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Category: CrazyCatLady

Tales of the Crazy Cat Lady

So as you know, we’ve got a Crazy Cat Lady in the neighborhood. As in, across the street. This past spring she had what we could only guess was yet another small unfortunate fire, as random burnt objects starting showing up on her curb. (She is not familiar with the 3-1-1 Action Line for bulky pickup, either, so we get lots of opportunities to eyeball the assorted flotsam that resides on the curb for days on end.) One of the piles got dubbed “Crazy Cat Lady’s Rugs and Remnants” because it appeared to be some hideous ’70’s carpet, a carpet pad and god knows what else.
ANYhoo.
She is, sadly, mentally ill, enhanced and distorted by alcohol and prescription medications. Gaunt as a skeleton and severely aged by the ravages of her abuse, she is hard to look at, and she can’t make eye contact. She also pretty much detests us, as we are mean and don’t bend to her requests like, “Give me a phone,” or, “I need to come in your house,” or, “Give me three cents.” (I’m still struggling to puzzle out that last one.) Sometimes they are just statements: “I lost my cell phone.” Ohhkay. Sorry?

But I have not told all of her stories here – and there are some doozies. We are coming up on the year anniversary (Halloween), when she went completely batshit crazy and laid down in the middle of the street, barefoot and wrapped in two acrylic blankets. I was still at work, JWo had called the police, and a cheerful kind woman in a brightly colored caftan and sneakers had pulled her van over and was directing traffic around CCL, who was now curled up by our telephone pole. I came up over the rise in the street to see this montage of crazy in front of me and was boggled by the insanity of it all.

According to CCL, she was having a “surge”, and we should look it up on the computer. (JWo’s fast-witted reply? “I don’t think they make that soda anymore.”) She lurched back to her house just before the police arrived, and refused to let them in. We thought if she had stayed in place, we’d certainly have the scariest trick-or-treat house on the whole street, because her rising up out of the dark would scare the piss out of grown adults, let alone 8-year-old kiddos!

She really has become such a fixture among the fire department, paramedic team, and hospital that a couple strapping firemen came by a few weeks ago and asked us if we’d seen her, as they hadn’t gotten called out for a couple weeks and they were just checking in. It’s a strange blend of funny and sad, to be that reliant on public servants for help that they notice when you stop surfacing; it’s tragic to lose your existence into that pit, and it’s kind of funny because we’re all sort of thrown in on this same “team” whether it’s geographic or service based, so you can literally strike up a conversation – even with the 911 operator – about her, because everybody knows her. The veritable female version of Norm from Cheers, but less robust and certainly no match to his snappy wit.

Pretty sure the house will have to be razed when she finally departs this world (though there’s something about a certain breed of alcoholics – tough as nails and somehow bionically fueled by their diluted bloodstream, and she could be around for decades to come.) Right now there’s a hodge-podge of refuse by the curb, with more random piles and a large barrel for burning out back.

People keep pointing me to the Crazy Cat Lady action figure that’s out there -but what can I say? We’ve already got our own version!

CCL

Oooops….

Soooo Crazy Cat Lady has issues. She’s like an octogenarian collector’s back room of National Geographics, to be exact. The cray-cray is strong with CCL. We found out she doesn’t “socialize with mean people,” as she waved at our house; what’s hilarious is the notion of her socializing at all, given that she seems to subscribe to my mother’s newsletter on “Social Drinking” and has her own subset of drugs she takes. ANYway, a couple days ago, BING-BONG, there goes the doorbell. James went to answer it and I could tell the crazy times were ON just from the tone of his voice. “WHADDYA NEED?” he brusquely said, through the barely-opened door.

WELL. Turns out she had a small fire (good lord, I can only imagine how that happened) and it somehow rendered her land line useless. Could he call Donny and let him know that her phone’s not working. O-kay, 10-4, CCL, will do. He followed through, and back to her hovel she went. The fire does explain the random furniture showing up in the ditch by her house, though none of it appeared to be burned. And she’s somehow called the action line to have it removed, but I haven’t spent to much time puzzling that one out. ANYWAY.

UPDATE: DOUBLE OOPS! I neglected two minor details – she came over with one of her feral lovelies, AND was carrying a roll of toilet paper. Let the mystique and intrigue continue!!

Next day? BING-BONG. (Really, I don’t plan to stay in my jammies all day so I can avoid the door, but hey, look who’s dressed to answer it this time? NOT ME!)  We thought it was the guy fixing our lawn mower; as James entered the breezeway he said, “Nope, it’s Crazy Cat Lady.”

And CCL? Says through the door, “YES, IT’S CRAZY CAT LADY.”

(Thus the aforementioned, “Ooops…”)

This time she’s got her corded phone with her. CLEARLY her phone does not work, can you not see this? (Um, sure, because there IS NO PHONE WIRE.) But she needs a phone. Can we give her one? She’s had a fire.

Uhhhh.

No.

I think had we given her a phone, it would have been akin to when my co-worker started bringing McDonald’s for the homeless guy who lived in the stairwell at work. And the feral cats she feeds. They will only stay longer…..and keep coming back!

