Like a biblical plague of locusts for the past two years, we have been beset by cats. Their main point of entry is by the HVAC unit. There was a hole between the skirt and the unit perfectly sized for a cat. A tiny kitty could also squeeze between the gaps in the skirt that surrounds the crawl space under the house.
From the first kitty sighting, River has been adamant that we needed to build a wall on our southern border to quell the cat invasion. I, along with my parents, took a more measured approach. I told River just because we build a wall doesn't mean the kitties won't find a way in.
In March the kitties, in an effort to keep warm, ripped off the heat duct that had connected the outside furnace to the floor grates. After a cold late winter weekend without heat, and a big old bill, my parents sided with River and built a brick wall along the gap where the unit meets the house. They were all mutually satisfied that they had solved the problem.
Eight weeks ago, my Dad and I saw a fat female cat trying to squeeze under the HVAC unit. We chased it off. There were small oval cutouts on the unit's base. It didn't look like there was room enough to invade, but life finds a way. Daddy shoved bricks into the oval cutouts and congratulated himself on a job well done.
When we went outside I would stop and sniff the skirt. "I think there is something down there," I told River.
“Don't be silly." She said. "They have no way to get in."
Last Thursday, while Daddy was working, Mommy leashed us so we could go outside. She was ready to go out the porch door when she saw five kittens and their mom lying in a sun puddle. The kitties looked like they were having grand fun playing. "They couldn't have come from under the house," River said. Just like that, the kitties went behind the chair, pushed back the skirt, and slipped under the house.
River was incensed that the wall she touted would work 100 percent of the time had failed. I was happy that a more nuanced response to the kitty problem had proven to be wiser. Mommy loved seeing the kitties, but she knew they could not stay. She called Daddy at work, and he called the Animal Control Officer.
The officer said he could not come out until Tuesday. When he did arrive, he would put out a couple of traps. This upset me. I hate to think of an animal in a cage. The next day when we went out, the kitties were playing under the chair, and the cat was lying in Foley’s garden. My Mommy prepared to take us out the front door. I stopped and barked at the kitties. “Run for your lives. They are coming to trap you.” The mama cat sat up and nodded her thanks.
For the next three days, there was no sign of the kitties. I hoped they had listened to me and had found safer ground. I barked one final warning when the man arrived with the traps. He put them by the hole where the cats had disappeared.
On Wednesday morning, the trap was empty, and I gave thanks that no one was caught. On Thursday I saw something moving in the cage. I looked out the storm door and saw a big possum imprisoned inside. “You my lawyer?” he asked. I told him I wasn’t. “Can you at least give me some cigs..I need something to trade-in here.”
Daddy called Animal Control. A short while later the man arrived, freed the possum and took the trap. The kitties were safe!
I contacted Foley who reluctantly agreed to watch over the cats, and the poor possum too.
I hope my parents have learned their lesson and won't try to trap kitties because when you do, you often end up with an ugly possum. Daddy said he had sealed the skirt, but we expect to have more kitties next summer.
Nature and life always find a way to spoil human plans. I hope the persistent pussies proved this to my parents.