Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Baby Kitler. 
Wiry hair, reichsctache, healing mange and fear.
My cat Kitler has terrible luck. He was born under a dumpster. He contracted mange, was missed during the trapping of his siblings and left to fend for himself for about 7 days. Alone while encrusted in mud and dumpster drippings, I finally nabbed him in a trap and forced him into the easy life of a housecat.

He also has a penchant for falling out of windows. This cat loves cat TV (also known as a window) and when he lays in a window, he fully commits. Kitler sprawls and luxuriates to the point that he has now popped two window screens out and fallen out of two first floor windows.

Thus began meowschpringe.

The first meowschpringe occurred while I was living in Zephyrhills. While living in the house I call Angel Blue, in the pretty adorable downtown area, Kitler dislodged a 1940s screen panel and tumbled outside. The drop was about 5 feet and no doubt he landed on his feet. What followed was three weeks of him creeping around, never actually leaving the property, yet hiding in terror because the world is big. He was sighted almost daily and after a few weeks he just walked back into the house because kibble in the bowl and a couch beats the hell out of Florida in the rainy season.

After that, Kitler was a good deal more appreciative and seemed to love life on the inside.

Then we moved to the Pitch Pine Condo. Apparently the 1980's window screens had lost a bit of tension, so in the middle of the night, Kit fell out of another window. This time I was worried. We were no longer living in Angel Blue, surrounded by fenced yards and unbusy streets, we were living in an urban area with a major street a few hundred yards away.

Kitler, again, was terrified of the gigantic world and wouldn't come home when called, even though he really seemed to want to come home. Meowschpringe II was much more brief, as I was very, very worried. There was a nearby colony of feral cats, all of whom could give Kitler a beat down. With treats and soft words, I coaxed him out from under a bridge over a small pond. Yes, Kitler had resorted to life as a bridge troll.

Look how close I am. Haha. Nope, won't come in.

I saw him and his Reichstache nightly, but he just wouldn't come close enough to catch and every attempt to trap just trapped another colony cat. He hung out tantalizingly close, often visible from my back door. It was exhausting and infuriating. I just couldn't catch the damned cat. Walking around the neighborhood, shaking a bag of treats while calling his name... the neighbors were amused.

So, I built a better trap. It was a ridiculous idea that involved stinky wet cat food, cat treats, a ruler with string tied to it, and a door propped open with said ruler.

I sat on the other side of the sliding glass door, thinking myself an idiot. I was holding a string that traveled through a slight opening in the sliding glass door and connected to a ruler that propped open the screen door on the porch. No way this could work, right? Wyle E Coyote never wins. In short, I felt like a very hopeful fool. And then the damned cat started walking straight into my ridiculous trap.

No way! It's working.

Yank string. Door bangs. Cat trapped.

Well, meowschpringe II ended with a bath, a flea treatment and a lot of forcible lovings. Within 24 hours Kitler was cuddled up in bed with me, offering up his cottony soft belly for petting.

The hope is that we can skip meowschpringe III.

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