Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tangerine

Today I was on my way to drop off Big Kid's snack to his class and as I was driving there, something orange caught my eye.

I realized it was a dead orange tabby cat on the side of the road and two seconds later realized that as the owner of an orange tabby cat, I should be concerned. I could tell it was a small orange cat with a fuzzy, apricot-colored belly and our Tangerine fits that description perfectly.

I almost turned around but didn't want to delay the class snack (that I should have sent this morning) and it was clear that the cat was dead and not going anywhere. I felt bad but drove on.

Then I had to sit and wait while Big Kid finished up his school day, agonizing over our poor dead cat. We've had her for 10 years, someone had found her on a construction site and we got her at just a few weeks old; she used to fit in Mr. Ashley's jean pocket. Although a total asshole who wages laundry pissing wars against us if we displease her and will only drink running water, we've had her a long time and really didn't need additional stress or sadness right now.

I decided not to tell Big Kid until later because I wasn't ready to deal with his reaction, he's been insanely emotional about everything lately. On the way home, I stopped on the side of the road, facing away from the cat, and ran over there to see if it was Tangerine.

It was extraordinarily small for an adult cat, like Tangerine. It was orange with a ringed tail. I saw the fuzzy, light colored belly hair that never fully grew back in after she was spayed and my heart sunk a little but I still didn't feel positive.

Creeping around to the front of the cat, I noticed one eyeless socket and couldn't look anymore. I didn't have my phone on me and wasn't sure what to do. I felt awful just leaving her on the side of the road, but dead things repulse me and I just didn't see how I was going to get her into the truck. I reluctantly, gut wrenchingly decided to leave her there and have Mr. Ashley come pick her up later so that we could bury her at home.

I got back into the car and ignored Big Kid's questions, feeling sad and a little bit guilty about also feeling relief about moving with one less cat, particularly the cat who is difficult to live with.

I pulled into the driveway and headed to the front door so that I could call Mr. Ashley...and there sat Tangerine. Perfectly alive. Waiting for me to come home so that I could turn the faucet on for her.

Yep...I almost put someone else's dead cat in my car!!

Can you even imagine??

It gives me the heebie jeebies just thinking about it.

I guess the good news is that our cat isn't dead

23 comments:

brown eyed girl said...

Oh my god. My stomach dropped all the way until the last few lines!

I'm glad that your cat is alright and you will not have to deal with an emotional big kid tonight!

p jane said...

Yay for a non-dead Tangerine!

Former Fat Chick said...

yay! I something similar happened to me once, I was a blubering idiot "you're not dead, Dakota, you're not dead" the dog just licked the snot off my face, he knows I'm crazy...

Allison said...

my cat is a major PITA too so i feel you exactly on the mixed emotions... but big kid would freak.

i love you ashley. i freaking love you. i get so excited when i check your blog and there is a new post waiting for me. thank you for what you do :)

i've been reading your blog forever and this is the first time i've comment, i know i suck at life.

peggy and The Cats said...

Much relief that it wasn't you cat, but very sad for the cat that died. Such a shame.

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

I am laughing and crying at the same time!! Poor dead kitty but yeah that Tangerine is still kickin'!

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

I am laughing and crying at the same time!! Poor dead kitty but yeah that Tangerine is still kickin'!

Sassy Cass said...

No eyeball? Ewwww...so glad you didn't pick it up and that it wasn't your cat. Running water only, huh? Crazy!

Theresa said...

Cats are so damn annoying with all their weird habits and demands. Ours is such a nutball that she was on prozac for a while and everyone hates her and she hate everyone. Despite that, I can't get rid of her, and I think I would cry if I found her dead on the side of the road - especially with an eyeball missing.

Mama Kat said...

Ahahahahahahaha. Oh this was a good one. Just envisioning you walking up to your stoop with someone elses dead cat while your cat sits there puzzled...and thirsty.

Well it's just more than I can handle right now. Good good stuff.

Chicapicante said...

i know how it feels to lose a pet so a huge lump in my throat formed as i read this. then i got to the end and laughed out loud a little (no bueno when youre trying to read discreetly at work).

anywho, glad your pussy-gato is still kickin. with two eyeballs

Mom Taxi Julie said...

I once stopped for a woman who was agonizing on the side of the road just like that. I gave her my number to call me if she discovered it wasn't her cat she called me later to tell me it wasn't.

Mama to a diva said...

The exact same thing happened to my friend 2 weeks ago. Glad your cat is okay, but sad for the cat that wasn't Tangerine.

Jennifer said...

I'm not sure if should be happy for you guys or sad.....

Cookie Crums said...

Not sure if I need to be happy or sad. But I got a kick out of it at the end.... "turn the faucet for her." :)

Melodie said...

I have a strange phobia of dead things, so I probably wouldn't have stopped on the way back. I would have gone home, and if my cat wasn't there, then I would have called Mr. Ashley to stop and check the dead cat out for me.

Speaking of weird cat habits, my cat has recently (as in over the last couple of months) decided that she will only drink from a glass and the water must be filtered from our fridge. The tap water just isn't good enough for her anymore.

Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life said...

lol...THAT is a close call!!

Ms. Attitude said...

Hey, at least you cared enough to check.

Stereos and Souffles said...

Okay, so I was ready to cry reading about your dead cat, then I really cried with laughter when you said you almost put someone elses dead cat in your car! Sad story for the kitties real owner.

Anonymous said...

Same thing happened to me and my mother once. We sent Daddy to collect the cat so we could bury him and he came back telling us that the tail was different. Days later, we found the cat happily resting locked in a closet. He had been there for days because my brother was off at college! Gotta love cats!

Easily Manipulated said...

OMG...I was ready to cry for you!! Seriously, tears in my eyes, swallowing a lump in my throat. I can't imagine how horrible I would feel if I'd thought I found one of my cats on the side of the road. Tangerine reminds me of my black cat, Bubba. He also likes to pee places that he shouldn't when he gets mad.

Just a note about the running water...I know money is not something that you have a ton of to throw away, but if you're interested and you feel your kitties deserve a little treat...I have a fountain made by Drinkwell. It recycles the water, so the cats always have fresh. And you'll never have to leave a faucet running for Tangerine. Google it - it's pretty cool! :-)

Joy said...

I am crying here not tears of sadness but tears of laughter that is one of the funniest things ever!

Well my butthead cat doesn't even come home anymore he has conviced some not so savvy neighbors that even though he weighs like 20lbs he is a stray and convinced them to start feeding him canned food!! and even though I informed them that he had lied to them they still feed him because he doesn't come home.

Natasha said...

One day walking home from the pool I stumbled upon a smashed kitty on the side of the road. I called my mom at work, crying my eyes out and told her that her cat - her favorite cat- had lost the race with a car. Gosh - I must have only been about 11 then.
Mom came home & my step day started digging the hole in the back yard. He then went down & got the poor thing and as we were standing there, at the end of the little hole, I looked up & thought I saw the kitty's angel watching us.
Turns out it was said cat & we were in the process of burying someone else's kitty.
HA!
Thanks for reminding me of that story - I'd forgotten how funny that was.