Kittens and Karma

We are in the midst of a move. After three years at our current complex, Marquis at the Cascades decided they are over capacity on their Asian population and we had to go. No, we're not getting evicted, they just made every attempt to make sure they could tell us we really should be pursuing other options. The good news is our new residence is an actual house with a yard. The bad news is we have to fucking pack. It almost makes the good news completely irrelevant and meaningless. I mean, it's terrible news. When people commit crimes, they are sent to prison. I think we're doing this all wrong. Why should someone be able to have a roof over their heads, three square meals a day, and a chance to learn automotive maintenance when what they should be doing as punishment is helping people like us pack? Packing is different from moving. Moving is bearable. Ok, it really isn't, but it's a shit ton better than packing! All that happens in packing is this weird scientific paradox -- How does a bathroom produce 31 boxes? Boxes that will be lying around everywhere. Packing means saying goodbye to one of your toenails, because it's a guarantee you're stubbing your foot on one of those boxes jumping out at you in the hallway and assaulting you. Packing makes you look at tape with a whole new level of hatred.

In the midst of the move, we had our garage door open for several hours at a time. Because the fine folks at Marquis at the Cascades refuse to spay stray animals, we have seen an exponential explosion in the cat population. There are more cats here than at the 1983 Tony awards. It's that bad! I came home tonight, pulled the car into the garage, and I noticed a frantic cat stuck in between the blinds of the window. A Texas garage gets hotter than a Death Valley BBQ. I was instantly concerned about the welfare of the cat. Instead of trying to get it out immediately, I wanted to make sure that it was in good enough condition to escape. So, I ran upstairs, opened up a can of tuna, and got a bowl of water to give the cat some relief. The cat took this opportunity to escape out of the blinds and run straight into the back of the garage where the water heater is buried beneath two kayaks, luggage, some crap cookware that allegedly is collectible and has never been opened, and an assload of dust and spiderwebs. Why are garages so disgusting? My goal in life is to one day have a garage I want to actually spend some time with instead of all the garages I've had in my life where I'm convinced that it's the beginning of a B movie horror flick.

It's around this time that the Sane One comes home, and now we're both in the midst of trying to get this damn cat out of our garage. In case you didn't pick up on this earlier, we're moving. This is taking away from valuable packing time. Plus, I have seven classes I'm taking during the summer session. I have more projects due than an MIT science fair. Rooting out a cat is not an ideal way to spend precious hours that we don't have to waste. But there is no way in hell we're going to allow an animal to suffer and, worst case scenario, die in our garage. So, we go about trying to free this damn cat. An hour later, it scratches my arms as I'm trying to pick it up and shoots out of the garage. Hooray, mission accomplished! Or so we thought....

The next three to four hours were spent playing a new game my wife likes to call, "Did you hear that noise?" This is followed up with the activity of forcing me to get up from the table where I am doing schoolwork and standing next to her, so I can hear absolutely nothing. "Well, it stopped making the noise," she said about 47 times. We went down to the garage multiple times, because she was convinced there was another cat in the garage. I thought about finally just agreeing with her that I did hear a noise just so I wouldn't have to get up again, but then I actually legitimately did hear a faint meowing. So, off to the garage AGAIN to investigate. Sure enough, there was tiny little kitten scared out of its mind and hiding in a tiny space behind an extra sofa where only a cat could be found. That's right, the absolute most difficult place to be, requiring the removal of EVERYTHING to get to it. I swear, a dog would be sitting right out in the open and wagging its tail. A cat tries to get into pipes. This is why if given a choice between a dog and a cat, always go for the dog. It requires moving less stuff to get to it. We clear a nice escape route for the kitten, and it finally darts out in the same direction as the first cat, probably a feline version of a dive bar where they can crack open a cold bottle of milk, sit on a stool, and make up stories about how much danger they were in.

Our good deeds were done for the day. No animals were harmed in the writing of this story. They are free to roam around the property pissing off as many dogs as they want. They really are extraordinarily lucky that they didn't die in the heat. It was 96 degrees today. Our garage was hotter than Satan's asshole after a chili eating contest. If my wife hadn't heard the kitten and relentlessly pursued investigating where it could be, I'm certain it would have died. Thankfully, it's a happy ending to the story. This got me thinking to my situation. In many ways, I was like those two cats stuck in our garage. In a bad spot, scared out of my mind, and definitely in a place I shouldn't be. My parents were the ones who moved things around, persisted in being there, and coaxed me to come out. And yes, I shot out of the garage just like those cats. I ran away from home multiple times as a kid. Remind me to share with you guys the first time I ran away and what a third-grade nerd's definition of "bare essentials" means. My outcome could have been just as tragic as those cats, potentially, in our garage tonight. If it wasn't because of the tenacity of my parents.

We like to dwell on the bad things in our lives. It's human nature to do so. A KAD's favorite hobby is to bitch and moan about how sad, or messed up their childhood was. I think many of us like to take more credit than we deserve about overcoming our obstacles. It's like those two cats sitting at the bar tonight talking about how they made it out of the garage. They didn't make it out of the garage. They had a determined and motivated woman who nagged the shit out of her husband to clear a pathway out of the garage. Yes, they are the ones who skedaddled out, but we were the ones who were sweating our balls off moving boxes, dragging kayaks out of the way, pushing a sofa clear of the wall. All to create an escape route that they utilized. Many of the KADS that chafe the most are the most fortunate of us all, in my opinion. They are happily married. They have beautiful children. They are able to bitch on Facebook pretty often, which means they have a roof over their heads, a computer, and they clearly don't have Suddenlink, because they are able to get online. Life is pretty good. And, I believe that maybe they deserve this happiness more so than others due to the challenges of their lives. But, we gotta give credit where credit is due. That amazing life was probably a result of a lot of sweat, effort, swearing, and wife nagging that we weren't aware enough to understand.

I'm glad that I lost several hours tonight freeing cats from our garage. All the sweat and time and nagging was worth it. I knew it would be because the outcome would be so rewarding. Freedom for innocent animals who shouldn't die in suffocating heat. We as adoptees were worth it. Freedom for innocent children who didn't deserve to be abandoned. Our parents were the ones who were committed enough and believed in our worth. And that, surely is worth more credit than many of us give them. You know what the difference is between those two cats and me? Besides my ability to move boxes? They can't say thank you. But, I sure as hell can. So, thank you, Mom and Dad, for your garage antics in raising me. And thanks for not neutering me, too.

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