Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Adventures of Mr. MaGloo

The funny thing about curiosity...I can see how it might kill a cat.

The building in which you'd find The Grotto forming part of the foundation is actually two buildings built in 1909 due east of the State Capitol building. And because it's old, it has its certain...er...charming little quirks. Like, for instance, the wiring in the upstairs apartments, we're pretty sure, is the original wiring...cased in cloth. Like, for instance, none of the doors in our apartment close and latch. Like, for instance, there are 100 years' worth of spiders, bugs, and general creepy-crawlies - descendents of the first creepy-crawlies who moved in and unpacked their silken suitcases when the first human inhabitants did. Actually, no. Likely the bugs were here first (little claim jumpers).

When Lex and I first moved in then, we were startled and more than a little creeped out by one variety of creepy-crawlie in particular - the exceedingly large centipede population. Just so we're clear, centipedes are not cute. They are fast, some of them are huge, and all those twitchy little legs are the stuff of nightmares.

Both of us inexperienced in the ways of bug extermination, rather than bug bomb the whole place, we decided the best plan of attack was to purchase several of those no-kill glue traps for rodents hoping the centipedes would just oblige us and run across the goo and get stuck. I have no idea what our rationale was for this. Clearly, 3 1/2 years later, this does not seem a bit logical.

Regardless, we purchased them and set them out in the bathroom, kitchen, and back main room. They never caught any bugs. Mostly they caught dust bunnies. But they stayed out for several months...

And then? Then we adopted Vinny.

Vinny had been home with us for about two weeks, finally recovered from his nausea and kennel cough, and was spending most of his days exploring his new environment, finding his favorite comfy spaces he deemed nap-worthy, and waiting for us to get home from work each day to play with him endlessly until we all three collapsed.

I got home from work that Monday, his two-week anniversary, and right off I noticed something amiss when I went into my bedroom to change out of my work clothes. One of those glue traps had somehow managed to find its way into my bedroom and land glue side down on the carpet next to my bed. Since I couldn't imagine why Lex had put it there, I turned to the next likely suspect...Vinny.

I called for him. He didn't come out from his hiding space. I wandered the entire house, calling his name, and poking my nose into his favorite haunts...my closet, Lex's clean clothes hamper, the back room. He was nowhere to be found. I came back out into the kitchen, looked around, and then saw him standing in the doorway between the living room and the kitchen. As he began walking toward me, his unrepentant gaze was betrayed by the funny little walk he had adopted since 6 a.m.

It went a little something like this (sound followed by action)...

*squick* *shake shake shake*
*squick* *shake shake shake*
*squick* *shake shake shake*

He *squick squick squick*'d and *shake shake shake*'d his way across the linoleum to where I stood and then stuck his head between my feet.

Hmmmm...

Further investigation revealed that the toes of both his passenger side paws were stuck fast together with glue goo from the trap.

Thank gawd for the interwebs, People. After I did a little research online, I was able to ascertain the traps were non-toxic and even had recommendations for un-stickification in the event a pet or child rumbled with an unsupervised trap. The cure? Vegetable oil.

So, I took the bottle of vegetable oil, some paper towels, and a rather unhappy cat to the bathroom for glue extraction. (Somehow, the bathroom seemed the most logical place to perform minor boo boo rectification - see what a good mom I am?)


Did you know cats are naturally slippery little boogers when they aren't particularly interested in being held or when their sensibilities are being violated? Fact. Did you also know cats, at least this one, finds the scent of vegetable oil particularly appetizing? Fact. Have you ever attempted to hold onto a cat by keeping him trapped in the crook of your elbow while trying in vain to use both hands to manage the cat's paws, the vegetable oil, and paper towels while he simultaneously tries to wriggle free and lick the oil off his feet?

This was not our most shining moment.

As soon as I finished up in the bathroom with him, the remaining traps went in the trash.

In 6 months, we'd managed to trap no centipedes, no spiders, and no bugs.

The only thing those traps were good for was trapping one very curious cat.




Originally written December 8, 2008. Updated and re-written for my contribution to the GBE 2 topic for this week: Curiosity.

17 comments:

Jo said...

Bless his little heart!

angelaparsonmyers said...

Love the story. Pets are like children--they can get into the darnedest situations. And you can't help but love them for it.

Gaelyn said...

After all that I hope the cat now takes care of the bug problem.

Claudia Moser said...

Super cute story!

Lucy said...

Animals love to explore and they get into more messes and then trying to 'help' them is beyond frustrating because they don't like what you are doing to them LOL. I could just see you in the bathroom with the wiggly cat!

Oh, we struggle with centipedes, we hate those things. I have Orkin and they no longer use dangerous pesticides which means it is hard to fight off the centipedes, especially because of all those long legs. Anyway, my Orkin guy told me to pour BLEACH down all our drains whenever we get a lot of centipede activity and this will keep them at bay. Centipedes love water, so whenever we get a rainy spurt they come out and they love the basement and bathrooms (I have been lucky they don't go near the kitchen). Anyway, the Bleach works. I don't do it too often and you can't use the water for at least an hour after you pour the bleach down the drain!

cdnkaro said...

What a sweetie! Maybe Vinnie will oblige and get the centipedes for you...our cats are not at all particular about which nasty creepy crawlies they will eat. It's alive? It must taste good.

Nini Kahler said...

Aren't our little kitties adorable, even if they can be a handful at times, be they old or young. LOL!

We have a female cat, and though she is about 16 years old now, she can still be a handful and a headache. But I wouldn't trade her. :)

~Virginia

Word Nerd said...

What a cool story. We caught a mouse in a glue trap once and it turned out really ugly. I'm glad your cat story ended on a happier note.

Oh, and though I provide free spider transport, I whomp the shit out of centipedes because they freak me out.

Masked Mom said...

Love the story--and really LOVE the "passenger side paws." That was a snort-out-loud one for me.

Melanie said...

Oh, my gosh. I've only seen the occasional slow centipede. Those fast ones can't be fun. Here in the South, our "water bugs" (lawsy, don't call them cockroaches, even though they are!) are legendary. Our cats are bored with water bugs and are no help whatsoever.

The old building sounds charming, though!

S. Stauss said...

That cat! I love his little PMS face! I can relate to old houses and creepy crawlies. I have actually considered that sticky paper stuff. I'm afraid I'll find a 'possum in it or something, though.

Gene Pool Diva said...

Still chuckling.

danneromero said...

great story! hi jane, thanks for stopping by my post.. you have a new follower...
and, from the looks of it.. your cat looks like my (almost) cat... dark brown all over with green eyes?
our kitty/cats are new to our household and we are enjoying every bit of them...
:D

alienbody said...

I have 3 cats. So...um...yes. Oh and Vinny is my nephew's name. :-)

Artful Communication - k~ said...

Ohhh poor Vinny! This was a great story, one I stuck around for ;-P

Brenda Stevens said...

"Like for instance..." this is the sweetest story i have read today! aww..so cute and i am glad we get to see Viny has cleaned up his act (err mommy i mean) LOL love where you took us with this one

Joyce Lansky said...

Funny! I love the way you describe his walk. And yay for Dr. Google!

Joyce
http://joycelansky.blogspot.com