Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mariah and Mittens

Our family cat was a hunter, not a cuddler. Erika and I understood this. But the other sister...well, she never seemed to learn.

Every so often, Mariah would do something - say, pull up her sleeves, reach for seconds at dinner, or change the channel - to reveal a scratched-up arm. Occasionally a hairline of red on her cheek would appear. Upon observing this, Erika and I would exchange looks before one of us would say, "Mariah, have you been playing with Mittens again?"

Mariah would calmly confess, "Yeeees". We then shook our heads, sometimes laughing, but usually just accepting, that our sister was somehow regularly attacked by the cat we managed to steer clear of. We understood the cat's nature; her disinterest in petting. We figured her propensity to disembowel rabbits was a clue.

Little did I know, that when I left home for university, the best was yet to come. And by best, I mean Mariah's final showdown with Mittens.

I wasn't there, so here's the tale in her words:

One night, when I was in my mid-teens, I was reading in bed when Mittens, the family cat, walked in the room. She came and sat by the head of the bed and I reached out to pet her. She let me, but I don’t think she liked it. She had that witchy look about her. I knew it was coming but there was nothing I could do. She pounced. I finally got her off through some pain, but it wasn’t over. I could see her lining up for a second shot. So I dove under the covers for protection.

Now I was in a predicament. I was terrified that I was going to fall asleep. And what if I pulled down the blankets in my sleep and Mittens was sitting there waiting for me and pounced on the only part of me showing – my face? MY FACE! I like my face!


I opened a tiny hole in the edge of the duvet so that I could see my phone by the side of the bed. I psyched myself up and made a mad grab for it. It was totally like on Scream 2 when they have to climb out of the cab after the accident over top of the masked killer, when he/she could wake up at any time and knife them. Terrifying, necessary and potentially lethal.


I got my phone under the covers and tried to call my mum’s cellphone. But there wasn’t enough battery to make a call! It wouldn’t connect! Not to mention the likelihood of both our cellphones getting coverage at the same time way out there in the wops where we lived, back then. I frantically typed out a text message (no predictive) to my best friend and just as I hit send the battery died.

So there I was, trapped in my own bed, under my duvet, not sure if the message had gotten through or not, terrified of MITTENS outside the covers. It was like when you’re little and you’re scared of ‘something’ that somehow could get you if you make any noise or if you aren’t under the covers. Except real.


Soon I heard my Dad come into my room. My best friend Emma had gotten the message, rang my house, woken my dad up and asked him to come save me. And you know what? I think the cat had gone. So maybe it was exactly like when you’re little and you’re scared of ‘something’ that somehow could get you if you make any noise or if you aren’t under the covers.


A couple things come to mind when I think back to that experience. One being thank goodness for cellphones. Also, I do wish I could hear that telephone conversation.



My sister is cute. Hilarious, beautifully unusual...and cute. In case you missed all those blatant links to her throughout this post; you can read her blog here.

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