bringing home Trevor
stupid games and stupid prizes
It was all supposed to be a surprise.
That’s why I didn’t bring a cat carrier.
Besides, I asked the person who had been looking after him all summer. The kittens traveled well together in a basket in her car.
What could possibly go wrong?
Let’s rewind a bit.
I was surprising the children with a new cat. They had been petitioning for a new once ever since Winkey’s departure. It took me years to warm up to the idea of letting a new cat into my heart and a new litter box into our home.
There is a living museum near here that we love. It’s called Memory Heritage Village. There, they’ve recreated what life was like on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia in the 1940’s. It’s composed of a lot of old buildings from the community that were moved there.
The exhibits include rocks to smash at the mine shack, an old school house with books to read and a chalkboard to write on. The ice house is, at the time of this writing, still has some blocks inside - leftovers from February’s harvest.
Every year, they include animals as part of the exhibit. A couple of sheep and a boot full of chickens cover the livestock quotient. But what would life be like at the village without kittens?
Every year they have kittens there. Every year we see them. Every year we fall in love with them. It’s easy to fall in love with these cats. They are well socialized. They meet strangers daily.
This year, when they received the kittens in May, I put our name in as a possible landing place for one of the cats. As luck would have it, they decided to let us have Trevor.1
The kids though? They didn’t know we were getting Trevor. We went to say goodbye to the cats. This was something we did every year. Fall in love with a pile of kittens then say goodbye.
Arriving at the village with a carrier, basket, or box would have given everything away. Besides, the cats, I was told, were used to traveling in cars.
The children were stunned silent in disbelief. They were giddy. This wasn’t the first time I surprised them with animals. People from the village took their turns holding Trevor one last time. Pictures were taken. Goodbyes were said.
How are we getting him home Dad? You didn’t bring a carrier.
That was the reply.
No problem. I thought I was ok in cars.
I picked him up and held him close - paying special attention to have a good hold on the scruff of his neck. Just in case.
Just in case.
This wasn’t slack in a system like yesterday. this was all about having a point of purchase, of grip, of control.
And it’s a good thing I did.
Just as we reached the car a tractor trailer used its engine brakes on the road not twenty feet in front of us. Poor Trevor was used to traveling in a car while sitting in a basket, rolled up into a big fuzzy ball with his brothers. Poor Trevor was being held by a large man he marginally knew. Poor Trevor didn’t have his brothers to chill with. Poor Trevor was exposed to the world. Poor Trevor was terrified.
Poor terrified Trevor did what scared cats do
Poor Trevor panicked.
All at once, his muscles tensed and claws came out. I felt my blood leaving me immediately. Focusing on my breath, I tightened my grip and directed the family into the car. Everyone got in. The doors were all closed but one.
That’s when the second tractor trailer used its air brakes.
That’s when I lost my grip.
Trevor flew into the car in a flurry of claws, fur and panic. My daughter still has both of her eyes. My son’s nose is fine. It was close in both cases. And. Everything turned out find.
Trevor continued to run around the car for a while eventually settling on the dash next to me.
I’ll finish with two things to take away. Bringing the cat home like this was part of the gift. Sure the surprise was fun. Even more delightful however is being a no nothing, bumbling idiot of a dad who throws a wild adolescent kitten into a car filled with soft skinned children.
My kids love to retell this story. They provide rich details about the gore, the panic and the extreme traumatization experienced by all. They delight in protesting my incompetence and stupidity. We all have a laugh and I’m the but of the joke.
I love Trevor. He’s my favorite pet. This is a fact that outrages both of my children and my wife. I pick him above all the rest of the furry little creatures we share our home with. And, I’m realistic. My children’s delight in this story will likely last long after he is gone. Thank you Trevor.
It’s pretty common sense that cats do not like driving in cars. It’s more unusual that a cat would gladly run into a car to go on a road trip. Though curious, they have neither the attachment to people nor the ambition of dogs.
A cat in a car is a violate, volatile situation. Where does common sense go out the window for you? In what circumstances do you go into a violate volatile situation without support? How would that support ruin things?
When do you play stupid games, win stupid prizes2 and are essentially happy that you did?
Trevor’s name was initially Ervine. That’s a great name. Ervine is a great name for another cat. Trevor? He’s pure Eastern Shore. He has black Reebok's, a mullet and smokes Export ‘A’ Ciggarettes. Turn ons include whickering at crows and lying in sunbeams. Turn offs include rude and lazy people who don’t give him kibble when he wants it.
Such as a back, arms and face ripped to shreds.