My co-workers are voracious readers of the daily newspaper.
Often I overhear said coworkers discussing the stories they have read. These stories usually tell a horrific and depressing tale of some far-off place. I usually just nod and stay mute, because in the morning I only have the energy to privately hope that Ed McMahon will come knocking on my door with a big check and a reason to stay home from work. But this morning co-worker said something that got me out of my morning-induced coma.
They found 118 cats in a house in St. Anthony, she said.
One hundred and eighteen cats??!? In the same house?
I have a single cat. And although I positively adore him, living with him is like living with an inconsiderate, do-nothing, mooching, smelly roommate. He constantly begs for food -- frequently waking me up well before my alarm clock -- scratches the furniture *all* the time, jumps on the table to lick our dinner plates even when we are looking, spreads his hair throughout the house like he's some sort of allergen fairy, and has one of the highest stink-to-weight ratios in the animal kingdom. (Seriously, if a fox ever happened by her litterbox even he would demand a deodorizer; and I change that box every bleeping day.)
Oh, and he snores so loudly it measures on the Richter Scale. (Here is where I tell you that I'm the only complex being in this house who doesn't snore on a regular basis; sometimes, the chorus of snoring people and felines form a nice melody; other times they're only slightly less annoying than fingernails on a chalkboard. It usually depends on how much sleep you need that particular night. I won't tell you which one you'll hear when you have to get up at 4 a.m. to calm a crabby child.)
I once left the door open to the outside with my cat standing right there, and actively encouraged him to bolt, but my feline wouldn't budge. Not that I blame him, for this is still Minnesota and until recently it's been near 14 billion below zero outside. No amount of fur on anything could protect a being from 14 billion below zero.
So the thought of 118 cats roaming around my house, begging for food, turning my couch into a heaping ball of fabric and coils and meowing at all hours of the night just gives me the heebie-jeebies. 118?!