Laverne, Part Deux

If Laverne the Cat were a bird …

Ah, Laverne the Cat … you little minx, you small screaming thing, you …. you ….

To continue with the story of what we are now calling the Year of the Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Cat, perhaps I should provide a recap:

About a year ago, because of the more-than unfavorable real estate climate in Phoenix, Dan and I inadvertently, unexpectedly and much to our displeasure became the owners of two homes — one of which is totally so underwater, we need to put on scuba gear to just drive down its street.  We call it the cutsey house, not because it’s small (it is), but rather, because it’s just a cute little house with a teensy swimming pool in the back yard and a darling little floor plan in a nice little neighborhood.  Rather than referring to it as the “little house” which doesn’t accurately describe its redeeming qualities, we call it the “cutsey house.”

Since we can’t possibly sell the cutsey house, we decided to rent it — at a HUGE monthly loss, I might add — and voila! we became instant landlords with a very nice female tenant and her teenage daughter.  Eight months into our new tenant’s lease, she lost her job and could no longer pay rent.  Kindly, we let her slide for a couple of months while she found another place to live.  A couple of days after she moved out, Dan went over to start the clean-up and painting to spruce it up and restore the house to its original cutseyness.

That’s when we found Laverne.  Inside the house.  Without food.  Without water.  Without her dignity in a very dirty litterbox.

What could we do?  Poor Laverne was such a pitiful sight to behold.  Of course, we ran out and bought a cat carrier, food, fresh litter and, bribing Scarlett the Retriever and Wilson the Labradoodle to be extra nice, we took in Laverne the Cat.

She took one look at the two dogs and, acting very much like the little red bird in the above picture, loudly hissed her total displeasure into their startled faces.   She then took over the entire upstairs and marked her new territory by vomiting a HUGE hairball smack in the middle of the guest bed.  Hairballs soon became a daily occurrence.  Under the bed.  On my special cowhide rug.  On the WHITE couch.  At the top of the landing.  Everywhere!  The Hurt Locker could have been filmed in our upstairs and no one would have noticed the difference.  Hairball IEDs were a clear danger — everywhere.

Then, there was Laverne’s propensity for BITING.  Twice a day, I ventured upstairs to clean the litterbox, make certain her food and water bowls were always freshly filled  … but not before donning some serious protective gear.  She was sweet as pie while I tended to her bowls and tidied her space …  cleaned up her ubiquitous hairballs.  But the moment I was done, she would rush me — teeth bared, leaping, clutching, grabbing, BITING.  Medic!  Medic!

So, here we are today.  Yesterday, Laverne was taken in by a lovely woman who just LOVES cats.  I told her that Laverne bites and the woman merely smiled that her two other cats would take care of that.  Not a problem.  This morning — for the first time in quite a while — my body is unmarked from a fresh bite.  In spite of my guilt for giving Laverne away, I slept well and drank my morning coffee in peace.  I removed all traces of ever having a cat and was able to feel good that Laverne has the chance for companionship and comfort in her new home.

Of course, I called Laverne’s new owner this morning to see how she was getting on.  She’s doing well, the woman said, although the other cats are terrified of her … but boy, no wonder she was grumpy — she coughed up a HUGE hairball.

Perhaps I should offer to give this kind woman my protective gear?

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