Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tastes Like Chicken

I truly wish I knew how the subject came up at dinner tonight.  I honestly can't remember.

Innyhoo, Medium Fry asked about Pa'ani (otherwise referred to as The Weasel) came to live with us.

"In a bucket of chicken," Hubby said, completely deadpan...and almost completely serious.

"Did he eat da chicken?" Medium wanted to know.

"No," I said.  "He was just in a chicken bucket when he came to our house."

Which was 100% true.

It was mid-July in 2004, my best friend JJ had had her first baby in April of that year, and we were trying—with a spectacular lack of success—to get pregnant.  (And, somehow knowing this is about him, Weasel just came up and curled up next to me on the couch.)  A few days before, I once again knew for sure that I hadn't gotten pregnant.  Again.  We'd been trying for a year and a half with no luck.  I was heartbroken.

Our second-oldest nephew, K2 the Snoring Wonderboy, was visiting for the weekend, and he'd gone with Hubby out to Mville that Friday night, where Hubby had practice for the Southern Gospel quartet he'd been singing with.  So it was just me at home.  And it might have been Saturday.  Whichever.

And, no, I didn't tell the kids the story in this much detail.  Don't you feel spaishull?

Mville, by the way, is the middle of nowhere.  About an hour outside the nearest large city, it's a lot of farmland.  Home to a major grass seed and lawn care company, that's pretty much its claim to fame.  And more farmland.  Farmland means farm cats.  And at Hubby's friend SuperVoice's dad's house (the man could record demos of himself as a quartet and sing all four men's parts), where the guys often worked on their bus, there was nothing for miles around but fields.  It was summer, so the kittens were blooming right along with the flowers.

There was a little orange tabby boy kitten running around there.  We didn't have an orange tabby.  We only had one boy kitty.  Yes, we had enough kitties.  Yes, all of ours were older, fat, and lazy.  No, none of them would welcome a kitten.  I still wanted this little guy, though.

But I refused to beg.  Hubby had said no, and no matter how much my heart wanted to take home even just this one kitten (I would have taken them all if he'd let me), I was going to abide by it even if it hurt.  Badly.

Hubby also knew how badly I was hurting over the fact that we, once again, were not pregnant.

When he and K2 returned that night, I was downstairs in the basement doing laundry.  K2 lumbered down the steps, with Hubby following him, holding a KFC bucket.

I kid you not.

K2 shoved the bucket at me.  "Here.  Tastes like chicken."

Weasel and Twinkles
In the bucket was that little orange tabby farm kitten.  There were tears and squeals (from me) and hissing from most of the felines already in residence, and temper tantrums from Koa, who felt that he disrupted her plot to overthrow the free world.  The little dude had something of a deathwish; he would want a playmate, so he'd scamper up to Popoki (who handled his arrival best), bop her in the nose with his paw, and skitter away, waiting for her to give chase.  Most of the time, Po ignored him.  If he got too persistent, she'd whomp him on the head, and he'd go find someone else to bother.  And when none of the other cats would play with him, Pa'ani would make friends with the stuffed kitties in the house...and play with them.

That part of the story sent the Fries into giggles.

"How did Popoki come?" Medium wanted to know next.

I explained how we'd heard of a family who needed homes for their litter of kittens, and there were four: two brown, one orange tabby, and Po.  Then Medium asked what our other kitties thought.  I explained that Po was our only kitty at that time.

"How did Ke-Ke come?" Medium wanted to know next.

So I told that story: neighbors in our apartment complex had a mommy kitty, a daddy kitty, and now a litter of five kittens.  And when we went to see them, Keiki hurled herself at the armchair Hubby was standing by, clawed her way up to the seat cushion, traipsed to the back of the chair, pulled her way up that, then launched herself at Hubby and climbed up his clothes, all the way to his shoulder...where she curled up, exhausted, and took a nap.  (Ke was the runt of her litter, and would fit easily in my hand at 4.5 weeks old then.)

We went through the others, too: how we'd fostered the mama cat and litter of six kittens that Koa and Minou came from, and I'd watched Minou be born; how we'd gotten Mika at a farm, too, to help ease my hurt after Papa C (Hubby's dad) passed away.

When we got home, I went looking for the box of old pictures that I have.  I can't find some of the earliest shots of Pa'ani, including the staged one I took of him in his chicken bucket, but I found some of them.  And I found pictures of Koa and Minou's litter when they were babies.

I think the Fries will love seeing them tomorrow night.


  1. Auntie J,

    I've been going through your old blogs mostly so I can get a better history of your story. Knowing from previous blogs that you were from Columbus, OH at one point, as soon as I saw your reference to Mville, I wondered. Then you said "Home to a major grass seed and lawn care company" and I knew what town you were talking about. I just wanted you to know that I grew up about 5 miles north of Mville and lived in the area until I moved to NC after 33 years. My parents and my sister still live there.

    Oh, and Mville's tagline that they've used for ages: "Mville, where the grass is greener".

    But really, maybe you didn't know Mville's other claims to fame: North America's first Honda motorcycle plant and also North America's first auto plant.

    Wonderful blog, I certainly enjoy reading it!

    1. Thanks, Papa Bear! Hubby and I lived in Columbus for 11 years before moving to rural south-central PA (the town we moved to was a tenth the size of Columbus). People who have lived in the same general areas as I have (or do) will easily recognize the places I mention, even in abbreviated's hard to make up names and remember what I'm talking about! So, yes, you're absolutely right about the location. I'd forgotten the "grass is greener" tagline for Mville, and the auto/motorcycle plant trivia is something I never knew! (However, I know how to explain the concrete corn field in Dublin.)

      Our story is complex, and it's occurred to me recently that I need to go and fill in some gaps here and there, to give a better idea of how things progressed. I don't blame you for reading through the archives; it was confusing enough living through it!

      I'm glad you enjoy the blog. I don't post as often as I'd like to sometimes, but I keep going, because I want my kids to know the history of our family, and I don't want to forget some of these moments. :)

    2. Oh, and if you have questions, feel free to email me.


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