Just feed them and they’ll go away

How does the Brown Family get itself into these things? There are four kittens under our deck.

Their mother is a Brown Tiger— appropriate, huh?—named Tiggs.

She was dumped on our street. Lots of cats are dumped on our street. Here’s the Brown Family’s strategy for getting rid of cats dumped on our street.

We give them names and feed them.

Tiggs showed up several months ago. She won’t let us touch her but she seems to have no aversion to eating our food.

She, however, is in love with the hapless 17-year-old male cat who occupies the front yard.

His name is Ricky. Tiggs rubs up against him and purrs. I know what you’re thinking. Ricky is not the father of the kittens. Ricky has had what my friend, the late Jack Mathena, called “a serious operation.”

Besides Ricky is as aggressive as a ramen noodle. He’s about as capable of defending himself against the female persuasion as is the only other male who lives at our house.

L-R (or maybe R-L, I don’t know), Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Zeppo. Reporter/Soft-Hearted Idiot L-R (or maybe R-L, I don’t know), Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Zeppo. Reporter/Soft-Hearted Idiot Hi there.

Tiggs decided to stay under our deck. We couldn’t make her leave no matter how much we fed her.

We knew Tiggs was at risk of having a litter so we did what we always do in moments of crisis, ignored the situation and hoped it would go away. Then she started gaining weight.

About nine weeks ago Tiggs didn’t appear one day. But we heard her that night. Every few minutes she would go “mrrrrrowwer!” Loudly.

We figured every “mrrrrr-owwer!” meant the Brown Suckers Family had a new cat.

Couple of days later Tiggs was back in the front yard. No kittens. Must have been a false alarm.

Last week we looked outside. Seventeen kittens romping and playing in the back yard. Well it was four but they looked like 17.

My family, except for Ricky and me, sprung into action by going “Aww, aren’t they cute!”

The kittens won’t let us touch them either. So my wife and stepdaughters watch them through the back windows, occasionally calling “Mike, Mike, come see, they’re being cute again!”

But I’m immune to that. Well, there was this morning when I was summoned to watch the daily routine of them running around like idiots chasing their tails.

The kittens did this too.

Five minutes later I looked out and all four had exhausted themselves at the same time and had collapsed into one ball of fur.

Okay, so they’re cute.

But we’ve got to get rid of them. Our house needs more cats about like the Mojave Desert needs more sand. Here’s how that’s going.

Friend’s phone rings. “Hello?”

“Hi, this is Mike and Sue; we have the cutest kittens....”

Click. Dial tone.

I even called a scammer in Senegal who had e-mailed me his number so he could give me a million dollars.

He hung up on me.

I’m not worried any more about how I’m going to deal with the cat-astrophe our animal problem has become.

I’ve got it all figured out.

Tonight I’m going to sleep under the deck.

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2010-05-06 digital edition

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