Charmed Robbery

The owner of the cat I fed for a week, gave me a gift for my trouble.

When she called to say she had something, I was thinking along the lines of hand lotion, cookies, maybe even a Starbucks card.

Instead, she presented me with a rather scary looking stuffed cat with fangs and eyes popping out of its head. images-1 (a loose replica)

If I didn’t know better, I’d think her cat, who hated me so much, picked it out.

I’ve never been a fan of taxidermy, faux or otherwise. To stuff anything other than maybe eggs and envelopes seems just plain wrong. I happen to think it’s very disrespectful to the animal, but that’s just me. I realize, Teddy Roosevelt, who would have stuffed his wife if he hadn’t predeceased her, and of course Roy Rogers, felt differently images-2(a stuffed Trigger, Roy’s horse).

But being the polite New Englander, I thanked her before going on my merry way.

And who happened to be in her yard as I approached home, but Carmela the basset hound, so naturally I stopped to chat.

We have a little ritual. I sit sideways on the outside ledge while she sticks her head out for me to scratch her ears. I then lean down and give her rump a good rub as an extra bonus. As I’m doing this, behind my back, she goes through my bag finding the cat.

Before I could stop her, she runs into the kitchen with it.

With its paws hanging from her mouth, it looked like a fresh kill. Horrified she’d scare one of the maids, I quickly let myself into the yard.

‘”Carmela, come here…this instant,” I said, trying to keep my voice down. She did, but wouldn’t let me have it tossing it in the air and catching it like Babe Ruth. images-2 “This isn’t funny…give that to me.” But the more I tried  taking it, the more she thought it was some great game we were playing.

“Carmela, that’s enough,” but I got a look like, are you kidding me, before starting to  prance in and out of the house with it firmly in her teeth.

On cue, her father, slightly freaked, comes running out to find me barefoot on my hands and knees after my sandals had slipped off.

“It’s fake…it just looks real,” I said, forgetting he speaks little English. Carmela, finding the whole thing extremely funny, brings it to him just to snatch it back when he tries taking it.

Then one of the maids came out with a broom, I imagine to finish off whatever she thought Carmela had wrestled to the ground screaming at her in Spanish.

It was like a Monty Python episode, with subtitles.

Finally, I was able to grab it to show, it was nothing more than an ugly, furry toy.

This particular maid, who isn’t all that fond of me to begin with, shook her head while Carmela’s father, taking it all in stride, lit a cigarette.

Of course I gladly let Carmela keep what was now a wet, ugly cat, a fact I’ll leave out of that damned thank you note I feel possessed to write.

I should just make Carmela write it.



About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
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15 Responses to Charmed Robbery

  1. katecrimmins says:

    Personally I prefer Starbucks cards but you got a great blog post (and experience) out of it. You shouldn’t feel compelled to write a thank you note for a thank you gift (that was weird!). Of course, maybe she senses your love of animals and thought that it was appropriate. Next time you are with her discuss your addition to Starbucks so maybe next time…..


    • I wish I could that, say hey, next time a card would be to my liking, but she’s more an acquaintance than anything…people who hardly know you do tend to give weird gifts, and it was going straight to Housing Works, my local charity…but that dang dog, as you would say, had other ideas. She’s the funniest animal I’ve ever known. There’s a rodeo clown living in her.


  2. myobt says:

    Most enjoyable story!


  3. Alva Chinn says:

    Thank you for another lovely and amusing way to start my day!!! Keep ’em comin’!!!


  4. Carmella obviously knew no one needs to be reminded of a bad date. Chew, shake & destroy was the way to go with that “thank you” gift. I think you owe Carmella a treat for her quick thinking!


  5. skinnyuz2b says:

    This made me laugh out loud. Now Carmella absolutely knows you love her after such a perfect gift. The only thing that could make it better would be if it was stuffed with bacon.


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