Columnist

Laura Zoeller is a farm wife and mother who has been blessed with a wonderful – and funny - life.

I was lying on the couch, nursing a migraine, when I heard my husband speak.

“It’s the weekend, remember?” he said. “The rules are different on the weekends when she’s home.”

He was not speaking to the kids, a friend, or even to a mistress.

He was speaking to a cat.

Our barn animals have always come to visit the house, and the house animals have always gone to visit the barn. In recent years, I have really tried to minimize the inside-outside flip-flopping. The indoor cat doesn’t know to avoid the road, and she wears a collar that is not safe outside. The outdoor cats are not great about using the litter box, and despite regular treatment, occasionally still have fleas.

Still, the indoor cat perches inside the door, awaiting the moment it is opened so she can dart out, and the outdoor cats rest outside of the door, awaiting the moment they can dart inside.

The stories I have told of these cats have been a source of great amusement for my co-workers.

For example, one of our cats is an enormous white guy with some tiger-striped patches on his sides and tail. For his size, he can really move. The second the door is opened, he will rush in, leap the baby gate we use to keep the puppy contained, and speed up the stairs to hide under a bed.

It would be pretty cool to watch if it wasn’t so annoying to have to chase him around the house each time.

So, hearing my husband tell the cat that the weekday rules were different than weekends sparked me to look up from under my dark-inducing pillows.

“What did you say?” I asked.

He looked sheepish. “I thought you were sleeping,” he said. “So when he came in, I reminded him the weekend rules are different.”

“But what does that even mean?” I continued.

“Well, you know,” he began. “It’s more relaxed about them coming inside when you’re at work.”

He went on to say something about how he’s been working on the house (totally true) and how the doors get left open longer because he’s carrying materials in and out (also true) and how fast the cats are about sneaking inside.

True, true, it’s all true.

Also, it explains why there is generally at least one cat that shouldn’t be in the kitchen that meets me in the kitchen every day. It explains the fur of many colors on the foot of my bed each night when I go crawl in. It explains why the indoor cat’s bowl is always empty, despite it being enormous and despite me filling it every morning. Although, to be completely honest, the dogs may have something to do with that last one.

I groaned in response to my husband’s explanation. And then, after asking my son to catch the cat and put him back outside, I rolled over and put the pillow back over my face.

I was blocking out the light – and the never-ending battle with these cats.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!

Thank you for reading!

Please purchase a subscription to continue reading. If you have a subscription, please Log In.