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?

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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

4 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

4 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

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

4 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

4 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
I don't blame you for feeling that way. And hoarding--ugh! My wife is one of those and I just hate it. At least your neighbors didn't hoard cats, too.

Posted 4 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

4 Weeks Ago

I'm sorry to hear of your hoarding experience . . . my dad was also a country hoarder & I often snuc.. 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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