Bobbing for Cats

by Torry Martin

Dear B. Log,

Yesterday my dog, Sam, and I became the not-so-proud owners of…(drumroll, please)…five cats. We’re not so proud because we’re both allergic to felines. They make me sneeze and make Sam growl. But Sam and I both know what it feels like to be a stray, so we took them in. I feed the cats while I sneeze, and they lick Sam’s face while he growls.

I’m desperately trying to find better homes for the cats before I get emotionally attached, which is why I gave them all the name Bob. There’s Bob Cat 1, Bob Cat 2, Bob Cat 4 and Bob Cat 5. Wait. I’m missing one. No, there’s One. I’m missing Three—Bob Cat 3. He’s probably under my bed again, which means I’ll sneeze all night. By the way, Bob Cat 5 was found at the same place as Bob Cats 1 through 4. Across the street at…Willow Manor.

Yes, Willow Manor is the “empty” house I’ve been looking after. Ever since Miss Willow left Odyssey several years ago, Mr. McCready from the bank has been seeing to the upkeep of her family’s manor. Actually, he gets someone else to see to it. When that someone stopped, Mr. McCready asked me to take over since I live across the street. So I’ve been watching Willow Manor. Mowing. Weeding. Leaving cheese so the mice don’t starve. (I love mice. They’re like gerbils without the wheel.) Oh, and I’ve been finding stray cats, who apparently like empty houses.

Except it isn’t really empty. I’ve seen old Miss Willow climb in and out of the living room window—while carrying a bowling ball bag! At first I thought she was a spy. I’m not sure why Miss Willow doesn’t want anyone to know she’s in town or why she seems to love bowling or why she sneaks into her own house. It’s not like she’s an intruder. She must have a key to the front door.

Anyway, Miss Willow certainly appears strong and agile for a senior citizen, what with how she climbs through the window with a bowling ball bag and all. But lately the window has been getting stuck because I heard her yell: “Oh, you terrible, troublesome window! Stop being such a stubborn McCready and just lift!” Now I’m not sure why Miss Willow used Mr. McCready’s name or whether it has any significance, but the stubborn window game me Wooton’s Thought No. 2,723 (yes, I keep track): Why don’t I sand the edges of Miss Willow’s window and apply fresh beeswax so it will open more easily?

Today that’s what I did. Soon the window glided up and down like a hot knife through fresh licorice. I hope Miss Willow will receive this as an unexpected gift. I guess me, Sam and the Bobs will just have to wait and see.

This article first appeared in the May 2010 issue of Focus on the Family Clubhouse magazine. Copyright © 2010 by Torry Martin. Used by permission. Illustration © Gary Locke.