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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write in the HUMOR genre (04/12/07)

TITLE: Cat-a-tonic
By Terry R A Eissfeldt


“Mom,” my daughter’s voice hummed across the phone line, “ can Ceaser come live with you while I’m in England?”

“But…but… Jill,” I stuttered, “you’re going to be gone for 2 years.” I laughed nervously. I didn’t want Jill to hear horror trying to creep into my voice. Her cat was psychotic.

“Two years at the most, Mom.” I could hear the determination in her voice. “You have 15 acres and a lot of other animals. It’s not like he’s a problem or anything.”

Not a problem? Who was she trying to kid? My 8 year old cat, Peanut, wasn’t a problem. He lived outside, caught mice and moles and purred as I pet him each morning when I fed the horses. Ceaser, on the other hand, dismantled Christmas trees faster than the Grinch, shred furniture with the speed of light, and jumped on top of unsuspecting sleeping victims with morbid delight. He was definitely a problem but, being a supportive parent, I agreed to take custody of the frenzied feline.

“What do you mean Ceaser is coming to live here?” My husband didn’t even try to hide the horror in his voice. “He’s a monster! He’ll destroy the place.”

“Now, Tom,” I put on my calm-in-the-face-of-the-storm voice, “he’s not that bad.”

“Not that bad? You saw the state of the apartment.” He shuddered then added, “And what about the stories from Jill’s roommates? Ceaser is Jack the Ripper of the animal world.”

“Tom, be reasonable,” I pleaded. “The guys in the apartments were mean to Ceaser. Maybe we can help him become a good cat, like Peanut.” I smiled sweetly at my husband, “Let’s just do it for Jill.”

“Well, okay. I’ll agree, but only for Jill.” He pointed his finger at me, “This cat is on a short leash. If he messes up he’ll wish Jill never rescued him from being duck taped to the wall.” He turned and walked to the door.

“Where are you going?” I enquired.

“To see how much duck tape I have.”

Two weeks later we bid goodbye to Jill and picked Ceaser up. He howled like a condemned prisoner all the way home. He was in a dog crate. I’m sure he was incensed by the constraint and the smell. He had no idea what awaited him.

I had assured Jill that I wouldn’t let the cat out for a few days and even though we patiently listened to all of her instructions, we had our own agenda. It included a water bottle.

Those first few days were helter-skelter. We locked him in the bathroom each night just to contain him. The shower curtain didn’t survive the first fifteen minutes. During the day I followed him around with the primed and loaded water bottle. He got squirted for jumping on the table, the counter, climbing my curtains and leg, trying to eat the fish and shred the back of my new tapestry wing chair. It was a duel to the death. Whose will would be broken first?

Half way through the third day, the third day of accomplishing nothing other than cleaning up after the cat, (I must admit my floors were never washed that much before or since) I came to the breaking point. I had just squirted him for trying to use my couch as a scratching post. He didn’t react but instead merely looked at me as if to say, “Is that all you got?” I calmly put the water bottle down, picked him up and put him out the front door.

“Ha! Take that, Ceaser! You are banished!” I gave a victory dance around the house.

When my husband came home from work, he looked around the living room, found me lying on the couch and asked, “Where’s the cat?”

“Outside,” I replied smugly. “I am woman. I will not be bested by a cat. I’ve got him right where I want him. He fears and respects me now.”

Later that night Ceaser came in and I thought I noticed a new smugness about him. I didn’t understand. Did we both win?

The next morning during breakfast, Ceaser sauntered over to the couch. I thought I noticed him look over his shoulder as I picked up the water bottle. Before I could squeeze the trigger he ran to the front door. I opened it for him. He swaggered out.

“Yep,” Tom snickered, “I can see you’ve got him right where you want him.”

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This article has been read 1068 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Rita Garcia04/19/07
Cats are clever little furry delights! Purrfect ending to a purrfect story! LOL
Monica Raye Daly04/19/07
Love the story,I never had a cat from hell, But in my home a pack of ferrets would wear him out, Good writing.
James Wood04/19/07
Very well written. You convey the psychology of cat and cat owner excellently.
julie wood04/20/07
I loved this story! All the characters--including Ceasar--came alive with the colorful descriptions and dialogue.

I could relate to this as we have three cats all with highly individual personalities (one is pretty feisty and two used to leap into our Christmas tree). And when we tried to squirt one of them with a water bottle, she would lick the water off her fur with obvious pleasure!
Julie Arduini04/20/07
Great title, action and dialogue. I loved the line about not being bested by a cat, fear and respect. classic!
Sara Harricharan 04/20/07
Very interesting! I love cats and Ceasar sounds a tiny bit like Snowflake-who begs to come in by scratching nonstop on the door and then wandering around like crazy and kicking up a racket until I let her out the front door, which is all she usually wants. ^_^ Very good descriptions and realistic dialouge.
Verna Cole Mitchell 04/20/07
A delightful entry! I loved the contest and knew who would win!
Lynda Schultz 04/21/07
Dogs have owners, cats have staff. How true! Great work.
Ed VanDeMark04/22/07
You might want to consider writing this story for Chicken Soup for the Cat Lovers Soul (www.chickensoupforthe soul.com) They print humor. My wife agreed to cat sit her friend's cat. Had Maggie and Ceasar gotten together they would have been the Bonnie and Clyde of the cat world. When Maggie was punished she pooped on the kitchen table. She didn't last long in our otherwise Christian home. Her owner recognized the peril her cat was in and made an almost instant rescue. Maggie strutted in defiance the instant Linda's friend walked thru the door.
Jacquelyn Horne04/23/07
Good story. I've never tried to train a cat. But, I agree, "outside with you!" I'm wondering what's going to happen the next 23&1/2 months? The husband is no help.
Elizabeth Baize04/26/07
I really enjoyed this piece as I was judging. You did a exceptional job of crafting the entry, not to mention that that you have a great story. I read it aloud to my mom, and the expressive words made the story come alive to her. Blessings,