That Wretched Cat

An excerpt from author Toni Garcia Carpenter’s new
book“Domestic Commando. A Stay-at-Home (R)evolution.”


Several years ago, I served as midwife to a young black cat that gave birth to six kittens in the bottom of my bathroom closet. She was a stray who had adopted us; and at some point in time, found herself in the family way. Imagine: six kittens in her very first (and only) pregnancy!


The first time we met her, it was Christmas Eve. She looked cared for, so we figured she and her family must have recently moved into the neighborhood. I assumed she was on an explore of the new surroundings as cats are inclined to do. Besides, we weren’t in the market for a new cat, as my old college companion, Cagney, was in her declining years. Introducing a new, young cat would not have been fair to her; so I was relieved that this cat seemed to have a home.

Several months later, we noticed the Christmas Eve cat spending more and more time in our backyard. We also noticed that her belly was becoming rounder and rounder. In a karmic changing of the guard, my sweet Cagney passed away and the sleek black stray with the burgeoning belly moved in. Hubby named her Lucky. After all, she found a family that wasn’t afraid of black cats and who were total suckers for an abandoned kitty in the family way.
A true feline, she was Lucky, but definitely not Grateful. For years, she slept at the end of our bed, snapping at my feet under the covers and even growling should I disturb her by rolling over or otherwise jostling the mattress.
I think I hate that cat. But it’s not her sour-puss disposition that annoys me. Her infraction is much more serious than that. It borders on unforgiveable.

She has the best body I’ve ever seen.

Lithe and elegant, she loves to roll over and taunt me with her taught tummy.
No sagging, no stretch marks.
Just rock hard abs.
I hate that cat.

For me, one of the toughest parts about becoming a mom is what happened to my body; and I’m not talking about labor (although that deserves serious respect). The whole thing is summed up by the first time I weighed myself after giving birth. I was shocked to realize that although I could
now carry my baby in my arms, most of the pregnancy weight was still on my hips, thighs and tri-fold tummy!
I was able to get pretty much back into shape by breast feeding and working out to television exercise shows. I maintained a comfortable weight for a good decade. Not skinny, but healthy.
And then, it happened. My metabolism disappeared. I misplaced it … or something. And my weight started to creep up. It was like watching Lucky hunt lizards. Crouching behind them and low-crawling until she was just close enough. Then POUNCE! Another lizard down for her, another pound up for me.

So, now my life is an exercise in moderation: trying to do some activity that’s good for my heart, helps burn calories, is beneficial to my bones and doesn’t hurt my joints.
And that wretched cat just rolls over and shows me her belly.

I really hate that cat.

Now available,
Toni Garcia Carpenter’s new
book “Domestic Commando.”
Read more from Toni on her blog