you and your life. I like to write true as well.
Only a few of my poems are fiction, they are usually the romantic ones lol
Love your style gal xx

Posted 4 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

3 Weeks Ago

Thanks so much for your enthusiasm, despite the dreary subject matter. I know it's "icky" to most pe.. read more

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Added on January 25, 2018
Last Updated on January 25, 2018

Author

barleygirl
barleygirl

Central Coast, CA



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Just loving life & sharing my blessings. more..

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