Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Where Are All the Cats Coming From?

Extreme Makeover Home EditionOr, in proper English, "From whence come all these cats?"

You may remember how The Great Garbage Disposal Destruction, through the wonders of raw sewage, gave me the leverage I needed to get a new kitchen and you may remember my subsequent moanings about the issues of a remodel (i.e. it's dang expensive). But despite the coma-inducing sticker shock we have gone ahead with the project and are currently Under Construction.

I haven't said much about it because what is there to say about exposed drywall and dust inhalation? It's just not that glamorous no matter what Extreme Makeover Home Edition and that annoying host with the soul patch would have you believe--in fact as goofy as Ty Pennington is, a picture of him is more interesting than the picture of my kitchen right now so you'll have to make due.

The thing I find so amazing about the whole process is that if I were to walk onto any car lot in the nation with the amount of cash that it takes to remodel my small-ish kitchen I'd have salesman swarming over me like cats over a salmon dinner. Hmmmm . . . cats and fish . . . we'll get to that point in a moment.

But needless to say instead of eager salesman waiting on me hand and foot, desperate to satisfy every kitchen desire of my heart I'm chasing down installers and salesman, trying to coordinate deliveries and measurements, all for something that I haven't actually seen and don't know how it will look. In essence, I've seen no show model as a demonstration, had no test drive, have no idea whether I'll even like it. I mean I have a pretty good idea but I'm not sure. And I need to be sure when this kind of money and inconvenience is involved.

In an effort to prepare for the upcoming chaos, I decided several weeks ago to defrost the refrigerator and see what the elves had been hiding behind the corn dogs. To no one's surprise I came up with some very old salmon and halibut leftover from Andrew's hunting and gathering frenzy last summer that was now sporting the Mother of All Freezer Burn. I'm not a big fish fan (obviously or I wouldn't have forgotten about it now would I?) and put the packages in a plastic grocery bag which I then set outside the door on the back deck. It's Alaska, and in March it's still freezing outside so I figured I'd leave it there and then take it up to the zoo.

The zoo? Oh I don't know, I remember when I was a kid my Mom once said that she was taking freezer-burned meat up to the zoo as a donation and though I've never actually done this, somehow it seemed a good idea at the time--I hate wasting things and I didn't want to throw the fish into the garbage cans in the garage for fear of the smell. So zoo it was, the poor caged animals could be fed freezer-burned meat.

Only problem is I forgot about the bag. We rarely use the French doors until summer and I forgot that I'd stuck that bag outside. The thermometer climbed, the snow began to melt and still I failed to remember about the poor little zoo creatures. March came and went, then April progressed until temps were hitting 50 and 60 on the sunny side of the house--the side with the bag of no-longer frozen fish. Then the zoo came to us.

One morning I woke to find that we'd had visitors and that the neighborhood cats had taken a fancy to the ripened meat we were offering out back and during the night had got into the bag. I opened the door to a crime scene of Biblical proportions with rotten salmon and halibut strewn on the deck, the smell of the juices nearly knocking me out.

Oh they'd had a great time with it. While cleaning up the mess, in my mind's eye I could see a sudden rash of neighborhood cats mysteriously dropping dead from food poisoning and wondered if they'd be able to trace the source back to me. Great, just great. My deck now smells like the inside of a whale's stomach and I get hauled down to headquarters for killing Crazy Cat next door. This remodel is going to be fun.

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22 comments:

TeaMouse said...

Sorry but that had me laughing. I'm sure in a few months time you can laugh too. I can just picture a bunch of cats attacking this bag of rotting fish....yuck! Honestly they should know better than to eat rotten food.

You better rid yourself of the stinky evidence...lol!

Ally Bean said...

Very funny. As we are just beginning the process of redoing the kitchen I'll make a mental note to not put rotten fish on back porch. Like need more things to remember right now! :-)

Heffalump said...

Cats are not always respectful neighbors. Somehow one of the neighborhood cats got in our house the other day. (My boys are not great about closing the door all the way when they get home from school.) It startled me to turn around and see a huge cat on my washing machine. I don't think it was pleased to see me either, but it went right outside without too much hassle.

the new girl said...

You gotta love a post where unintentional philanthropy intersects with raw, stinky fish.

I'm sure that you are the new hero to all the neighborhood cats.

jenn in holland said...

