My Third Child

 Posted by on August 8, 2008  Add comments  Tagged with: ,
Aug 082008

I know you all think that I have only two children, but I actually have three.

Well, four if you count my husband, but that’s a whole other blog post.

Meet Pumpkin, my third child:

Wait! Before you call the loony bin and have me hauled away, please understand that I do realize that Pumpkin is, in fact, a cat.

Whew! You were thinking that maybe I’ve been putting a little too much rum in my morning Diet Coke huh?

Seriously though, I refer to Pumpkin as the third child, because he has so much in common with my children:

1) He makes a mess. He tracks cat litter all over the basement carpet, leaves nose print snot marks all over my windows, spills more cat food on the floor than he gets in his mouth, and don’t even get me started on the thick orange carpet of hair on all of my furniture.

2) He’s very pester-some (I’m pretty sure I just made that word up). Every time I try to sit at the computer, he jumps up and parks himself on my chair, so that I must pick him up and lavish him with attention before I can sit down. If my husband ignores him for too long, he leaps up onto his shoulders and perches there. My husband is then forced to pay attention to him, because how can you ignore a 13-pound cat who is sitting on your shoulders?

3) He often stinks. Like Cakes, Pumpkin frequently smells like poop (or butt, as Bee likes to point out). Clearly, he doesn’t get himself clean after he uses the litter box, which ASTOUNDS me, because he seems to spend hours upon hours licking himself. By the way, he and Cakes have something else in common. They both like to drink from the toilet.

4) He gets into little tiffs and scuffles with the kids, just like they do with each other. I get called to mediate at least once a day, because Pumpkin is laying on a favorite stuffed animal, or in a dresser drawer, or on Bee’s elaborately constructed Barbie layout, or as Cakes always tells me, “Pumpkin did bite again!”

5) He’s sometimes very naughty. He sneaks outside every time anyone opens a door, and last night, he jumped up on the kitchen table and ate 4 pieces of bacon leftover from supper.

6) He breaks stuff. So far, he’s broken a mini-blind, a drinking glass, and our sliding screen door. As usual, he sneaked outside one night and we didn’t know it. In the middle of the night, he was having shelter abandonment flashbacks, and in his hysteria, he managed to knock the screen door completely off the track. My husband was not pleased.

7) He gets into everything – the dryer, the dishwasher, dresser drawers, closets, bags, boxes…basically anything he’ll fit into. We usually don’t realize his presence, so we shut said cabinet, closet or appliance doors, and then he yowls pitifully until we come and rescue him.

8) He’s demanding. When he’s out of food, he will wind around your legs and meow until you fill his dish, even if you happen to be walking down the basement stairs at the time. My husband is convinced that one of these days, Pumpkin is going to cause him to plummet to his death.

9) He’s expensive. Between his moisturizing eye ointment, flea prevention treatment, hairball prevention treatment, special indoor cat food, and essential oil supplements to control his ridiculously excessive shedding, so that we don’t choke on clouds of cat hair floating in the air, we spend almost as much per month on him as we do on the kids!

10) He keeps us up half the night. He makes his rounds to all of the bedrooms every night, annoying each of us in turn. He starts in Bee’s room, where he parks his orange, furry cat butt on her pillow, leaving no room for her head. She then calls for me to come and remove him. After I dump him unceremoniously on the floor, I always ask her why she couldn’t have done that herself? Her reply is, “Well MOM, he was WOUND UP! You know that if I touch him when he gets wound up, he’ll bite me!”

He will then barge into Cakesie’s room and settle himself on the top of her changing table. She finds it very unnerving to wake up and see him there, studying her calmly with his yellow cat eyes, and who can blame her? She stands up in her crib and yells repeatedly, “Punkin’ OUT! Out Punkin’!” until one of us comes in and gets him.

At this point, he typically comes into our room. He hops up on the bed, settles himself on my feet, and begins to alternately lick himself, and grind his teeth. His tooth grinding is so incredibly irritating, and we have no idea why he does it, but it makes the little bell on his collar jingle repeatedly, until I get so annoyed that I want to pull out all of his teeth with a needle-nosed pliers!

When I finally get fed up with the slurp-crunch-jingle symphony, I haul myself out of bed and shut Pumpkin in the basement. I know that it would make more sense to do this before we all go to bed, but believe it or not, I feel sorry for Pumpkin. He’s such a lovable doofus, and I always want to give him another chance to just curl up at the foot of the bed and purr, like a normal cat.

He is not a normal cat. I must accept this and move on.

Now, I realize that Pumpkin sounds like nothing more than a giant pain in the you-know-what, but he does have some redeeming qualities. Like the children, he’s cute, cuddly and affectionate. He’s fun and entertaining to watch. Life’s more fun with him than it would be without him.

Well…I’m pretty sure it is anyway.

Which is why my husband, despite his many threats, has not yet sent him back to the shelter, or turned him into cat stew.