Relay: Beware, Black Cat! No, Really Beware

    I have the perfect prop for Halloween — a black cat, made even scarier because she’s a smelly black cat. I’ll put her in my front window and pick her up whenever a large group of trick-or-treaters arrive so she’ll release what we delicately call a windy. That’ll teach them to threaten me with a trick or treat.
    I’m not the type of person who has a house full of cats, but I do have one now that’s full of something. I’m just not sure yet what it is. The problem is every time you pick her up, she lets one rip. I hate to use the word in print, but — here goes — she farts. A lot. Her poops are real stinky, too.
    Fart was considered a bad word in my childhood home. We were instructed to use the term “breaks wind,” which doesn’t carry as much leverage when you’re yelling that a brother broke wind and stank up the room. As a parent, I, too, did not much care for the word fart, so my children called it a windy.
    She’s a stinker, this little black kitten I adopted the night before Tropical Storm Irene hit our area. We named her Storm. But now we’re calling her Stinky Storm because of her flatulence problem. You pick her up and she poofs. She’s like a children’s toy; you press on her belly and she poofs the scent of rotten seafood, once over. She jumps up on you and releases a poof.
    Stinky Storm loves to cuddle. But you have to be careful when you pet her or the air around you will fill with the aroma of not-yet-digested ocean whitefish and tuna in sauce or salmon and beef in gravy or chicken and tuna in gravy.
    When I feed her in the morning, which is something she demands quite loudly, I gag on the scent of these cat food delicacies. I don’t even eat breakfast in the morning because of my sensitive stomach, and now I’m inhaling Prime Filets seafood favorites at 7 a.m.!
    She suits her name in other ways, too. Since she’s arrived on our premises out here in Montauk, my house looks as if a gale wind passed through. She chews the covers off my precious fashion magazines, loves to tear up and shred newspapers, and knocks down everything in her path. For a while she was even eyeing my houseplants as a litter box, but we quickly stopped that.
    I caught her peeing on my daughter’s comforter. Thank God my daughter lives far away in Hawaii or Stinky Storm may have gotten the boot. At the very least, I would have been made to throw the comforter away rather than wash it and hang it in the sun to dry, as I did. Don’t worry, she won’t read this — no one in my family reads my columns. That’s why I can write about them. Heh, heh.
    One night as we were finishing dinner, which didn’t have one shred of ocean whitefish in it, there was a loud crash. Stinky Storm had knocked over a coat tree that I hang all my scarves on near our front door and it crashed into a nearby cupboard with glass doors and sides. The coat tree fell directly through the bottom pane and shattered the glass into thousands of tiny pieces. Oh, that Stinky Storm.
    She’s also a vixen, as any self-respecting female black cat should be. She teases my dog, Brodie, a large golden doodle, unmercifully. She has no fear of him and never has. She swats at his large plume of a tail whenever he passes. A gentle giant, he’s amused by her, especially when she wraps her whole little body around his head and bites on his ears. If a dog could laugh out loud, I expect Brodie would be doing just that as he shakes Stinky Storm off of him.
    Stinky Storm has good qualities, too. She’s beautiful, with a shiny black coat and bewitching green eyes. I haven’t yet seen a mouse in our house, which is a problem we sometimes have when the weather turns cold. Our woodpile is pretty close to our backdoor, and when the real chill seeps in, the mice find a warm, cozy nook to spend the winter. Unfortunately, that nook is often in my pantry or in the bottom drawer of our stove. And we’re not talking Mickey mice here.
    She also loves us with all her heart and purrs loudly and poofs whenever she’s cuddled. So we’ll put up with Stinky Storm and hope as she grows she’ll be better able to control her bodily functions. Either that or I’ll have to try non-seafood delicacies. In the meantime, I’ve started collecting the most delightful spiced apple air fresheners, none of which have even the slightest hint of salmon and tuna in gravy.

    Janis Hewitt is a senior writer at The Star.