Road Crew

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


While there were no parks on the last stop but it was no less fun.   For a complete change of scenery I left Shenandoah for Pittsburgh.  Pitt is now the home of my brother, his wife and their daughter.  The weekend was quiet and purposefully uneventful since my sister-in-law is currently incubating my nephews (yes, that is plural).  The boys are getting restless so momma has strict instructions to stay in the nest until the coast is clear.  No one is less happy about this than momma who is feeling a bit wide and puffy.  My timing was serendipitous.  It was my job to help keep the peace until the grandmas could mobilize.
With nothing else to do and Amazon at her fingertips, my sister-in-law went shopping.  So with the house under going repairs, babies on the way and her birthday that weekend, multiple packages arrived daily.  I didn’t think much of it when she began to rip into one as we were cleaning up from dinner until I read the print on an otherwise plain brown box: cast iron cat towel holder.
I considered the chance of it simply being a recycled box but it still begged the question of why anyone would create such a thing?  Who needs a cast iron cat? Who buys this other than the crazy cat lady?  My sister-in-law is far from a crazy cat lady.  While they do keep three ancient Chihuahuas and a schizophrenic cat that hides in the basement, their home is perfectly decorated to match the turn of the century house.  Hand made quilts find every surface.  Distressed cabinets are in every room. It’s the only place outside of a museum where there are a dozen antique ironing boards set up.  Of course in there it looks perfectly natural, like, why hadn’t I thought of it?  But it is the type of thing that if I should try, people would just wonder if I was taking in laundry to pay the bills.
When the object was extracted, it was in fact a cat.  The cat has its front legs extended far out in front of it and its hind quarters thrust high up so that its back is in a deep arch.  It’s difficult to decide if it is just stretching or ready to be mounted.  From the looks of it, the karma sutra could take lessons. The tail is disproportionately long and skinny, sticking straight up into the air ready to skewer an innocent bystander.  The object had some serious weight to it.  I worried for my brother.  Who suspects a towel holder to be the murder weapon?
I anxiously awaited an explanation but my sister-in-law had no particular reaction to the cat, leaving it on the counter and left the room.  I instantly started taking picture of it because I was so intrigued.  Is this what happens in end stage pregnancy?  Your judgement of cast iron pets goes totally haywire?
 My brother finally took note of my activity.  Checking that his wife had left the room, he demands, “What the $%#* is that and it is yours or mine?”
“Yours!” I informed him gleefully.  This was better than Christmas.  My brother was always the smarter one, outmaneuvering me.  As children we had our fights and I considered all the ways I could extract revenge.  Now, he was stuck with an erotic, cast iron cat ordered by his distraught, pregnant wife and there was absolutely nothing he could say about it.  Karma at its finest! I could claim innocence.
Oddly, once the paper towels were in place, the cat looked a little less pornographic and more like a playful kitten batting at the loose end of the paper towels. So it remains in residence with the flock of tin roosters, an Aboriginal frog and a wooden rocking horse.  Now if I had tried that, people would wonder if I was starting a petting zoo, but, no, at their house it looks totally normal.  It isn't fair.  But should you ever visit my brother in Pittsburgh, check out the downstairs bathroom!

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