How I Destroyed the Neighbor’s Nice, New Mailbox

Posted by Scarlet Pumpernickel | 12:12 AM | 13 comments »

Ever had one of those days? I did yesterday. It started out early, I was out of bed by seven-thirty. Now folks, there is definitely something wrong with that, this is summer break and I'm up late and in bed late. Still, I was up early and ready, I thought, for a great day. Our lovely little Pomeranian wanted to go potty. The cat jumped out the door when I let the doggie out. We've recently moved to a new house, so the cat isn't allowed to go out. Besides, she is a house cat and has been declawed in front. I struggle to catch the kitty and get her inside. Doggie potties, cat back inside, we're good to go.

Thirty minutes later, doggie has to go again. Same routine, open door for dog, cat jumps out. This time when I try to get the cat in the dog jumps on her and the cat takes off. Get the dog back inside and work for thirty minutes to lure the cat back into the house.

Make French toast and coffee, by now it's nine and I haven't written a word. Cat jumped on table while I was eating my breakfast, encouraged her to jump down. Must have pissed her off.

Doggie reports to back door wanting to go potty again. I get up to let her out, the cat lurking in the background after being shooed of table, jumps past me and out the open door. House cat makes a daring escape. Tried to lure her back inside, but she's pissed with me about the table incident, remember? She lounges on the deck. Phone rings and I go to answer it, cat forgotten. Besides, she always stayed right around the back door, no problem. I left her and forgot she was outside.

Enter daughter around eleven, it's her day off, so she slept in. She makes more French toast, only hers is made with really neat bread containing dates and nuts, mine was plain. She adds vanilla and cinnamon, the first impression of it is going to be one of those days hits me when I realize I've had breakfast and she is fixing toast much better than mine.

"Momma, where's the cat?" Daughter asks as she sits down to enjoy her French toast.

"Oh no!" I say, "She went out and I forgot her."

We both rush to the back door. No cat.

I put on my shoes and go out to the deck. Here kitty, kitty, kitty. No kitty. She's isn't on the deck. I go back inside to exit by the door without steps.
I'm step-challenged, bad knee, hip problems, which was the reason for the new house. Previous one had three levels and all bathroom were upstairs.
One time when the cat got out, she hid in the garage until we got home. I check there first. No kitty. Backyard is next, she likes to hide under the deck. I check, no kitty. By now I'm beginning to panic. Did I mention the cat, Bonnie Blue, belongs to my ten-year-old granddaughter?
Daughter gets dressed and goes outside calling the cat. I go back inside suffering from near heat exhaustion. It's 90 degrees in Georgia and the humidity is very high. Cat should have taken that into consideration, she didn't.
By one o'clock we are resigned to the fact that the cat has run away. We decide to canvas the neighborhood. We get in the car and start around the block. We stop at the house next door, they have cats! Maybe Bonnie is there. Daughter gets out and knocks, the lady of the house comes to the door. Very nice lady, most concerned about our lost cat. She has several of her own, if she sees Bonnie she will call. Daughter returns without cat, but says the new neighbor is very nice.

We continue around the block. No cat. When we get to the back side of the block, Daughter suggests we pull up in the driveway of house that should be right behind our house. I pull in, the house is vacant with a for sale sign in the front yard. We look in the yard and the woods behind the house, no cat. Here is where the problem started.

When I started to back out of the driveway, I realized that it wasn't straight, but curved, like ours at the new house. Ours is so curved that we back into the front yard and turn around, then drive out forward. I didn't want to drive on the front lawn of this house, so I crept back, watching the side of the driveway in my mirrors. Finally I made it to the street, heaved a sigh of relief and backed out.

It sounded like a bomb exploded at the rear of the van, yeah, I drive a van, another challenge to mailboxes everywhere. The entire van shook. I put the van in drive and pulled forward looking behind in the rear view mirror.

"What was that?" Daughter exclaimed. "There's nothing behind us, what caused that?"

I pulled a little forward and there, lying over in shattered disarray, was the remains of the beautiful brick encased mailbox. It lay broken and battered, the black mailbox at the top of the heap of brick, block, and red dirt. The beautiful little flower garden that had framed it now looked like a demolition site. "----!" (I'll let you add the expletive of your choice here, I'm sure you get the idea.

Had to stop the car, get out and go inform the owner of my "little accident."

The gentleman who came to the door was very gracious. He took the information I offered and didn't appear to upset.

We continued around the block, no cat. But now I had to report an accident to my insurance company. Reminder, do not pull into anyone's driveway in this new neighborhood. They are aligned directly across from one another and it's a safety hazard.

We continued to call the cat, walked around the yard, looked for her everywhere. It was so hot in the afternoon you'd be soaking wet by the time you walked halfway around the house. We gave up going outside, just peered out the door and called Kitty, Kitty every few minutes. Late July in Georgia is not the time to be outside searching for a cat.

When the sun went down, Daughter picked up a friend and they decided to walk around the neighborhood calling the cat. Since the dog was partly responsible for the cat being MIA, Daughter put on the harness and leash and made the little doggie walk, too.

Coco Chanel, thinks of herself as a lap dog. She does not like to go for walks. Especially when it is in excess of 90 degrees outside. They walk around the block, telling neighbors about the missing cat as they go. Good way to meet the new neighbors. Everyone was very kind and promised to call if they saw her.

Daughter wants to print flyers and poster the neighborhood with pictures of Bonnie Blue. I hedge, because it's my ink she's talking about.

