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Uhhhh boy
[ Nov 14, 2006 ]
tankbb.jpg This picture has all the earmarks of impending disaster. Tank was never a big fan of beer until he discovered an express delivery method.

Into the Bush part II
[ Oct 3, 2006 ]
AgentOrange2.jpg So i spend some time surveying my options. I sought out the advice of Julie, who though well motivated, honestly didn't seem to grasp the gravity of my situation. "Capture" them?! What was I, an NVA death squad? Take them to the "Animal Hospital"?! Sure, where more of the beasts lurked. I've seen the Rats of NIMH afterall, first comes the jailbreak, next thing I know a giant brick breaks lose from the contraption moving Mrs. Frisbys house and crushes me into paste. No thanks.

My other animal expert was Joe. He's practically a doctor. But i didnt even attempt to call him. Why? Because I pity Gina, and dont want to see her living with 7 new cats, which is what would happen. Joe is already 1 cat away from full blown Crazy Old Lady status. And 3 cats past Questionable Heterosexuality status. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

So I came up with a few options of my own devising:

1. Move. I gave this one serious consideration. I dont really love the house, per say. But how can i show the house when it has a courtyard infested with jungle and a jungle infested with jungle cats? Check and mate.

2. Attract some sort of Bird of Prey Look, its not that I want to kill the kittens. As such. I dont intend on, say, wrapping them in a sock and throwing them in the pond for instance. No indeed! But I always say Let Nature Take Its Course. But this is about as far as I got on this promising idea, because i have no idea how to go about producing much less training a hawk. Or eagle. Perhaps an owl? See I have no idea.

3. Call in an expert Simple enough in theory, but whom? Animal Control? What the hell is that anyway? I've heard the name, and maybe seen the truck, but i dont know crap about why you are allowed to call them. Clearly being ridiculed for needing guys with tranq rifles and snake poles to handle a clutch of cats was strongly in the offing. Pass.

So at this point, i had an epiphany. This wasnt just some simple act of zoology, this was 4th generation, low intensity, jungle warfare. This was something i know about! This is something I can handle! So my next batch of ideas:

4. Conventional Warfare The cats natural enemy- the Dog. Now many regular readers may find it ironic that back when i had my little 'mouse problem' i gave serious consideration to bringing a cat into to handle it. Hypocracy? Quite the opposite friends. It is nature at its naturalist-> mouse->cat->dog. After all, I figured if at some later date I am accosted by IT, i can always call upon a T-Rex.

5. Chemical Warfare Poison. NO I DIDNT POISON THE STUPID KITTENS. But im not going to say it didnt cross my mind. Briefly.

6. Infiltration Its simple, i produce a little saucer of milk, or cream, or whatever the fuck these things go on about, I make little cooing noises and crap, and when they get close i yank a pillowcase over their heads, drive them out into the middle of nowhere, and leave them for dead. Tempting, but there is no way in hell i am touching these things.

7. Agent Orange Finally, the one I actually settled on as my first least undesireable option. I went commando on the folliage. Julie pointed out that without the lush canopy, the critters probably wouldnt feel so at home, and might move on. This appealed to my 'i dont want to get arrested for animal cruelty' soft spot for the kittens. So I grabbed my John Locke hunting knife and did the most horrific hour of horticulture this block has even seen. I seriously went to town.

So that's where its at now. Once They heard the sound of me becoming a human weed wacker the cats bolted for safety, allowing me to mow down their home the old fashioned way. So that has worked so far, but i dont think for a moment this is anything more than a temporary respite. At some point they will lose their fear of crazy jungle man and return to their habitat. But i have another plan already formulated.

The essense of warfare:always be one step ahead of the cat.

Into the Bush part I
[ Oct 3, 2006 ]
vietnam_16.jpg I have an infestation. Julie detected it first- some manner of animal noise eminating from out the window of my house. So I looked, but i never saw much but an occasional streak of white or perhaps an ungodly call that no man ever uttered. But slowly I narrowed my field of search, and isolated the location to my courtyard. And so one night (well, day), I hitched up my hiking boots, put on my cowhide gloves, and ventured into the beasts ill-gotten lair. And there is was. Kitten.

So i beat a hasty retreat into the house, flipped off all the lights, sealed the doors and windows, poured all the dairy down the drain. For a few days I hunkered down, hoping against hope that the creature would decide to leave of its own accord.

But fate had other ideas.

And so that leads us to today. I was standing in my kitchen, sporting my castaway shorts and coconut bra t-shirt and listening to the Cisco cd, when i heard the sound. Only this time, it seemed amplified- like it was coming from all directions. If i closed my eyes i could almost hear voices in that infernal racket. And i dont think they liked me.

So after about 20 minutes of cowering in the corner, desperately hoping the neighbors didnt think less of me, I decided to have a peak. So I crept to the window, threw back the sash, and lo- Kittens. The first beast had brought back reinforcements to finish the job, that much was clear. And there to was what i can only assume was the mother. They swarmed about her, kinda like the Aliens around the Alien in Aliens. The slithered and slunk, some slipping away under the fence, other sliding back into my yard.

I should take a moment to explain my courtyard. I live in a single family house in what I like to consider the South South West West West side of Chicago, known as Romeoville. I have a little courtyard of my own, contained by a plastic fence about 8 feet high. There is also a gap of perhaps 8 inches between the ground and the bottom of the fence. This will come strongly into play later. A lot of people plant grass in their courtyards, or have patios, even hot tubs. I have 1/10th of an acre of out of control jungle rot. Think Platoon. Its probably a miracle i ever found the cats. At least before they sank their claws into me.

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