Trauma At La Casa Minkey

hisssssMinkey’s friends, while few and far between, have been memorable. Take Ginger, for instance. (Nicknames, “Gingie”, “Gingivitis”).  This chunky big fellow was one of the many strays my mother adopted (not all at once, thankfully!) (Well, okay… sometimes all at once…)

When my mother was preparing to move several hundred miles away to live out her lifelong romantic dream of log-housing it in the far Northern boreal forests, she had a minor heart attack and was put in hospital for observation. Meanwhile, my brother-in-law arrived with the moving truck to load up furniture and cats.  Whiskas and Lucky both docilely got into their cages, but scenting imprisonment, Gingie made a violent break for it.  I was not even in the room at the time, being busy routing a nest of spiders out of my mother’s spare bedroom closet ceiling.  But when I visited her that evening and admitted we hadn’t been able to pack Ginger off to The Great White North, and that he was still sulking in the shrubbery, she bemoaned that she couldn’t trust me to do ANYTHING right, and promptly had a major heart attack on the spot.

So there I was, while she was in surgery, thinking I Had Killed My Mother.

But as one of her surgeons cheerily put it, “she’s a tough old bird.”  She survived.  And I kept on trying to find Gingie.

The day that (unbeknownst to me) she cheerily turned down the convalescent home in favor of my tiny 500 sq.ft. cabin in the woods and me nursing her 24/7, Gingie strolled calmly into the cat cage. They both took up residence at La Casa Minkey.  I moved onto the couch, and mum got the bedroom, the bed – and the cats.

The friendship did not start out well.  Minkey was clearly both frightened and aggressive.  As the visiting V.O.N. nurse thoughtfully put it, “My, I didn’t realize your Siamese cat’s fangs were that long…”

There was a lot of hissing; all of it from Minkey. Gingie was unfazed.  He adopted a policy of calmly ignoring Minkey.  He was a tough old bird.

Minkey kept trying to sleep on the bed, Gingie kept Willing him off (it worked.) My mother found their little passive-aggressive skirmishes endlessly entertaining, and finally began to recover.

By the end of several weeks, Gingie and Minkey had developed an uneasy truce at best.  The Minkey’s Friends page photo of them both on the attic stairs is the closest they ever got, physically.  Gingie resented being an indoor cat – but there was no way I was going to let him out to give my mother a third heart attack by disappearing again.  In protest, he lustily shredded all my furniture – something Minkey had never done, discreetly preferring to use his special custom deluxe wall-mounted scratching rug.  To my eternal relief, Minkey virtuously refused to participate in such uncouth behavior.

catcageMy mother and Ginger thrived.  Minkey and I quietly began to develop strange nervous habits. I began to choke on food (too tired to swallow), develop high blood pressure and tremble a lot. Minkey began to choke on food, dart haunted, wide-eyed glances continuously over his shoulder, and tremble a lot.

Minkey voluntarily spent a lot of time in Ginger’s cat cage. (I – alas – couldn’t fit…)

Neither of us could eat much.

By the time Mum and Gingie were deposited in their new Northern paradise and I got back home to Minkey, we were both nervous wrecks.  Minkey developed skin problems, which turned out to be (according to the vet) “purely nervous”. Eventually his skin magically cleared up, but to this day, I continue to have high blood pressure and sleep on the couch, since I now can’t sleep more than 2 or 3 hours in a row any more, anyway.  Which Minkey thinks is a good thing.

I managed to replace the most damaged pieces of furniture that Ginger had shredded, and finally eliminate his last left-behind flea.  Gradually, Minkey and I settled down to our old peaceful “indoor cat” routine.  Sort of…

One day I bought Minkey a little fluffy ginger toy cat.

I found it the next morning, drowned in his water dish.

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2 Comments so far

  1. Kat on January 29th, 2009

    haha I remember that
    I loved that kitty
    :)
    I miss nana

  2. Minkeyservant on January 29th, 2009

    Me too. But it’s nice to think of her in her cosy house in the woods, all full of lovely things – including her cats. 😉

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