We check the deck every thirty minutes, no cat.

Hubby arrived home from work and I had to give him the bad news. The cat is gone, the car is damaged and I've trashed a neighbor's mailbox! He was not a happy camper, but he took it well, all in all.

"No more cats!" says he. "If Bonnie's gone, no more cats!"

Daughter starts making plans how Nana is going to tell granddaughter that she lost her cat.

"I didn't lose her," I defend. "She escaped! It's her own fault, she shouldn't have jumped out the door. Besides, Coco is the one who ran her off! It's Coco's fault."

In a last ditch effort to avoid having to tell my grandchild that I lost her cat, I said a little prayer to my guardian angel and asked for help locating the missing feline.
Eleven o'clock rolls around. We've been watching our favorite shows, NCIS and Covert Affairs, when the show ends, I tell Daughter to go check the back door. She grumbles about going, but goes anyway.

I hear her talking to someone at the back door, Coco's ears perk up, she starts barking. Stop her I tell the friend who had walked with Daughter earlier and stayed to watch TV. She catches the Coco. Daughter comes in the door with Bonnie cradled in her arms. Cat hurries upstairs to the sandbox and water bowl as soon as she puts her down. She appears scared, but unharmed. This morning she was lying in wait to jump out the door when Coco went out, so I picked her up and held her as I opened the door for the dog. No more mailboxes will die today!
Thank you, George Thomas!


  1. Mary Marvella // July 23, 2010 at 12:35 AM  

    Scarlet, that was so funny! What a day!

  2. Scarlet Pumpernickel // July 23, 2010 at 12:39 AM  

    It was rather breath taking! Especially in the 90+ degree heat. The cat tried to jump out the door again this morning, but I was too fast for her LOL. Picked her up and held her until the doggie was back inside. Then when I came home from Walmart, she was lurking beside the door waiting for it to open. I shook a plastic bag in the door as I opened it and she took off back into the kitchen. She's such a wuss!

  3. Mary Marvella // July 23, 2010 at 12:45 AM  

    Well, Megan and the others will have to deal with it while we play.

  4. Judy // July 23, 2010 at 9:40 AM  

    It's wonderful to have pets, huh? Love my dachshund...Sorry about the mailbox

  5. Patrice // July 23, 2010 at 12:55 PM  

    Great story, Scarlet! What a day, and what a cat. Now I'm hungry for your daughter's delicious french toast. Hmmm, better go make myself some lunch.

  6. Mona Risk // July 23, 2010 at 3:25 PM  

    That's so funny Scarlett. Your cat is too cute.

  7. Beth Trissel // July 23, 2010 at 3:44 PM  

    Man Scarlet, what a story. Sorry for you in this misadventure but you wrote it very entertainingly --I have so had days like that with all of our contrary pets here. I broke the side mirror on our relatively new car and I'm still not sure what happened. Dennis thinks I plowed past or partly into a sign or mailbox along the side of a narrow country road, but I saw none at the scene of the incident. I decided the mirror collided with a small alien space craft with a cloaking device that rendered it invisible.

  8. Scarlet Pumpernickel // July 23, 2010 at 5:42 PM  

    Glad everyone enjoyed the recap of my day. Haven't found out yet how much the mailbox is going to set me back. I drove by this afternoon and saw he had put the skeleton back up with the mailbox on it. Insurance agent said to let them know how much it was, that it might be better just to pay the damages out of pocket. That way our rates don't go up.

  9. Scarlet Pumpernickel // July 23, 2010 at 6:10 PM  

    Doesn't Bonnie just look like the kind of baddie that would jump out the door and get lost causing all kinds of trouble. Granddaughter arrived at 3:30 today. Luckily I didn't have to tell her I'd lost her cat. I told her what happened, but was quick to reassure her that Bonnie was safe in the house. She was not please. "Thank you for telling me my child behaved in such a manner, I'll handle it immediately!" Sounded just like her momma. You should have heard the cat when she caught her.

  10. Mary Ricksen // July 24, 2010 at 3:42 PM  

    Thank God she came home. NaNa can't lose a kitty!!!
    Seems like when they know where they live they come back. You are so lucky that it wasn't a busy neighborhood car wise. Luck cat!
    Scarlet I hope your next day is easier!
    Try a water pistol, my cousin has rag doll cats, very expensive, they hate the water and stay away from the door now.
    Thanks for the chuckle, sorry it was at your expense.

  11. Scarlet Pumpernickel // July 24, 2010 at 5:44 PM  

    I've tried the water gun, and it does work. Unless you have an over zealous son who chases the cat into your office and shoots the computer keyboard! Which is what mine did a few years ago. Gave up the water pistol idea when I had to buy a new keyboard. LOL. Kitty is settling down, seems resigned to the fact she can't go outside. Actually she's probably plotting her next adventure.

    I'm busy packing for National! Almost finished, meeting MM at her daughter's house tonight. Tomorrow, we pick up Nanci Race, the president of KOD, and will drive down together to Orlando. It is going to be a hoot!

    Hope to see all the Fuzzies in Orlando, we should get together for a drink and some fuzzy chat!

  12. Anonymous // July 25, 2010 at 1:13 AM  

    It was a day from hell but luckly with a happy ending .

    The Daughter

  13. Joanne // July 25, 2010 at 2:59 PM  

    Cats are so unpredictable. Glad yours returned safe and sound. What a day you had!