Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Nine Lives

One day as I was driving through the courthouse, I glanced over and saw the sun hitting this outbuilding just right. I quickly pulled over, rolled the window down and snapped a picture or two. It looks a little off kilter, but that's not unusual for my pictures. Or me.

Once upon a time there was a Chesapeake Bay Cat named Bianca. Bianca was a very loving outdoor cat.

Also, once upon a time there was a woman called Chesapeake Bay Mother, who was the female equivalent of Dr. DooLittle. She loved animals. She talked to the animals. She saved baby birds. She pulled on the side of the road to rescue turtles from being hit by cars. She teetered atop a ladder to return a baby raccoon to its mother on top of the pump house at the barn.

Chesapeake Bay Woman, who does like animals, always thought her mother was a little over the top when it came to how much she cared about the animals. Sometimes it seemed as though she cared more for the animals than she did for people.

One day Chesapeake Bay Woman noticed that Bianca the cat wasn’t coming with the rest of the outdoor cats to eat every morning. Two days went by. Three days.

On the fourth day, Chesapeake Bay Woman asked her mother, who lived next door, if she had seen Bianca. No, she had not. Chesapeake Bay Mother became visibly upset. She knew something bad had happened if Bianca had been missing for four days.

Chesapeake Bay Woman had already decided that either a hawk or a dog had killed Bianca. After being gone for four days she surely was dead.

Chesapeake Bay Mother, however, began a search in earnest. She scoured the yard. She looked in the barn. She looked around the shoreline. She looked in every possible place.

But she would not give up.

On the sixth day, Chesapeake Bay Mother went to the neighbor’s house and asked if she could look around their yard along their shoreline. Off in the distance she heard something. She followed the sound to the next house over, which is abandoned but used by a waterman who sets gill nets and crab pots for a living. There are piles and piles of empty crab pots in the yard.

There, in a CRAB POT*, was Bianca. She’d been trapped there for six straight days. No water, nothing to eat, trapped in a crab pot. CB Mother reached in and retrieved her.

After that, Bianca and Chesapeake Bay Mother lived happily ever after.

Chesapeake Bay Woman learned a few lessons from all this. One, miracles do happen, and you shouldn't give up hope when all seems lost. Two, I probably ought not to make fun of my mother’s obsession with animals. So I promise not to call her Dr. DooLittle anymore.

Well, at least not this week.

The End.

*A crab pot is a maze of wire that usually contains a piece of bait (which may also be attractive to a cat if the pot is in the yard). The crab is lured inside by the bait and is too confused by the wiring to figure a way out. (It seems simple, but it isn't if you're a crab. I empathize, as this "It oughtta be easy, but it isn't" theme is the story of my life.)

Evidently a crab pot may also be used as a cat pot. Who knew?


nativedevil said...

I have friends in Lancaster who once had a skunk problem. They finally caught the skunk by putting a honeybun into a crabpot. The skunk also could not get out.
How they disposed of the skunk from that point on, I have no idea.

Grandma J said...

CB Mother is an angel! I love animals too, but I don't think I would personally put your mom's efforts into saving a baby racoon. Don't they have rabies?

That building looks straight to me, but hou do you get in?

Mental P Mama said...

Who knew, indeed? You and your mother have to go to this blog. It is amazing the relationship this woman has with animals. She even has a pet starling! http://gardeningwithturtles.blogspot.com/

big hair envy said...

Crab Pot, Cat Pot, and sometimes, Boat Pot. Those things, when not properly marked on the river, can wreak havoc on a perfectly good motor!

I'm guessing that CBMother did NOT allow Bianca to return to your care? Heehee!

BTW - Basketball season cannot get here fast enough! Let the planning begin...

Anonymous said...

I think Bianca became a housecat after that episode. Thank goodness for Chesapeake Bay Mamma's persistence. Is Bianca still around?? Funny how sophisticated these cat names have gotten....when I was a kid, we had Kitty, Grey Kitty, Little Kitty, Old Kitty and Big Kitty...

-Middle Sis

belladella said...

I love this story. I am married to a sort of Dr. Doolittle- 3 dogs and five cats and he wants more.

Kaffy said...