Plus, now she knows she’s got a nickname. Whups. Given the back story on her, though, I think she’s had that label waaay before she moved in across the street.

Matching Crazy for Crazy

Since I’m at home all day, I get to see things firsthand, not hear about them after the fact. You know, it’s like “24”, and I’m Kiefer Sutherland, and all events are in REAL TIME.  Yesterday was Delayed Garbage Day, due to the holiday on Monday, and the Wo is in charge of trash. I had taken advantage of the nice weather and wheeled out a huge bin of recycling the evening before, but we never put the trash out earlier than possible, since Feral Cat City across the way will destroy it in their efforts to find things to eat. We hadn’t had problems the past few weeks, but all of that changed. Just like the weather had. So my head actually exploded – yep, brain matter, bright spots of blood everywhere – when I looked out the window and saw this after the garbage trucks had been by:

Thanks, feral cats.

Granted, I was livid before I even went out the door. And I did grab my iTouch, along with plastic gloves, a huge trash bag and a scoop shovel, just so I could capture the moment for posterity.  But the weather did nothing to improve things, as I was pelted with sleet and rain, and my jeans were sopping wet from the ankles down due to puddles. It occurred to me, as I lost my temper and may have shouted a few things out loud at the sky, that I was now matching Crazy Cat Lady, toe to toe, as I swore and punched the sky and invited her to come over and help me, since she maintains the presence of these feral creatures by feeding them. I think I saw some curtains move, and I wondered what I would do if she actually DID come out, because I knew it wouldn’t be to help, but to screech at me about her poor starving kitties (that she doesn’t REALLY care for, or even bother to collar, since you can’t come near one.) That would have been an interesting blog post, for sure – and in my dream version, the rain and sleet would be augmented by the fire hydrant between our homes spraying into the air, and despite my personal dislike for him, I would play the role made famous by Mel Gibson, and Crazy Cat Lady would, of course, pick up the part played by Gary Busey, and we would end this Battle Royale once and for all. (Yes, Carmen, you can show up and play the role of Murtough.)

A Girl can dream.

OH the other snow thing I forgot to mention.

We have GOT to get some parking guidelines established. That was another thing we had in Minneapolis – snow emergency got declared, and you were hustling to make sure your car was parked on the correct side of the street, because that’s how they got stuff plowed properly.  You can see how this works on their website. And I can hear the whining already. WAAAAH I don’t know what day of the Emergency we’re on WAAAAAH which day is odd?!WAAAAHHHH well, call the waaaahmbulance (you can probably meet Crazy Cat Lady, she’ll share a ride) because it works. And yeah, if you ignore it, you get a ticket & can even get towed. But the streets are driveable. And that makes it worth it!

PERP WALK!!!!

Good Lord. Crazy Cat Lady done got herself into something last night. I was awakened by Tripper, barking his head off, around 12:30 a.m. – sure enough, we had a cop car, a paddy wagon & an ambulance across the street.  I paused for a moment, and in that time, down the driveway marched CCL, hands behind her back, as the female officer led her to the back of the ambulance.  I could only presume she was in cuffs, given her hands and the officer’s.

What! the! Hell!? I am so curious, of course, because this is the first time it looked like cuffage was involved. I just tried to pry some information out an officer at South Patrol, to no avail. Apparently, I can’t even go in and find out what’s going on, since obtaining a police report still requires ME to somehow be involved in the situation, and we don’t need that sort of crazy ’round here.  Sounds like it’s time for me to bug my PI friend to pull some reports…. and hell, while we’re at it, finish up the zombie drama! That would be a good goal for the end of the year, eh? Of course I will share, if I find anything out!!!

The More Things Change…

…the more they stay the same.

On Friday, James was home & out front, cleaning out the gutters. You know, normal work for mid-November. (What is UP with the blowing hot & cold?!)  He suddenly darted in, whispering, “The Pee-er! She’s Back!”

Sure enough, we could see her blue-green coat through the now-leafless branches, rise as she stood up, and exited the neighbor’s yard, adjusting her kerchief and resuming her morning walk. Kinda strange, but there is a fire hydrant right there. I suppose she’s developed a…habit.

Then, tonight, I was driving home after some afternoon knitting with friends, and the road rises and falls as it approaches our house. I thought I saw a little red twinkle, and wondered if someone on the block had perhaps taken advantage of the nice weather and put their holiday lights up a bit early. Oh, silly me. One more small hill and it was abundantly clear that the lights were coming from emergency vehicles, blocking the street in front of Crazy Cat Lady’s house. A fire truck, a police cruiser, a paddy wagon and an ambulance. Light show spectacular. So here’s a snapshot of the crazy:

Just Another Saturday Night

Just another weekend in our mix of a neighborhood!

