The Clampets Move to the Big City, Or, the Esserts Move to Chesapeake.

It’s time for true confessions: we have ten cats and two dogs. Yes, ten, 10, T. E. N. cats. We live in the country. We have a barn. There are field mice everywhere. Mark argued with me every time I told him I was going to have a cat neutered. Believe it or not, he still does and we have 2 kittens left to fix. So yes, we have ten cats and we’re moving soon.

How in the hell are we going to keep ten cats safe in suburban Chesapeake? There are fox, raccoons and opossums all over the place we’re moving to. The chickens will be inside an iron box which will then be coated with titanium. Maybe that will save them. But the cats? Just for a moment imagine living in a house and keeping ten cats inside it. Think of the litter box(es). Think of the tons of kitty litter. Imagine, if you will, the overpowering stench of cat shit and urine. Think of the hair and the hair balls and the little footprints all over the kitchen counter. The cat fights. The clawed and shredded furniture. My god.
Don’t get me wrong. As I type this there is a cat asleep beside me on the coffin we keep in our kitchen. There’s another snuggled on the couch with Martina and one more tootling around somewhere, I can hear her bell. I am not opposed to keeping cats inside the house. Especially the ones who like it inside, stay off the counters and find their way outside to do their bidness.
We have bought collars and tags for all of them and applied them liberally (and tightly). So far, only 3 losses of said collars. Here’s hoping we manage to get the felines all relocated safely. I foresee this move into the Big City to be a lot like herding cats. Heh.
And then we have the dogs. Jasmine who jumps in and out of the fences at her leisure and visits the neighbors on occasion will have to learn some new habits. Thunder is sweet but crowds stress him out and both of them bolted at Pet Smart the other day…out into the crowded parking lot. Scared me to death and earned me a lecture from a pair of know-it-alls who think I should have done a lot of things differently with the dogs. Including spending Martina’s college fund on them.
Just in case you find it hard to believe, here are photos of the characters. Some of them anyway. Frisky, the most overphotographed cat in the world left all his pics on the other hard drive and Hartley was off visiting the neighbors.

There’s no need to fear! Thunder dog is here!

Hootie the Uncastrated.

Bridey, the unspayed.

Jasmine. Cute, clueless, house dog.

L-R: Peaches, mater-famiglia of the cat herd; Martina; Frisky (I found a pic of him after all!)

Bandit. He lives in the rafters of the barn. His collar? Snapped in two.

Gypsy. She has a twin sister Hartley. I saw them born. 1 placenta. 2 kittens. Hartely was visiting the neighbors when the photo shoot occurred.

Yes, yes, I realize that this is a goat. If you look in the background you will see her little friend, Bagheira, lounging on top the the plywood. She does not like being inside.

P.J. Grumpy, pretty, mother of Bridey.

Gizmo, who almost died at a week old. Offspring of Peaches the Great, mother of Hootie the Uncastrated, Gizmo is black and walks like an alligator.


About Bettina Colonna Essert

Illuminated Magdalene High Priestess and facilitator of empowerment and healing circles for girls and women, including a monthly Red Tent Temple. BA in English, minor in anthropology. Waldorf homeschool mom. Reiki master, cranial sacral therapist, herbalist, menstruvist, feminist, epicurian.
This entry was posted in cats, family, rural life. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s