Trio of felines keeps life interesting for Susan

Susan Manzke
Susan's cat Cruella is the oldest of the three felines residing inside the Manzke household.

I’m sitting at my kitchen table getting ready to write a column on my laptop. I’m the only human in the house, but I am not alone. My house cats have found me and are ready to lend me a hand.

First, Cruella showed up. This old cat found her way down from her ivory tower (a spot under my dresser) to butt in between me and my keyboard. This is Cruella’s way of saying it’s her turn to be stroked.

I ran my hand down her body from head to tail, but when I put my arm around her to cuddle she had a hissy fit. I know that Cruella doesn’t like to be held, but since it was her idea to come by me, I thought she might be ready for a hug. She wasn’t.

When I went beyond her comfort zone, Cruella struggled to get away, crying her disapproval.

“Okay. Okay,” I said as I let her go. She gave me one backward look, glaring at me.

Susan and her newest cat, Barn-E.

After a few minutes, another of my cats decided he wanted to do some typing. Barn-E raced across the room, leaped up on the table, and before I knew it his paws had typed jibberish. Too bad, Barn-E also clicked a command on my machine that turned off my Internet, which I didn’t notice right away.

It took me more than one keystroke to correct all that Barn-E had done to the computer. His mischief showed me that I have to be smarter than my cat to keep up.

Car-E did not take Barn-E’s place right away. He had stretched his massive body across the floor, taking possession of a foam ball Barn-E had left behind—Car-E is the king of the house cats and he likes to show it.

As a rescue in the spring of 2020, Car-E turned from a sweet ball of fluff to a commanding cat. He races me to the back door, trying to escape into the yard. Again, I have to be smarter than the cat to keep him in check.

Car-E checks out a paper grocery bag.

Thinking I had Car-E locked in another room eating his supper, I opened the front door to feed the outside cats. Swoosh, Car-E slipped by my legs. At first, I thought he was one of the barn cats trying to grab a fast mouthful of food.

It wasn’t until I saw Car-E’s backside heading down the porch stairs that I knew I had a problem on my hands.

I hadn’t put on my jacket. I didn’t think it necessary to quickly set down the bowls of cat food. That was another of my mistakes. A cold wind blew in from the west, chilling me, but I couldn’t take time to return for a coat. Car-E could be anywhere by the time I got back outside.

Luckily for me, Car-E wasn’t too fond of the icy ground he stepped onto. That slowed him down. I couldn’t grab him, but when I circled around, Car-E turned and went toward the front door. When I approached, he went to leap off the porch, but this time I was fast.

I made a one-handed grab for his tail and stopped him. Quickly, I bent and put both my hands around his middle. In moments we were both back inside the warm house.

Another escape took place out the back door. That time Barn-E followed Car-E out into the snow. The little guy stopped as soon as he stepped onto the fresh snow. I could see the expression on his face that said, “What the heck is this cold stuff?”

Barn-E turned around right away and raced into my arms when I rattled the cat treat container. Eventually, Car-E joined us, but he took his sweet time. Car-E didn’t want to show that he preferred a treat too.

My cats take turns sitting on my lap, warming me during cold evenings. On two occasions I had both Car-E and Barn-E sleeping there. Usually, they like to sit one at a time, but as long as they aren’t roughhousing, I take any furry warmth that I can get.

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