Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
has been a bad pet week, to put it mildly. Last summer, we
adopted a wild cat. I use the term “wild” only to signify
that it is an untamed member of a domestic variety. It was a
stray cat that loved us so much that it sat on the back patio
and sang for days until we finally reluctantly took it in.
The funny thing is that as much as the cat wanted in at that
time, it now wants out. It has become an escape artist,
refusing to behave like a house cat and instead reverting to
its primitive instincts, which include escaping to the
outdoors and climbing all over my car.
There is absolutely nothing as vexing as getting ready go
someplace and finding your car covered with cat paw prints
across the windshield. It does no good to wash it because the
instant the cat sees a nice shiny clean car, its sole purpose
in life is to reclaim its territory and mark it with more
If the cat could go outside and behave itself, it would not be
so bad, but it cannot. It fights. It was once an attractive
cat, but that was before the back surgery. A close encounter
of some sort in one of its adventures caused an injury that
required surgical intervention and resulted in a large patch
of fur being shaved off the cat’s back.
Even before the sutures healed, the cat bolted outside and was
gone over night worrying my daughter to death. Frankly, I was
rather glad it was gone. She made “lost cat” signs to put
around the neighborhood. Naturally, it eventually got hungry
and came back home, none the worse except for a bloody and
Regardless of how hard we try to keep the cat inside, it
manages to figure out a way to get out. The latest trick of
choice is bolting unseen from behind a chair and running under
your feet. Previously, it was hiding behind the curtains by
the window, and bolting out as soon as the door was opened.
Thank goodness cats do not know how to use crowbars.
Naturally, it does no good to attempt to catch the cat once
outside. It is far too clever to let anyone get close enough.
After his last wild night out, we noticed he was walking on
only three feet. Another veterinary bill for an injured pad on
We decided that the cat must have motivation for wanting
outside so badly, and that undoubtedly he was young Romeo to a
feline Juliet somewhere in the neighborhood. Juliet apparently
is not picky about appearance if she dates a cat in his shape.
We decided that neutering was inevitable and the only way to
keep the cat at home before he killed himself.
Another trip to the vet and another bill, but we were certain
that at last he would behave like a domestic cat and forget
all about the great outdoors and romantic adventures. We
brought the cat home and were tremendously careful about the
door, but before the anesthetic had worn off good, he escaped
and was out the door, half-drunk.
Well, my daughter went after him and eventually came back
carrying the cat and looking haggard.
“How did you catch him?” I asked.
“It wasn’t easy, I chased him around three houses and
finally managed to get close enough to grab him.” The cat
thanked her for saving his life by howling at the door for 30
minutes to go back out. He seems not to miss his manhood at
I really don’t have time to worry about it right now,
though, as I’ve got to go outside and clean the paw prints
off my car.
By the way, where’s the cat? He can’t be outside again!
Copyright 2005 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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