Friday, April 11, 2008

Fast Like a Kink on a Cardinal

“Leapin’ lizards!”

That was Little Orphan Annie’s expression of surprise, and she was surprised often. I enjoyed reading about Annie’s adventures in the comics as a kid. Great stuff.

Today, leapin’ lizards has a more literal meaning as Kink the Cat has become an expert lizard hunter and, oh, so proud of his trophies. You probably know where this is heading.

But, going back a year when Kink was just a kitten, he was extremely playful and loved to bring you his toys: a bit of string, a piece of paper, eye of newt, toe of frog, wool of bat; that sort of thing.

One of Kink’s favorite toys to this day is the little plastic ring that’s left on a half-gallon of milk after you twist off the cap. He loves those rings and will carry them around the house for days. He also likes to hop up on the bed at the crack of dawn with one of his toys and play with it on your pillow around your head. You can buy yourself another 30 seconds of slumber by tossing his toy across the room or down the hall. That usually distracts him for a while.

Let’s see, how many things have I tossed off the bed while half asleep?

Milk jug rings
Wads of paper
Christmas present bows
Hair bands
Catnip mouse toy
Large cockroach
Real mouse

I say “lizards,” plural, because lizards have become the toy de jour, and take it from me, I’m the one who’s doing the leaping.

Nothing gets the heart pumping in the morning faster than grabbing something dropped on your ear only to have it grab back. If Kink ever joins the Navy he’ll already have the vocabulary.

This morning, though, I would have taken a weeks worth of lizards rather than Kink’s latest conquest.

This morning started out as most mornings. Birds chirping at 5:30. Barky dogs barking at 6:00. Golf course crew terraforming the planet outside my bedroom window at 6:30. Kink coming through the cat door (flip flap) at 7:00, probably with another lizard.

This morning the bird chirping was quite loud, like, in the same room loud. And there was the flapping like a bird was right there on your ear. Flapping. Chirping.

I rolled over, opened my eyes and came face to beak with a very unhappy, and somewhat worse-for-the-wear looking, cardinal.

I flew out of bed! (which surprised the cardinal considerably) The cardinal flew out of bed! Kink sat on the floor watching all the flying with great interest.

The cardinal darted here and there, flapping and shrieking the “I’m in a room with a cat!” shriek. I had to catch the bird and get it out of the house. But how?

I needed a net! Yeah, that’s what I needed. A net. I could catch the bird with the net and take it outside. But, I don’t have a net. No matter. I raced to the garage and looked around for something to catch the bird.

I began to have desperate, crazy thoughts.

Lawnmower. No.

Chainsaw. No.

Tent drying out from the weekend. No

And, then, there it was, the pool skimmer net.

Pool skimmer. YES!

Attached to a 10-foot pole.

Rats! I couldn’t wield a net on a 10-foot pole. I just needed the net, but it was screwed on tight. I searched my toolbox for a wrench and finally found a monkey wrench, although very large, would do the job.

Finally, net in hand I raced back to the bedroom...

...but it was too late.

I thought I had been fast in the garage getting the net, no more than 20 minutes, but Kink was faster. Darned giant monkey wrench.

The cardinal was an ex-cardinal. Kink trotted into the kitchen for breakfast while I surveyed the crime scene. I had no idea a cardinal had so many feathers.

I took the victim out back, buried it in a shallow grave in the garden and returned to the kitchen to get the morning coffee going. I made a double batch because I had some unexpected housework to attend to.

Thanks, Kink. Never a dull moment with you around, old buddy.

Kink, looking out the window, spied a lizard running across the deck and ran to the cat door. (flip flap)


Quasi said...

Wow. Kink is a mighty hunter! I've tried to catch lizards before, but their damn tails just pop right off and they get away. Anyway, I’d like to tell you that I’ve written a scathingly funny book, The World Is Your Litter Box, which will be out May 6th. The book is cleverly disguised as a cute cat book so humans will buy it, but is, in fact, a how-to manual FOR cats. Check it out on my website,

Former Novice Alaskan said...

You know....I always wanted a doggie door...until NOW

Anonymous said...

I think my skin will be crawling for the next hour after reading that post.

Had one of my labs pulled that stunt, you would have heard my screams all the way to Texas.

Foo said...

Oh yikes, Bill. I'm suddenly very, very glad that our two kitties don't have a cat flap and only sit on the window sills chittering at the birds.

Anonymous said...

Jeez, I thought these sorts of things only occurred in my household...glad I'm not alone.

Jodie said...

Dear Bill,
I miss your humor when you don't post daily. PLEASE post more often.

Anonymous said...

I still can't get over the fact that your kitty is named Kink, because it reminds me of a friend's cat named Kinky.

This friend is gender queer, polyamorous, and into S&M.

So I guess you can imagine what I think of when I see the name "Kink."

Bonnie said...

You have a BAD (ass) CAT!

Found you through Dooce - bought the book btw.

Always fun to read a local blog!

Bonnie (in Houston)