Winter has officially come to our household. Spike the deaf white kitty has moved back indoors.
What difference a week and 1,038.72 miles makes. There I was happily tossing chocolate covered graham crackers to an alligator and this morning I am wondering whether I should have started the snow blower up last weekend just to be sure it would grumble to life this year.
Lili our seven month Pap pup didn’t quite know what to think about the white stuff sprinkled across the lawn – but acclimated to it fairly quickly – barking at the kids walking past our house to the bus stop took priority over the snow underfoot.
Now Spike has seen this pattern for almost a decade and he knows that when the snow flies it is time to hunker down next to the window and wait for Spring. In fact December is his birthday month – and if he recalls he was born outside in our garage to a neighborhood stray along with his sister Buffy (who is decidedly an indoor housecat) and his brother Oreo who moved in with my sister and subsequently disappeared. The trio’s mom had moved into our garage which was left open by construction workers who were putting an addition on our house unbeknownst to us.
Buffy was the first to be discovered. She was a tiny little ball of fuzz crying, crying, crying, out in our dark cold backyard. Her little eyes were swollen shut from infection and her whole body was shivering. I scooped her up and took her to my sister’s, the veterinarian, house where she got pumped full of antibiotics and food.
A week or so later my son Max and his friend Andy heard some mewing from the garage. Andy, who has since become a chef, had attempted to pick up Spike, the source of this meowing. Spike hissed at the cat loving cook who then backed off in fear of the little six ounce ball of terror.
The two ran into the house and told me about the second cat just found in the garage and of its ferocious disposition making it impossible to retrieve. Of course I questioned their manhood and went out there to show them how to deal with a feral kitten.
I found baby Spike and scooped him up, chiding Andy for being such a wimpy kid that he was afraid of this teeny tiny little feline. This is when Spike sunk his teeny tiny little fangs into the ball of my hand. He didn’t just bite and let go – he dug in, shaking his head like a pit-bull putting the finishing touches on a punctured football. Blood was streaming down my arm like a prom queen in a Steven King novel while I continued to tell Andy and Max what poor examples they were of their gender. So, Spike was taken to my sister’s as well and the next day Oreo was found and all three kittens received shots, spaying and neutering.
Now Buffy lives in the house where she has grown big and fat and Spike is the neighborhood tomcat – killing moles and baby birds while spending his time more with the elderly couple next door than with his real family here. Spike acts as if he doesn’t know us most of the time – but will rub up against the leg of the old man while he works on cars in his garage and can often bee seen sporting long grease streaks on his head or tail. I don’t know if it’s just an affinity for garage living brought on by birthright or if he remembers me as tasting bad but it seems all we are good for to him is soft food in the morning, first aid when he has been in a fight and a warm place to sleep in the winter.
So like some hobo hopping a train to Florida in November – Uncle Spike has moved back into the house. Yep, Winter is here.