The monster under my bed

Susan Manzke
Car-E’s photo taken in June, when he was a sweet little thing.

In June, I rescued a kitten from the wheel-well of my car. I named my new furry friend Car-E.

Two other cats live in my house. Othello is 16 and Cruella is 14. They were not pleased when the new, lively kitten entered their home.

At first, Cruella kept her distance from Car-E by staying upstairs. Now that all three cats have free-range through the house, there’s no place for Cruella to hide.

Car-E is a pest to all felines and humans, especially me. To him, we are all playmates, if we want to be or not.

Right now, Car-E has come by me and my laptop. He doesn’t care that I’m working, he just walked across my keyboard and did some of his own typing—turning off my internet as he tapped the keys. (Ugh!)

As it is nearing time for their nightly snack, Othello and Cruella have returned to the kitchen, too. That distracted Car-E. He left me, took two leaps, and attacked Cruella and then Othello.

Car-E getting some sun on the porch.

Both old cats reacted, batting at him and saying in stern cat terms to “leave me alone!”

When Cruella turned on him, the youngster flopped on his side, quickly giving up. Satisfied she had won, Cruella walked away, only to have Car-E pounce again—it’s a never-ending cycle.

Since Car-E can now come upstairs, he wants to sleep on the bed with me. The problem is that has been Cruella’s domain. For many years, she slept on Bob. It took a few weeks for her to switch to me, but her current spot is next to my head where I can scratch her before we both go to sleep. Now Car-E wants to join us.

Last night I thought I was going to have a catfight right over the top of me. There was hissing and swatting, but again Car-E backed down. Then Cruella curled up in her spot. Car-E stealthily returned, reaching out his paw to poke at her tail—I switched him to my other side before more mayhem could take place. Lucky for me they both settled down after that.

When I awoke in the morning, the bed was cat-free. Both were missing.

I yawned, swinging my feet to the floor, that’s when Car-E attacked. He went after my toes and my ankles. According to my large kitten, it was playtime. Before I could dress, I had to put Car-E in the hallway and close the door.

Car-E discovered a fun toy in the bathroom. Two toilet paper rolls have been unraveled by him. After the first issue, I thought I solved the problem, by flattening the roll a bit so it wouldn’t unroll easily. I guess I forgot to squish the last replacement roll and he had a ball unwinding it—since it was just in a pile, I rewound it. That took a lot longer but I’m not going to waste toilet tissue, a roll is too dear these days.

Susan and Car-E saying ‘Cheese!’

While I was visiting with my friend Joyce over the internet, I heard Car-E playing with his jingle ball upstairs. After a minute, it bonk, bonk, bonked down the stairs. I thought the ball was lost, but Car-E found it, bounded back upstairs, and then let it loose again to bounce back down. He did this at least five times. In all my years living with cats, I’ve never witnessed this behavior...even Joyce could hear the ball bonking down the stairs. Just the sound made us laugh.

I’ve videoed many of Car-E’s playful antics and posted them on my YouTube channel but I couldn’t capture the stair event. It was too dark. I do have Car-E playing in the dog’s water dish and discovering how interesting water is as it comes out of a faucet.

This kitten makes more work for me, but he’s also a fun companion. And when he’s ready to settle down and cuddle, well you can’t beat having a purring cat curled up on your lap. It’s a good thing.

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165;;