This is Calico. She’s lived outside of my house ever since we moved here five years ago. She was fully grown then, though much more scrawny. She’s a very feral cat, and she’ll hiss wildly if you get within ten feet of her. That said, she’s learned that at my house, we’re cat people, and we feed her twice a day. So now, like clockwork, she comes walking up to the front sidewalk for her daily fix of food.
It sometimes frustrates me that while she grants us the privilege of feeding her regularly, she will not allow us to even walk near her, much less touch her. When it gets cold outside, such as this past year, we’ve finally been able to get her to lay on a blanket that we put outside with catnip on it. But the poor girl refuses to take shelter from the rain.
My son Jeremy besides being a music engineer, works building, screening, and repairing pool enclosures. He even built a little screen room for Calico which was made with a type of screen that doesn’t allow water to penetrate so she could still feel like she was outside. But she refuses to even get near it.
But just when I get the most frustrated with poor Calico’s demanding personality, she does something kind such as leaving an offering on my front doorstep. Usually it’s a dead mouse or bird, or perhaps a snake. Thanks, Calico.
But Calico isn’t the only kid around these parts to leave offerings. The other day, I went to my computer and found that my son had left me a gift on my mouse pad. Thanks, Jeremy.
Yes, that’s right. It’s a dead lizard that he found dried up in a gutter he was working on that day. Wasn’t he sweet to save it in his pocket all day long to bring home for me?
Yeah. Sweet. But at least he’s getting better. A few years ago, he and his friend Austin found something else that they wanted to bring me…
Yes, that is indeed a dead alligator! They found this rotting gator carcass in the woods behind my house and thought it would be a great idea to bring it home and leave it on my front porch for me to find! Of course I made them put it back and wash their hands, and a couple of days later somebody else found it and cut off its head, then the day after that, the game patrol or some such authority came and took it away thankfully. (I’ll admit, it was me that insisted on taking photos first.)
But don’t worry. I know how to reciprocate. Just last night, Austin brought me a live ball python. Jeremy hates snakes (and spiders and roaches, oh, my!). So, of course, being a good mother, I attempted to help him alleviate his fear by wrapping the snake around my neck then going to give him a hug. Unfortunately, he saw it and ran screaming before I got close. But there’s always the holidays…
At any rate, at least my son thinks to bring me things. After all, it’s the thought that counts, right?
What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? What’s the largest gift you’ve ever received? What’s the oddest thing you’ve ever found in someone’s pocket when you did laundry?