The Real Boss

Moose Jaw - - Front Page -

I am no dif­fer­ent than most peo­ple who con­sider them­selves to be the “head” of the house­hold. As the “head,” there are al­ways con­di­tions that af­fect that hon­orary ti­tle. I say hon­orary ti­tle be­cause my eyes have re­cently been opened to the fact that while I may be the head of the house­hold, I am not the boss. I can ac­cept not be­ing the boss, be­cause, if I’m not the boss, my lovely bride Mrs. B is…right? Wrong! A re­cent po­lit­i­cal up­ris­ing has occurred in our house­hold and nei­ther Mrs. B nor my­self is in the po­si­tion of boss. In our house­hold hi­er­ar­chy, our sta­tus is just barely above that of Tim­ber the Won­der Dog or the gold­fish. Our sta­tus change is the re­sult of adding a cute lit­tle kit­ten to our happy home. Guess who our new boss is? Miss Ella joined our fam­ily a few months ago as a ro­dent con­trol spe­cial­ist and has per­formed her du­ties with a de­gree of ef­fi­ciency that is brag wor­thy. Af­ter a spring and sum­mer of me try­ing to con­trol a herd of mice by trap­ping and bait­ing, we adopted a 12 week old tabby from the farm. Within a few days of her ar­rival, she had caught her first mouse and did all the right things with the pesky crit­ter. Things like toss­ing it in the air and catching it, then play­ing the old cat mouse favourite of catch and release, all while the help­less ro­dent squeaked in terror much to Miss Ella’s de­light…and mine! I knew then we had made a smart de­ci­sion. We ap­par­ently have not had a mouse in the house since. Miss Ella seemed to know that her po­si­tion of ro­dent con­trol spe­cial­ist is an im­por­tant one; in the next few weeks, she went from be­ing the cute af­fec­tion­ate lit­tle kitty to be­ing a cute af­fec­tion­ate lit­tle kitty preda­tor. The se­cret of her suc­cess is train­ing. For a few weeks in the be­gin­ning of our re­la­tion­ship, Miss Ella did her train­ing in the mid­dle of the night by at­tack­ing and try­ing to kill any toes that dared move un­der the blan­kets. Tim­ber the Won­der Dog suf­fered from th­ese mid­night at­tacks, as well, when the killer kit­ten would at­tack and try to slay his big fluffy tail. In a way, I got some work­outs dur­ing those mid­night romps be­cause I would get up and ei­ther try and catch the fe­line as­sas­sin or herd her out the door. Not be­ing very suc­cess­ful at those at­tempts, I did get some ex­er­cise stand­ing, half asleep, in the hall in my tighty-whiteys try­ing to lure a wide awake killer kit­ten out of the bed­room with a sparkly stuffed cat toy on a string. If only the fish in Liars Lake would take the bait like Miss Ella goes for a stuffed toy on a string. Af­ter a few weeks, we did get Miss Ella to ad­just her sched­ule to be closer to ours. There was a cost, though, and that was a few hours of play be­fore bed time. Play time means toy time and a bright and ac­tive kit­ten needs a va­ri­ety of toys that will sparkle, tin­kle, roll and if pos­si­ble, do all of the above while be­ing stuffed/laced with cat­nip. We may have a “user” on our hands be­cause Miss Ella “killed’ and then dis­mem­bered her fa­vorite stuffed mouse and then ate and rolled in the stuff­ing of cat­nip. Her re­ac­tion to cat­nip was mostly pre­dictable as she drooled a bit in the be­gin­ning and then she smiled like the Cheshire cat for a few min­utes, but when she be­gan to speak in tongues we de­cided to limit her use of the cat­nip herb. It is just a good thing we never caught her smok­ing the stuff be­cause I do not know if we could af­ford a re­cov­ery pro­gram. Once we got Miss Ella off the herb, we had her fixed …and I never even knew she was bro­ken!!! Rim Shot!! It is an old joke, but Miss Ella seemed to calm down from su­per­sonic light speed to just light speed af­ter her spay­ing op­er­a­tion but she tried to make us feel guilty about her in­con­ve­nience. She would lay in front of the TV and lick her nicely heal­ing shaved belly as if to say, “Look at what YOU did to me! Meeouch!” but she would be so sar­cas­tic in her tone! We are ad­just­ing to our new fam­ily mem­ber and she is al­low­ing us to play with her, feed her, wa­ter her and clean her litter box in re­turn for crit­ter con­trol… and for be­ing the boss! So far it is a good trade…no mice!

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