What a wonderful story, from my favorite storyteller. My second favorite storyteller is the mother of my favorite storyteller. But it's a close second. You two beautiful CB women brighten my day.

Anonymous said...

There is absolutely nothing wrong with people who love animals more than they love people. With the exception of my family, I too love animals more, WAAAYYYY more. In fact, the older I get, the more people I meet, the more I feel this way. For instance, when an animal gets " swelled up", they only need one thing: FOOD.That's it! Most people I know get all bent out of shape over stupid things and they just need a swift kick in the you know what. Honestly I would rather stick my finger in a barracuda tank than help some FISH EYED FOOL who is "swelled up" because they're favorite lipstick is discontinued, or they're having a bad hair day, or their FUR COAT has a stain on it....you know what I mean. Godspeed BIANCA (pronounced beeyankuh)!!!
Baby Sis

Life with Kaishon said...

Well, this story just made my day bright and cheery! What a blessing to find Bianca. I love cats. I really do. Gary and Kaish want an animal but I keep refuting their efforts because of the mess it will make. Can you talk some sense into me?

By the way : ) I love that you think my niece Baby Katelyn, is a beautiful boy/girl : )!

Bayman said...

I couldn't agree more, baby sis. Some of us blur the edges between people and animals. Food, warmth, love. So basic, so primal. What more do you need? Ok, we have the internet, not sure if that is a help or a hindrance.

My cat Pookie, knows when I am down and lays beside me to help comfort me. If only all people were as thoughtful.

Margaret Cloud said...

This is a well told story and very interesting, reminds me of a incident that happened to me years ago.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

ND - Who knew? Not only that a skunk could be caught in a crabpot, but also that they snacked on honeybuns.

GJ - Yes, racoons can carry rabies, although we're fortunate to not have it as badly here as other parts of the state do. (And CBMother wouldn't let that stop her anyway.) Re the building, I assume the door was on the other side but I didn't get out to look 'cause that woulda been trespassing and of course I don't do that....

MPM - I'm going to check it out here in just a minute.

BHE - Oh, if I had a quarter for every time I've had an outboard motor get hung up in a crab pot. Nothing more infuriating. I HATED those things. Many is the hour I've spent trying to cut myself free, cussin', hissin' and spittin' the entire time.

Middle Sis - Yes, Bianca is now over next door, never to see the light of day again. And indeed, the names have evolved over the years...there isn't one single "kitty" in the bunch. We do have Topaz, Latte, Cheetah, Destiny's Child and Imelda Marcos. (Just kidding on those last 2. I think.)

Bella - I've decided that with these types, there is no end to how many animals they want and there is no such thing as too much. If it were me, I'd suggest that 8 animals was plenty. I myself tend to 6 cats here (now down to 5 since Bianca has been kidnapped and is being held hostage next door) plus one hairy dog and it is TOO much I tell ya. No more!

Hey, there, Kaffy girl. Have you started YOUR blog yet?? When are you comin' for a visit?

Baby Sis, might I suggest an anger management class? You seem to have some pent-up hostilities......

Reb/LWK - Your niece/nephew is adorable....Regarding the whole pet thing, cats are actually the easiest (to me) to take care of because they can be left inside with a litter pan and not need walking multiple times a day. However, that litter pan can become the bane of your existence. You should make a deal w/Kaishon up front that to have the pet he has to help with the responsibilities. Good luck on that, by the way. It has not worked in this household yet. Or ever.

Bayman- Very nice sentiment, and by the way, the internet is most definitely a help, never a hindrance.

Ms. Margaret - I'd love to hear your story, I'll bet it's a great one.

Annie said...

poor kitty...glad your mum found it...

love the photo...looks pretty good to me..


TSannie said...

Mom always knows best :-)

Love the outcome of this...

cats said...

Hey cbw.
I too indeed love animals, especially cats. We have tons of cat rescue stories. Last spring our youngest cat went missing. We were hysterical. WE combed the woods. We asked all of the neighbors, and called the pound and humane society to see if anyone had found her. One week later she came home to the door. We later found out she had been trapped under our neighbors house for a week with no food and water. She had went under there being nosey and our neighbor had closed the trap door because it was real windy that night. He heard a cat meowing when he watching TV about a week later. He let her out and she came home. Miracles do happen and I stand by that.