HodgePodge By Charlie Hodge – Our roommates are driving us crazy


Our roommates are driving us crazy


By Charlie Hodge

As we enter the sixth month term of House Jail I am pleased to report Tez and I are still talking (insert occasional yelling, muffled grumbling, and exasperated breathing) with each other on a tolerable level. Our roommates however are driving us crazy.

Most of the blame is Tez’s. She’s the one who decided to allow four other males to share our upstairs. They are teens going on to young adults and act like it.

The eat like horses and wait for us to feed them. They sleep or sit around on the couch or chairs and stare blankly out the window and do nothing during the day. Throughout the night they party on loudly either fighting or talking loudly with each other.

I suppose sometimes they are laughing – I can’t tell. I do not understand cat chat so I do not know.

What I do know is that Tez and I have both started reprimanding the cats for various things rather than each. At least when a cat talks back you do not know what they’re saying so there’s less reason to continue arguing. It’s strategically a diversion to reduce friction between Tez and I.

(Much easier and wiser to have a love-hate relationship with your cats than with your spouse. Cheaper as well since it does not result in lawyers).

Chaos, Trouble, Bandit, and Fluffy Little Bear are aptly named. They truly are brothers and have many traits human brothers do. They are best of friends who pick on each other routinely. Wherever Trouble goes Chaos is not far behind.

The band of brothers currently ruling the upstairs of our home are indoor cats. They’ve been with us for five years and despite their rambunctious nature have provided us with tremendous joy and friendship.

This experience is compliments of their mom and my best furry buddy Scaredy Cat. As some readers may recall – Scaredy Cat picked us as his human caregivers.

She first appeared one July day and wormed her way into our yard. I gave her a bowl of water. The die was cast.

Scaredy nervously hung around for another week or two so I left the garage door open during the days hoping she might get rid of any mice. A week later Tez and I went camping for a night and when we returned I opened the shed to put away camping gear. Out popped Scaredy. Seems she’d snuck into a corner and built herself a great spot to give birth to four kittens.

The SPCA informed us if we agreed to let mom stay in the garage for eight weeks until the kittens were weaned they would help with the necessary shots for the kittens and make sure mom would not produce a further litter. Only then would they consider taking in the four kittens.

Teresa and I agreed not to keep any kittens. That theory lasted less than eight weeks.

At first Teresa asked if she could keep any of them. I suggested that was her choice since I was not expected to live a long time so the commitment was hers to make. She decided to only keep the female kittens.

All four, we discovered soon after, were male.

When the eight weeks were up Tez announced that somehow it was up to me to decide which of the four cuddled up brothers were to be given away and which would stay wrapped in each other’s arms and tails. Hence the four males now causing pandemic pandemonium in our home.

During the next two years Scaredy and her wild side resided in the shed. Attempting to pet her was a gamble since she did not trust humans and her razor sharp claws made that clear.

While other people left her alone, I consistently but patiently encouraged Scaredy to let me pet her or be in her company. Day by day she would spend more time in the garden or yard near me. Last January while I was in hospital Tez decided to allow scaredy into the empty basement to keep warm. By the time I returned home Scaredy had become relatively comfy in her new digs. I moved into the basement part time as well for those nights when my oxygen machine is too loud.

Mom and kittens  (mortal enemies after separation) are still separated though we hope to eventually change that. Maybe they boys could use some Mom discipline.

Scaredy and I  have both mellowed over time. I cannot imagine my world without her. As a bonus her children truly help make our house a home.

As I write this my Scaredy is sitting on her pillow next to my computer, her right paw stretched full out across the keyboard, threatening another typo at any second. Scaredy Cat is not so scared anymore.

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Charlie Hodge is a best-selling author, writer, a current Kelowna City Councillor, and a Director on the Regional District of the Central Okanagan Board. He spent more than 25 years as a full-time newspaper journalist and has a diverse background in public relations, promotions, personal coaching, and strategic planning. A former managing editor, assistant editor, sports editor, entertainment editor, journalist, and photographer, Hodge also co-hosted a variety of radio talk shows and still writes a regular weekly newspaper column titled Hodge Podge, which he has crafted now for 41 years. His biography on Howie Meeker, titled Golly Gee It’s Me is a Canadian bestseller and his second book, Stop It There, Back It Up – 50 Years of the NHL garnered lots of attention from media and hockey fans alike. Charlie is currently working on a third hockey book, as well as a contracted historical/fiction novel. His creative promotional skills and strategic planning have been utilized for many years in the Canadian music industry, provincial, national, and international environmental fields, and municipal, provincial, and federal politics. Charlie is a skilled facilitator, a dynamic motivational speaker, and effective personal coach. His hobbies include gardening, canoeing, playing pool, and writing music. Charlie shares his Okanagan home with wife Teresa and five spoiled cats.


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