Growing up we had a Persian cat named Mittens.
My mother (the nurse) allowed Mittens to breed every now and then so my brother and I could watch the birth of kittens. I think this was some sort of sick effort on her part to make sure we never had sex. We then were made to care for the kittens before selling them or giving them away to a good home.
I hated the last part, since I felt we should just be able to keep them all.
One of those times, Mittens had a new batch of kittens that were housed in a 5-foot bin in the garage. My father built them a special home so they couldn’t get out unless someone was there to watch over them. My father built the bin in such a way that Mittens could climb out, but the kittens remained there unless we removed them.
They were about four weeks old at this point.
During this same period, my mother and father temporarily gave up use of the garage for my brother and his friends to build their massive train city. About once a year they would gather their train tracks to our garage and set up this huge landscape of train tracks, stations, houses, trees, cars, dirt and about 5,000 army men.
They spent weeks getting their landscape perfect. They would then plan a date for when they would destroy it in one big pretend battle scene from World War II.
This particular week my brother was on restriction for hanging my dolls by their necks in my bedroom. He used to love to torture me by messing with my dolls.
He was number one on my “people to get even with” short list.
When he wasn’t doing all the chores assigned to him for his restriction, he was putting the finishing touches on the landscape in the garage for the battle day with his friends. He had a plan for the Saturday after he was let off restriction to gather his friends and bring them back to do battle. He had been looking forward to it for weeks.
I didn’t have much time to get even.
Don’t ask me where my mother and father were at this time, because I have no idea. But one day I quietly moved passed the kitchen like a lion stalking her prey. With the precision of a bank robber, I slowly opened the back door to sneak into the garage. Every inch of the floor was covered with cars, trucks, trees, rocks, dirt, train tracks, bridges, and a long 6 foot train set sitting ready at the station.
It was perfection.
In the background I can hear the tiny quiet meows of eight furry, fluffy kittens. I maneuver my way over to the bin and push an old chair up against the high wall. I stand on the chair and reach over to scoop up one kitten at a time, and then I gently release each them on the floor of the garage. Now mind you, the garage door is closed.
Shortly, all eight kittens are out of the bin. As I slowly exit back into the house, I turn to view the kittens. One was already sitting on a train, another had a tree in her mouth, and a third was beginning to bat at a line of soldiers, scattering them across the floor under my father’s work bench.
I crept back into the house un-noticed.
About two hours later there was all this yelling in the garage. My brother was having a fit over the fact the kittens somehow got out of the bin. I guess they did a pretty good job at destroying his train country. I never went to look, as I was afraid I would some how give away the fact that it was me who let them out.
My mother and father scratched their heads trying to figure out how the kittens were able to get out of such a tall box.
I never told my part of this story until we were well into our 30s.
You should never mess with a redhead.
Today a friend sent me a link to the following YouTube video:
Yep. This is how boys are when you trust them with your stuff.
You men never change.
Until next time –
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