When I was growing up, we always had lots of kitties living with us. There was Taffy May and Buzzel and Merv — but the kitty that stands out the most in my mind is Clark.
Clark was the kitty my mother got my brothers and I to help ease the pain of the divorce. We moved to a new town after that and took Clark with us.
Unfortunately, the only way we could have Clark in our new place was if we agreed to have him de-clawed.
For some reason, in 1965, landlords thought that one little kitty could destroy an entire property.
Thinking back, it was a horrible thing to do to our beloved Clark, and I hope it is a practice that has long since been abandoned. For you see, Clark was never quite right in the head after that.
Clark had a chip on his shoulder and he liked to take it out on bare legs. God help you if you walked by him in shorts, he would attack by jumping on your legs and sliding slowly down them like he was a fireman.
Clark also had a weak stomach. Every couple of days or so, he would meow in a certain way just before loosing his lunch. When we finally caught on to this idiosyncrasy of his and when we heard “the call” my mother would always yell for one of us to get Clark and hold him over the toilet.
This became a pretty regular routine. One day my brothers got the genius idea to impersonate Clark’s up-chuck distress call.
This proved to be great fun especially when our friends were over. If things started getting dull or the conversation would lull, somebody would impersonate Clark’s up-chuck distress call and without missing a beat my mother would yell from the other room, “Quick somebody get Clark and hold him over the toilet!”
At this point in time, we also had very old furniture and our couch had holes in it. My mother was always sewing them up to prevent someone from falling through.
One day my mother couldn’t find her reading glasses and surmised that they must have fallen off while she was sewing up the couch.
So here we all were – a room full of teenagers — watching TV. In walks my mother with a pair of scissors and asks one of the boys to scoot over a little, he complies whereupon my mother cuts a hole in the couch, reaches in, pulls out her reading glasses, puts them on and leaves the room without saying a word.
Five minutes later someone gave the, by now, infamous up-chuck distress call to which my wonderful mother responded in true Pavlovian fashion by yelling from the other room,
“Quick, somebody get Clark and hold him over the toilet! “
Ah! Those were the days!
Until next time . . . I love you