What A Week…

Well, that was a doozy of a week. As each day passed, it got more and more brutal, it seemed! We’re doing a software conversion, and there are elements within the software that defy logic. So as I was connecting said software to my department’s software, there were bumps. And granted, I expected a learning curve, and some frustrations – nothing like this is ever smooth – but one particular piece of it just blew my mind, it defied logic so badly. Actually, I finally  had to call the help line, because I was tired of creating work-arounds to make up for the elements not matching (I realize this makes little sense unless you use both of these pieces of software) and the help lady, who is somewhere in the South, drawled, “Oh yes, we tell folks NEVER to delete lines in that before sending it over.” Huh? That’s the whole point of being able to revise things and preserve the data integrity between systems? Classic. Anyway, I had some long days and maddening moments, but the bulk of it’s done, and now the cleanup part will begin next week.

We did get a fun night in Thursday, tailgating and watching the company kickball team win their game – followed by the final Love Tusk show at the Riot Room. I felt old, though – when their set ended, there was no way we could stay out for any of the other bands. (yawn!) And now it’s Saturday night, I’ve done pretty much nothing with my day, and oh yes, the cops have been by for their regular pilgrimage to Crazy Cat Lady’s home. Who knows what drama is goin’ on over there.  Tomorrow, brace thyselves – it’s Mt. Laundry time. Livin’ the Vida Loca here, as we move past another anniversary, clamber over the army training wall (I mean, software conversion) and when it gets really bad, I just look at the calendar and tell myself….”Cancun. Cancun…..”

Take My Neighbors, Please.

When we moved into this house nearly 7 years ago, I chirped constantly about how our neighborhood is ‘such a mix!’ because, well, it was. And still is. There are people who’ve lived their entire lives in the same house, back before there was a shopping center at 99th & Holmes, there are people who’ve just moved in, renting a house, there’s a gorgeous mansion-like home sitting on four acres of land, and then? Then there’s the batshit-crazy cat lady across the street, and now – with glitter! – another relative of some sort living next door, in the house on the corner that used to be owned by the bank and now enjoys a driveway full of cars, parts, crap and then some more crap.  This would be the same family who hung outdoor Christmas light netting haphazardly around the top of their living room ceiling. And the same family that post-Thanksgiving, had about 6 bottles of Seven whiskey in the recycling. And the same spot where I happened upon the Crazy Drunk Guy (who is the primary resident, I believe) in handcuffs on the side of the road when I came home one night. (with two cop cars and plenty o’ po-lice.)  There is a third character in this motley crew, and he has been on crutches for about two years. Damn leg must keep breaking? I dunno. I may also have already mentioned the main form of entertainment for these fantastic contributing members of society is to sit in a lawn chair in their driveway & drink beer, while listening to classic rock coming out of the speaker in the trunk of a car.

The good news – besides our home value declining while city property taxes went up – is that these folks mostly swirl in their own toilet bowl, and keep their festivities contained to the two residences. Until last week.

Last Friday night, I was getting dinner ready & the doorbell rang. James had just come in the back door from the garden, and I asked him if he’d go take care of it, as the doorbell rang again. The half of the conversation I could hear was…. odd and interesting at best, and then I could tell it was ratcheting up a notch. The fact it ended with “If you don’t get off my property, I’m calling the police,” wraps it all up.

So, Crazy Drunk Guy (from the corner house, handcuffs, shit everywhere) comes to the door with a kitten on his shoulder. Like some sort of wackadoodle white trash pirate, I guess. And a broken broom handle stick that’s been out by the street by the road where the garbage is picked up, like, forever. (that’d be our contribution to the neighborhood trash. a broken stick.) And this motherfucker, in his drunken slurred state, accuses my husband of beating a kitten to death in the street. (I’m sorry. I have to stop and laugh. Again. Preposterous and crazy all at once.) With what, you ask? An 18″ stick.  How do we know this was the weapon? Because CDG asserts that it had blood and fur ALL over it. James asks him if that’s the case, where is all this blood and fur now (as the stick has nothing on it.) “It fell off,” CDG replies.

Ahhhh. All that time spent in the driveway drinking beer does NOT sharpen one’s CSI skills. James tries to jog the alcohol-deadened logic button, that a dead animal found in the street was probably hit by a car. To no avail. CDG is lookin’ for a fight. James tells him he doesn’t appreciate all these cats running around OUR yard, when we’ve put in the time and money to build a fence to keep our dogs IN and even more money to vaccinate and keep our dogs healthy, which is something they obviously do not do, as they don’t even put a collar on ‘their’ cats.

Now Crazy Cat Lady decides she needs to get on the action. She’s halfway across the street and yelling about how she only has ONE cat.  James points out that it’s bullshit, because she has a swarm of them around her house at all times and she feeds all of them. (Hearing CCL start to scream, Crazy Drunk Gimp (CDG 2.0)  grabs his crutches and starts making his way from the corner house – oh yes, he’s a regular white knight. Of course it’ll take him half an hour to roll up on our asses, and the fact we can see him coming does nothing to create more intimidation, just comedy.)

“Do you want them to starve?” she brays, an unhinged skeleton trapped by demons, and he, of course, says, “YES.” Because at this point, there is no logic, there is no even playing field here, it’s like trying to play tennis when half the court is a swimming pool. At this point, they are ordered off our lawn under threat of police intervention,  back to their never-ending life cycle of bottled beer, flea-laden feral cats, and classic rock enjoyed in a lawn chair.

Wisteria Lane, we ain’t. Such a mix.

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