Household in order, cats not so much as grandson arrives

Household in order, cats not so much as grandson arrives

We are having an Eli week in New Orleans. He and his mother will stay all week. His dad has to return to his  job on Tuesday.
Mostly they are basking in the fine weather that contrasts so favorably with the “spring” they left behind in Milwaukee — rainy, cool, mostly cloudy, always windy. The people always contrast favorably as well, according Mary and Phil after they returned from their first trip to the supermarket — friendly, smiling laid-back clerks ready to engage in pleasant conversation. It’s a southern thing and in no city moreso than New Orleans, adding to our theory of climate impacting our very personas.
Their arrival was preceded by three days of deep cleaning around the house. Most folks have some sort of annual spring cleaning. Ours is always in anticipation of visitors.
We got a boost on Saturday when we discovered our neighbors had left on a trip of unknown duration. These are the nice folks to whom the seller did not reveal the presence of a damncat colony next door when they paid him more than the house will ever be worth and moved in. In the interim, the lady has developed such a loathing for damncats that she has instilled at least one of her two young daughters with an irrational fear of damncats. Web sources label that as Ailurophobia.
My wife constantly tries to intervene while avoiding a face-to-face meeting. She arises early to scout the yard next door, looking for places in the flower bed or lawn that have been violated, moving stealthily inside the fence to remove any evidence.
In the evenings she spends time standing by with a water hose ready to discourage any damncat tempted to stray over after its evening meal. We’ve also discovered a high-powered pepper concoction that damncats avoid if it’s spread on the ground they are accustomed to visiting. A rain compromises its effectiveness and each application is accompanied by pepper-induced sneezing fits.
Our ailurophobic neighbors’ absence is a boost because our damncats will be even more likely to hang out next door since our yard is occupied by a six-year-old boy. We’re hoping that they will stay gone all week.
And that’s a report from Uptown New Orleans where the impasses between ailurophobes and others is temporarily on hold and the Aquarium of the Americas is on Monday’s itinerary.

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