I started by chuckling over our shared opinion of Ty Pennington and ended up guffawing at the idea of being hauled off for killing Crazy Cat next door.
But I am totally commiserating on the smell thing. Recently upon leaving for an extended trip stateside, my husband mistakenly UNPLUGGED THE REFRIGERATOR before we left and when we returned after our two weeks in the States? The stench was UNBEARABLE. We are only just now at the point where I think we are finally free of it. Six months later. Except for the ice cube trays. You may think that I should have just thrown those out and replaced them but for two reasons. 1. I share your penchant for being unable to throw things away and 2. ice cube trays are actually very hard to find in Europe.
Now that I have written a post of my own in your comment section I will leave with well wishes for much success in the remodel. Can't wait to hear the next story about it!

Inkling said...

Very funny. I can just picture it. Thanks for putting up the hunky Ty Pennington, instead of a picture of rotting fish on your deck. I'm still laughing.

my4kids said...

Sorry I had to laugh.
As soon as you said that you put them outside I could see what was going to happen.
I can only imagine the smell though. I don't really like the smell of fish (though I like eating it) when its fresh let alone umm yeah not so fresh I gather. Your comment about the contents of a whales stomach though that pretty much brought it all home. Eww sorry!
We have a couple of cats so anything fishy gets put in several bags and straight into a locked garbage can outside just as a precaution after seeing how they act around us when we are eating we don't want to know what they would do unsupervised!

Amy said...

I am laughing so hard right now. I can't imagine what that must have looked like or smelled like. BLECH! Old fish- gross!

I would break out your slow cooker while you are remodeling. That will be your best friend until everything is said & done :)

Mike said...

So you're to blame. :)

Love the post. Very entertaining.


Mike
http://somethingaboutparenting.typepad.com/

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Oh dear, there's a lesson that's especially apt in Alaska...don't leave your home caught fish out on the porch for months at a time, or you will rue that day indeed. You had me laughing with this one. :)

Ni Yachen said...

When I forget about something I've left on the back deck, it's the old dishwasher (or other home improvement discard. Luckily the dishwasher has not attracted any neighborhood cats. Michelle you had me laughing today.

allrileyedup said...

I once found a cooler of crawfish in my backyard weeks after the crawfish boil. If your place smells anything like mine did, you have my deepest sympathies.

Mercy's Maid said...

Oh I can't even imagine the smell. The smell of fresh fish turns my stomach, but the smell of rotten fish? I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

Ang said...

I'm rolling laughing!! Even though I haven't had any rotting fish anywhere nearby, I did find some well hidden and forgotten sippy cups the other day... ones that once held choc choc (chocolate milk. I'm glad that I'd already eaten when I read :) Smoked salmon is one of my favorite memories... there's just something delicious about that smell!! Oh, I thought that it was funny that you were talking about Louisville KY the other day... guess where we moved to after AL?!?

chelle said...

oh my!! The advantages and disadvantages of living with seasons! And a lot of neighborhood cats!

dgm said...

Not to get all grammar teacher on you, but isn't proper English "Whence come all these cats?" (since "whence" means "from where"?)

Still, very funny.dg

PortraitofPeter said...

I so luv your posts and this one had me laughing at the visualisation of you being arrested and all the cats in the neighbourhood on a witness protection programme!!

Do keep them coming.

MC Milker said...

LOL - at least it wasn't "wilder" wildlife! we've had Raccoons feast on garbage bags accidently left out on the porch awaiting delivery to the garbage bin.

The Late Bloomer said...

Oh my God Michelle, I know I shouldn't be laughing, but just the way you told this story... It sounds like EXACTLY the kind of thing I would do, but on a regular basis! I'm always feeling guilty about having to throw away anything, but if meat or fish coming out of the freezer looks the slightest bit suspicious, I do tend to chuck it. And I try to swallow the guilty conscience!

I was furious with my boyfriend yesterday when he left a half-eaten tuna salad on the kitchen table in the late-afternoon spring warmth, and our apartment REEKED when we walked in late last night -- windows were left wide open for a bit...

sara - The Estrogen Files said...

ROTFL!! I'm so sorry! Stupid neighborhood cats - been there, done that!

Stephanie said...

Oh well at least there is a funny story to go with the hassle of the kitchen remodel!

LinkGuru Web Directory said...

TeaMouse said...
Sorry but that had me laughing. I'm sure in a few months time you can laugh too. I can just picture a bunch of cats attacking this bag of rotting fish....yuck! Honestly they should know better than to eat rotten food.

You better rid yourself of the stinky evidence...lol!



OMG! it feels vomit to me :(

I hate these kinds of things done by cats