The Evil Twin

My ex and I got a pair of beautiful little patched tabbies one year. We had been touching and holding them since they were born. We knew they would be fine cats because they were born to the preacher’s cat, Snowball, who turned into a Siamese when she grew up.One was a sweet little cat, “Sweet Pete” I called her, but she had an opposite-twin sister, Callie. Callie’s white blaze was on the other side of her nose, the orange splash was on the other side of each girl’s front paw, etc., and Callie’s personality was as full of mischief as her sister’s was of sweet love.I often called Callie “The Evil Twin”, and I still don’t know if she was truly evil, or just had a wicked and twisted sense of humor.Living out in a far-flung desert community (Sandy Valley Nevada, US) I often had to go up onto the roof to get the cheap but touchy evaporative air conditioners to run right. “Swamp Coolers” we called them because of the humidity they put into the indoor air. Water was pumped up inside a 3’ square louvered box with wood shavings stuck to the inside walls of the box. All kinds of things could go wrong, such as wood shavings getting stuck in the intake tubes, water overflows, clogging of tubes with algae or minerals, anything and everything went wrong with them. But they ran on almost no power, and kept the indoors livable when the outdoors wasn’t.Sweet Pete would often scamper up the ladder with me and hop onto the blistering hot roof, just out of love. (I hauled up some plywood for us both to sit on after the first time.)The Evil Twin would come up the ladder, too, almost up to the top, then “meat loaf” on the rung I’d need to step onto if I ever hoped to get off the roof. The first couple of times, I leaned way down the ladder and pushed her around with my hand. It was amazing to see her wrap herself in a figure-eight around the rungs and the uprights.

Pushing her around the figure eight with my foot only resulted in her going a rung down and accomplishing the same objective of keeping me and Pete on the roof.
Stepping directly onto Callie did nothing- she held her ground until she couldn’t stand it, then oozed over to the other side of the rung.
I had thoughts of calling our preacher for an exorcism or something for Callie. She was just a terror!
Our next ladder go round was the bright idea I had of tying a rope to the top rung, and when I was ready to climb down, throw the ladder away from the house, thereby spilling the cat off and bringing it back up to me with the rope. It didn’t work out as planned. I was the one who (nearly) took the header, and Callie held on with her strong, furry little arms.
I dumped my water on her. That meant Sweetie and I just sat up there, sunbaked and thirsty, for ages.
I tried pulling the ladder up behind me, but as I put it back down, Callie would hop on it and make it up to “her” rung before I even had the ladder in place.
There were days and days when my then-husband came home from work and found me on the roof, or just coming down from it, and the evil cat smilingly and innocently greeting him as he got out of his truck. He actually thought I was making up stories about Callie!
Finally I started remembering to take the cordless phone up with me most times— if I couldn’t raise the neighbors, I could always throw the phone at the cat! She just ducked, and my poor ex-hubby couldn’t understand why I went through phones so fast and he scolded me all the time for it. Pete and I would just look at each other: She knew.
As for Callie, she was just pure mischief, and I’ve formulated a strict rule from that: Never get free cats from a preacher. Even Sweet Pete wasn’t sweet enough to make up for all those days on the roof!

There’s a Post Script to this: When we divorced and my ex remarried, the first night the new wife spent in the house with “Cute little Callie,” her watch and her keys were missing. My ex had to call me to tell me I was right all along. Too late, but victory was sweet.

® Dayonda 22:37 12/8/2008

The Evil Twin

Dayonda

Joined March 2008

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