The Cat and the Commode

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The Cat and the Commode

James R. Aist

(Warning: This story is hilarious, but it contains a potentially offensive word picture. Read at your own risk!)

I love house cats, especially when they are tiny kittens…innocent, curious and eager to explore new things. They just do the darndest things! This story took place when we were living in a small country house near Ithaca, NY. We had gotten a couple of kittens, Missy and Muffet, just a few days earlier. As it turns out, baby animals are fascinated with water, and some seem to be drawn to it, especially the tinkling sound produced by falling water. Missy was no exception, as I was about to find out. Now, keep in mind that what I am about to tell you occurred rapidly in real time, much faster than you can read about it.

We had a lavatory just off of one corner of the kitchen. One afternoon I felt the need to relieve myself and “make my bladder gladder”, if you catch my drift. So, into the lavatory I went and began to take care of business. Almost immediately I noticed, out of the corner of my right eye, a small, fuzzy animal trotting in through the open door to see what was going on. It was my little Missy, come to investigate the tinkling sound. Immediately I got the feeling that this may not end well for her.

She stopped and sat down about a foot away from the commode and peered inquisitively toward the source of the tinkling sound. I thought that was really cute of her. But, then she began to go into that nervous little crouch that cats do when preparing to pounce. I said to myself, “Surely she’s not going to actually try to jump up onto the edge of the toilet bowl to get a better view of the falling “water.” But alack and alas, that’s exactly what she had in mind, so up she goes. Problem was, she didn’t yet know that toilet bowls were not solid on top. Another problem was, she didn’t know to compensate for her forward momentum as she tried to land on the edge of the toilet bowl. Next thing I know, she is hopelessly tipping toward where the stream was entering the toilet water, her frantic struggles to gain her balance notwithstanding. So, in she plopped, legs and tail flailing frantically as she tried to stay afloat. By this time I was already beginning to see the humor in this learning experience for Missy. She quickly made her way across to the other side, managed to scramble up onto the other side of the the toilet bowl, dropped down onto the floor, and tried to shake off as much of the “water” as she could. So, I decided to just keep tinkling, because I reckoned she wasn’t injured and surely had learned not to do that again! She would go around behind me to get away and run out the door, right?

But alack and alas, again, that was not the case. I watched her square around toward the commode and, once again, go into that tell-tale crouch. “Surely”, I thought to myself, “she will not jump up there again, after all that!” But upsy-daisy, here she came, and with the exact same result. Now I was laughing so hard it was a struggle to control my stream, but I managed. Then, I quickly grabbed a towel and dried Missy off as best I could. For her part, she just casually walked away, as if nothing out of the ordinary had just happened.

I’m not convinced that Missy really learned anything from that episode, but I sure did: next time, close that darned door!

(To read more of my short stories, click HERE)

Vermont and Back

Vermont and Back

By Angie Brown, Guest Author

One of the places I wanted most to visit some day was the State of Vermont. The opportunity came when my daughter, Janet, and her family moved there. I traveled with her to Bennington to spend a few days. My daughter’s home was near a ski area in the mountains. From there we drove to a high peak, and there we were shown a breathtaking panoramic view which included three contiguous states.

Vermont is pleasing to the eye with its neatness. Streams and numerous small waterfalls flow over a base of white rock wherever you look. White homes and churches nestled in the green-clad mountains present a serene beauty. Life appeared to be slower there, a pace not driven by the fast mania of many other places. In the autumn, the tree colors are vivid, but different from our own in western New York State. The tourists who travel to observe this beauty are called “leaf peekers.” Any people who have retired to Vermont have found successful small businesses there, after wondering how they would stay occupied.

Janet took me to various parts of the state. Vermont is famous for its large homes, some built when the country was first being settled. They were amazingly well kept and in good repair. We saw large farms, endless green fields, and hills with cattle grazing. Some of the larger homes seemed like two homes built together, or a house with a large barn attached. I understand that this was done because of the severe winter weather. In this way, they could go through from one building into the other to stay more comfortable without going outside.

In Manchester, we stopped at a shop that carried only dolls and doll houses of every kind imaginable. Then we drove across an odd-appearing country bridge with artfully designed rails, to the community library. There a small corner nook caught my eye. It contained a large window with a view overlooking a small waterfall and comfortable chairs to sit in and read while listening to the cheerful sounds of the babbling brook. Next was a stop at a clock store. Upon entering, we were bombarded with the ticking of clocks that lined the walls of the store. What an amazing scene – so interesting. The attendant told us that every morning he went through the store winding each one, an all-morning duty.

All too soon the visit came to an end. Janet drove me to the bus terminal where I boarded the bus for home. After a 10-hour trip, I was still exhilarated, but so glad to set my luggage down inside the front door of my own home.

(For more short stories by ANGIE, click HERE)