Sunday, May 27, 2007

Domestic Adventures With the Engineer

The Engineer got back from China at 4:00 Saturday afternoon. I picked him up at the airport, brought him home and fed him, then tucked him into bed. I had asked him to bring me back a silk scarf from Beijing in a floral or dragon motif, thinking it was a simple, inexpensive thing to request... He came back with three huge, amazingly ugly silk scarves. I thanked him profusely and gave him lots of hugs and kisses, but, geeze, those scarves are ugly. I think his taste is all in his mouth. He brought Toblerone bars too. He always brings Toblerone bars. We have at least 20 of them stored in the gifts stash. Neither of us eats them.

After the long flight, he snored extra loudly, so I got very little sleep during the night. As dawn was breaking, I gave up entirely and went to sit in the bathroom (remember, we're living in one room) until he awoke and silence came creeping on little cat feet like the fog. At that point, about 7:10 a.m., I staggered back into the bedroom and collapsed on the bed.

At 7:26, I heard him shout, "What are you doing with that rabbit?"

There was the sound of a brief scuffle, then he began calling, "The cat brought in a rabbit, what should I do with it?"

I wobbled from my bed and into the hallway where I found him with a large bundle of towel. He thrust the towel at me.

"It's a baby rabbit. What do I do with it?"

He carried it outside and laid it on the picnic table. I gently folded back the towel to reveal the head of a cottontail bunny young enough to still have the white star on its forehead.

I love my cats, but if there was one thing I could change about them it would be the hunting. I know cottontails are the fast food of the wild, but I really like bunnies and absolutely hate it when the cats catch one. I hate it when they catch anything except rats -- and those had darn well better be thoroughly dead before they bring them into the house.

The Engineer took the bunny down a couple of yards, past the yard with two dogs, and let it go. He was very pleased with himself. It was the first rabbit he'd ever caught.

Actually, it was the first brought into the house cat prey he'd ever caught. He usually bellows for me when he discovers the cats at something he doesn't approve of. I've been catching birds, mice, chipmunks, rabbits, snakes, etc. for years, I'm good at it. One time he set up a ruckus over a "live bird" that the cats had. You would have thought the house was on fire he was so excited. So I excused myself to our company and went and caught the "live bird." It was a leopard spotted cat toy with feathers poking out one end. I displayed my catch with pride as the Engineer kept telling everyone that it really had looked just like a live bird.

The Engineer also does not do litter boxes. Nor does he touch canned cat food. He will pour crunchies into their dish and fill their water fountain, though. Should he find a hairball or mess on the floor -- I find out about it when I spot the can of carpet cleaner sitting, ready and waiting for me, next to the untouched cat sin. He's a subtle sort of a fellow, isn't he?

This evening he really made me nuts. We were going to have barbequed seafood shish kabobs, so he hauled out the Webber Kettle grill and fired it up -- right next to the beautiful yellow rose bush. As he strolled back into the kitchen, I looked up from my shrimp shelling and saw the side of the rose bush thrashing in the heat from the fire.

"Sweetie," I said, "you're going to set the rose on fire, you need to move the grill!"

He laughed and said he thought the lighter fluid flames would die down before it actually ignited.

I pointed out that the leaves and flowers were blackening and shriveling.

He laughed some more. He finally realized I was serious as I charged out the door, so he came out and moved the grill. Then he laughed about the rose having gotten "sunburned from below."
Men! Why do we let them live? It's a darn good thing (as I frequently tell him) that he's cute.

No comments: