Toonces at the head of the table
As I mentioned in And So Our Story Begins, our modern family is made up of a cast of characters and so it is only fitting to begin introducing you to our first addition…Toonces “The Driving Cat”.
To start off with Toonces neither looks like the Saturday Night Live alum (actually he looks more like Toonces’ arch nemesis Spunky), nor does he like riding in cars and driving. We first met him about 3 years ago, when he started hanging around our house. Eventually he made his way into our house and our lives, as well as all of our neighbors. That’s right, sometimes it takes a village to raise a child and all of our neighbors take care of Toonces although no one would dare admit it.
No one knows exactly where Toonces came from, where he stays at night, or where he goes during the day. He just sort of appeared one day and quickly took ownership of our street and all the families that live on it. He doesn’t wait for an invite and is not afraid to make your house his own.
I am pretty certain that Toonces suffers from an identity crisis because to us he is Toonces and a girl (until a friend recently pointed out two little areas on his backside that would indicate why Toonces has never had kittens), to our neighbors across the street who feed him he is Tiger and to our other neighbors he simply goes by Orangy. Although he will answer to all of them, I know he likes Toonces best.
In the world of stray cats, Toonces hit the lottery. He has a street full of families who secretly vie for his attention. He will sit in the middle of the street and wait to see if Jenn & I or our neighbors get home first and immediately head over to that house for food. After he has eaten, he will walk over to the other house (when he thinks no one is looking), and get food over there. It is particularly funny when we arrive at the same time because he doesn’t know what to do and totally knows that he has been busted.
Toonces was the best introduction ever to responsibility. We didn’t need to worry about feeding him (although we eventually broke down and bought food). We also didn’t need to have a litter box in our house because if Toonces ever needs to go to the bathroom, he just taps on the door a few times to let us know. He will hang around long enough for you to enjoy him, but will never over stay his welcome. We can also come and go as we please because we have a street of families that will watch out for him when we are gone.
Our cover with Toonces was blown when we headed up north for an extended vacation. Jenn’s motherly instinct and guilt for leaving him eventually kicked in so she called our friend Lee to check in on him (to be honest, I was getting a little worried too, and was glad that she called cause I never would have). He drove over and couldn’t find Toonces hanging around the house, so he knocked on our neighbors door and asked if they had seen the cat around.
They mentioned that they had seen him a few days before and that he was fine. Lee thanked them and gave them some ham to give Toonces when they saw him again…awesome, no hiding that one anymore. To be honest, we didn’t really even know them that well. We just knew them as Toonces’ other parents. I only wish I could have seen their faces when a stranger knocked on their door with a piece of ham asking if they could keep their garage door open for a stray cat since it was cold outside.
When we got back Toonces acted like most teenagers and refused to acknowledge our existence and then two days later (like a teenager) he was back at our house and seeking attention.
I am not a cat person, never have been…I’m a dog person I would never dream of having a cat in my house, but Toonces is different. I like to think of Toonces as a dog trapped in a cat’s body. I guess it just goes to show, you can’t always pick your family…most of the time they pick you.