Our two cats jump on the closed toilet seat lid before hopping on the toilet tank lid to lick their whiskers and watch him dish kitty food.
For them, the rattle of dry mix sounds like trumpets at the theater – the signal to take their seats before the red velvet curtains sway open and they may feast on what lies before them.
But recently, two typically male breaches in lavatory courtesy stopped the show.
One of our little boys both forgot to flush and forgot to do what all girls and women want boys and men to do religiously.
Andy, 6, forgot to close the toilet lid after he forgot to flush.
So, when the first cat jumped up for the nightly show, she fell into the brine of little boy pee up to her soft belly fur.
The cat skedaddled then, dripping like a Labrador fresh from a duck fetch.
This caused David to drop the kitty chow and chase the cat with a towel over and under couches, down and up basement steps and around the dining room table as she scrambled for cover – a quiet place to cleanup and figure out what went wrong in her evening feeding routine.
My husband is an engineer.
The chaos, what with the cat flicking pee water over furniture and floorboards, about unhinged him.
I can’t fault my out-of-state friends and relatives for passing on our standing invitation to visit us in Colorado when I know stuff like this happens in our house.
Yet, every family with pets probably goes through episodes like this, the ones that threaten to send the four-leggers packing for the humane society.
I always beg for a stay, though, because our cats are our kids’ dollies, the ones they dress up and talk with to reenact the days of our lives.
For instance, when Carl, 7, and Andy viewed photos of Ray in December during his sleep apnea test at The Childrens Hospital in Broomfield, they thought he looked like a cute mummy with his head swaddled to secure electrodes.
“Why does that cat have a sock on her head?” I hollered while removing the cat’s headgear.
Carl, with a straight face, explained that the cat might need a sleep study.
However misguided, this boy loves this cat.
Carl named the tiger cat Black Susan after the black cat in Laura Ingalls Wilders’ Little House on the Prairie series we read. He carries her on his shoulders the way his daddy carried him before he hit 40 pounds.
He also traps the cat at the bottom of his sleeping bag so that they cave it together and mummifies her in toilet paper.
Even little Ray, 4, likes to chase the other cat – an orange tabby Andy named Bow and Arrow – into the basement bathroom. With the door shut and the lights off, Ray stalks her with his flashlight in and out of the dry, empty tub.
I am sure that both Black Susan and Bow and Arrow would prefer the serenity of a single retiree or anyone with a soft lap and a penchant for novels or cable TV.
But these cats are young. They won’t pass their first birthday until April.
So, instead of considering them at risk for a kitty variety of post-traumatic stress disorder, I am hoping that David will keep feeding them and changing their kitty litter.
They need to earn their keep, and we need our fur fix and the adventure they bring to family life.
Pam Mellskog can be reached at Mellskog@msn.com or 303-746-0942.