A toast to Rameses the cat

You had to have guessed that I would be writing about Palmetto bugs again soon.
After my first ordeal with the Palmetto bug, I realized that I had the courage to face my fears but that I certainly didn’t want to do it again.
Well, for my second ordeal, I had a little help in bug-killing.
Rameses is an orange and white cat, who weighs in at nearly 15 pounds even though he is only a year old. He’s not fat. Hardly! He’s just a big-boned cat packed with muscle. He got this way by being the most rambunctious of his litter, bowling over his sisters and climbing anything he can sink his claws into around the house, including my legs. He goes by a lot of names, such as Ram or Rammer Jammer, but most of my friends know him as “Rameses the Destroyer.” This is because, aside from the chinchilla I owed for two years, Rameses has done the most destruction to my house and belongings out of all the other pets I’ve had.

PHOTO BY LEX MENZRameses wreaking havoc on some newspapers.

What Rameses thinks of my work!

At first, I was surprised when we arrived in Florida that Rameses did not seem interested in helping me kill Palmetto bugs. Chasing something small that scurries across the floor seemed right up his alley. However, I soon learned it wasn’t because he wasn’t interested but because he hadn’t noticed.
One morning, I woke and went into the kitchen. I toasted a bagel and sat down to eat. Halfway through, I noticed Rameses having the time of his life with some object on the floor. I froze.
“That’s not a cat toy,” I said with suspicion.
I approached my cat as he continued to bat away at the object. When I got close enough, I jumped back with a gasp. It was a huge Palmetto bug, twice the size of the first one I smacked with a shoe on the wall. It was on its back, legs waving frantically in the air.
“Good boy, Rameses. Good boy!” I cheered and ran off to grab a shoe.
When Rameses noticed I was going to destroy and take away his new “toy,” he grabbed the bug in his mouth and raced across the living room and into the kitchen. In a panic, I started chasing after him, yelling for him to stop. I just knew he’d drop the bug, it’d escape and end up under my bed!
Rameses finally dropped the insect in the bathroom, and as I swung to squash it, he brought his face down next to it. I accidentally bashed him in the nose with my flip flop instead of the Palmetto bug. With a look of horror and betrayal on his whiskered face, Rameses picked up the bug again and dashed behind the bathtub so I couldn’t reach him. As I continued to shout at him, he pawed and played with the Palmetto bug behind the tub.
“Come on, Rameses! I’m sorry. Give me the bug,” I said.
Eventually, it was able to scuttle away from his paws and headed straight for me. Shrieking, I lashed out with my flip flop, flapping it over the bug again and again.
I stood up to fetch the vacuum to once again suck up the remains (I don’t even want to touch the dead carcass through a paper towel). When I returned, I found Rameses munching happily on the freshly killed, crunchy snack. What a good kitty! Sparta, the other cat, was too busy licking the butter off my bagel to assist.
Rameses received an abundance of treats that night in gratitude for saving the household from yet another Palmetto bug. Everyone I spoke with for the next week heard the daring tale of Rameses putting his life at risk for the rest of us by capturing and eating the gigantic insect.
Now, here it is for all of you. Laugh as much as you’d like!

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