In the cathouse

Cats are like wives: they can be excellent companions and cuddle buddies, but they can also get really annoying, scratch you, start fights, and cause scares with their unplanned pregnancies, and there’s something wrong with you if you have more than a dozen of them. In some other ways, cats are not like wives: for example, they usually rebel when trained to shit in a little box, although around here, there’s no saying for sure. Anyone got a trash can I can borrow?

That was fucked up. So is the appearance that one of the farm cats is pregnant and shortly to disgorge more cats into a building that is already on the verge of having too many, if not clear over the line. We already have incipient cat fights and bottles, some of them full of wine, getting knocked to the floor and shattered because they were stored precariously around barnyard animals that are clumsier than we assumed. It’s getting worse, not better. Why can’t the lightspring discharge its kittens into some other, less horribly cluttered building? No, I know why: Joe Dirtbag is too derelict to build a proper cathouse, and the sorts who would build one for their own kitties probably wouldn’t want to house every fucking stray from the neighborhood, because that would just feel far too much like Asperger’s-spectrum bachelorhood.

I’ve read that San Jose now has Walter Katz, who sounds like an improvement over at least four going on nine of the things in a winery building that should never have housed even one. Shit, I just came within a single stroke of the return key of performing Google-fu on the new SJPD watchdog under the name “Walter Cats,” so there’s even more wrong with me than you thought. God. It should be easy enough to keep straight: the one works to keep rogue San Jose cops from going full Manuel Ramos on some minor neighborhood nuisance, while the others piss on the walls of a working winery. Maybe I didn’t get enough sleep last night.

Of course Joe Dirtbag hasn’t gotten the animals spayed and neutered. I don’t think he has, anyway. The one who looks pregnant I recall being a female (which would help) and not having had that pregnant look and feel until she showed up again a few days ago. I’m pretty sure it isn’t obesity. I’ve known some fat-ass cats in my day, and they didn’t carry it all in one lump towards the rear while staying almost skinny up front. I know, I could sex the animal, but I don’t feel like examining cat ass. It feels a bit too much like practicing animal husbandry until they catch me at it one day, Nome Seine? But really, I just don’t feel like staring at a pussy’s asshole and trying to see whether there’s a pussy, so to speak, beneath it. We have veterinarians to do that sort of thing. I’m a fruitboy, after all, not a cowboy. Cattlemen do unspeakable things with their animals, often at three in the morning, and not even out of perversion most of the time.

One cool thing about cats, though, is that they can be left to their own devices for labor and delivery, because if I’m deemed to be the little bitch on call to wipe goop off a litter of newborn kittens, I’ll leave the state. I keep thinking about doing that anyway for financial reasons and on account of the squalor. You’d think that a mess of cat afterbirth strewn about on the floor would make the winery building dirty. You’d think wrong. For all I know, it might smell better than whatever combination of shit, piss, and body odor the rats are depositing under the old boxes by the front door. As nasty as that it, the shower room is even worse. The last time I had the courage to set foot back there, I immediately faced the decision point (TM: G. W. Bush) of barf or back out, and I value continence of stomach, so I got the fuck out of there.

It’s all becoming more and more barfworthy. Sometimes I hole up in there for the evening and fear that I’m having a dark night of the soul, when all I’m really having is a long night surrounded by a geezer’s proliferating piles of junk. There’s a fucking record player sitting out on a chair on the stoop now. It’s been there for weeks. Why? Nothing has been done about all the old restaurant equipment, either. It’s a goddamned mess. We’re going through close to ten pounds of cat food a day, and that poundage is increasing, not decreasing. Joe Dirtbag will probably go whining to my dad to retroactively cover that bill before long. Of course, he’ll say that he can’t afford to make the mortgage payment due to medical bills or some shit. He already talks like he and the Family Shrew can’t afford to eat anything more expensive than chicken. There’s something really shady about their finances. When you talk $65,000 in gifts out of a single relative and have a reverse mortgage on your primary residence, you should be able to afford fucking hamburger meat.

Firefighters burn filthy old farm buildings to the ground, sometimes even for union wages. That’s a lot more admirable than anything I’ve been doing in the winery building. I’d be able to cuddle the cats somewhere else if Joe Dirtbag were forced to build it, but the county won’t even force him to install a proper bathroom with a toilet and lighting. Joe Dirtbag used to make these obnoxious comments about how I came to Oregon to “search for the meaning of life,” comments that made me want to drive right back to Pennsylvania, but I’ll say this much: it would be eminently meaningful to clear the cats and the valuables out of that damned old barn and return it to dust, per the Bible. That’s one Ash Wednesday that I’ll joyously celebrate any season and any day of the year.

William Tecumseh Sherman, pray for us. Pray even, if you see it fit, for faulty indoor wiring. Pray even that some antisemitic arsonist be made a channel of your cleansing fire. St. Francis, watch over the cats, and keep them safe, sound, and barren. Amen.


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