Saturday, April 21, 2007


As you can imagine, maternity has been a big topic around the Culbertson household. Dianna is constantly reading about being a mama. She's read books like Baby Wise, What to Expect When You Are Expecting, What to Do When You're Puking, and What to Expect from Your Husband When You're Expecting. She's read magazine article after magazine article telling her to lay on her left side, eat saltine crackers, buy a giant pillow, and to not take out the cat litter.

But Dianna isn't the only mama around the house. Our outside cat, Miss Madison, is now the proud mother of 4. Let me take this opportunity to tell you the story of Miss Madison...

When Dianna moved into the house last summer, this little calico cat started hanging around the house. It looked like it was starving. We tried to get rid of her, but she kept coming back, so we started feeding her. It's my understanding that once you feed a cat, it's yours. Well, we fed her for the next 3 months.
Then, one cool, rainy night in the Fall, we hear a knock at the door. I opened the door, to find our neighbor, "Mrs. Smith." Mrs. Smith is in her 70s, and I had visited with her a few times. She is a disgruntled former member of our church, which meant my visits with her consisted of her listing the millions of things wrong with our congregation. She left years ago due to some silly 'conflict' with a former preacher. So she's standing at my door, in the rain, with Miss Madison in her hands. The conversation proceeded as follows:
Her: "Hi. I'm Mrs. Smith"
My Thought: "I was at your house last week, I know who you are."
Her: "I've come to get my cat, Rascal."
My Thought: "RASCAL?? What a stupid name."
Me: "Oh, okay. We considered her our cat."
Her: "Well, if you had been out here when I came up, you would have seen how she recognized me."
My Thought: "Is this old lady really about to take our cat?"
Me: "I see."
Her: "If you wouldn't put food out for her, she wouldn't come over here. She's been a bad kitty. She had some kittens and then ran off and left them. She's a bad mommy."
Me: "Oh. We didn't know that."
My Thought: "Lady, you've got 50 cats, how did you even realize this one was missing?!"
Her: "Well, I better get her home. Just don't put any food out for her anymore."
My Thought: "She's doing it. She's stealing our cat. That old shrew is stealing our cat. The nerve!"
Me: "Yes ma'am. Have a good night."
*Que the Wicked Witch of the West theme music*
I turn around from the door to find Dianna sitting there weeping. It was at this moment that I wished all my thoughts had been my words. I really was floored that this woman who already had 50 cats would come to our house at night, in the cold, in the rain and take our cat! But I couldn't start a fight with this lady over a cat.

I should mention that Mrs. Smith's backyard is basically attached to our backyard, so Miss Madison (or Rascal...again, what a stupid name...) was back at our house within 2 hours. The cat stayed with us, and has lived happily ever after. THE END.

Mrs. Smith says that Miss Madison was a "bad mommy," but I have evidence that she is a great mother:

The custody of the kittens has yet to be determined.


Joy Culbertson said...

I've been asked to comment on this blog as the token "vet friend." After much personal debate, I've decided to respond with a tidbit of information on Animal Hoarding. Animal hoarding results from a psychological illness- a form of obsessive compulsive disorder. From (so you can read more if you like)

ANIMAL HOARDING — of which cat hoarding seems to be the most common manifestation — is one of the weirder psychological phenomena. Hoarders, as animal-control professionals (who prefer the word to the more innocuous-sounding "collectors") call them, take in or breed animals to the point where they can no longer care for the pets or, frequently, themselves. Nutrition, veterinary care, and sanitation go out the window as the animals pile up. Sanity goes as well, as most hoarders lose the ability to recognize the unhealthiness of their situation. To a hoarder, the animals are family and anyone seeking to relocate them is kidnapping kin, often removing the hoarder’s only source of emotional connection.

The American Veterinary Medical Association sites that 76% of hoarders are female, and 46% are age 60 or older.
So, Josh, you may have a real situation on your hands. More than just a "crazy cat lady". Be careful out there- its a strange world. And if you do regain custody of your feline- have her spayed ASAP or YOU could easily become crazy cat people!

Josh Culbertson said...

This has probably been the most insightful comment on the blog yet, Joy. Mrs. Smith is a cat hoarder... it makes complete sense now! Thank you very much "token vet friend."
PS -You'll be glad to know that our 'official' cat, Calvin, has been neutered.

Amy Lynn said...

wow.. jo's comment makes a LOT of sense... in fact, I knew a lady in my community called "kitty mema" because she had a few dozen cats around her house.. and all the pieces are now coming together about her. hmm.. so here's my question- I've had up to three cats living in my yard at a time... does that make me a future crazy cat lady?? or am I just a carrier... hmmm

Monica Alexandra Harper said...

I love kitties so much!!!!! I'm glad you're giving them a nice home.

Joy Culbertson said...

Josh, please take your kitties to the vet. It sounds like they may have Chlamydia or Herpesvirus. Thanks, your concerned vet friend