Friday, August 22, 2008

My brother, Billy Chapman

I promised I would write this story up, so here goes:

A decade or so ago, my middle brother and his wife had bought and moved into their first house. At the time, they had no kids, a cute little grey tiger cat and a cute big yellow Lab. The house was in a brand new development, so they had very few neighbors.

It was December, and cold. The big cute yellow Lab hadn't adjusted to the move very well and had had a number of accidents in the house (shut up Scott, lol). My sister-in-law left the Friday before Christmas to spend some time in New York with her family, and my brother remained in Columbus because he had to work.

On December 23rd, Billy came home from work, parked the car in the garage, opened the door to the kitchen and was immediately confronted with the results of the loss of canine self-control. He threw his keys on the kitchen table, grabbed the dog and hauled him outside. He was fairly upset at this point, but he really got mad when he discovered that he'd just locked himself out of the house.

So it's near Christmas, what few houses exist in their development are empty, and Billy is outside in the freezing December weather with an incontinent dog and no cell phone. He looks around the garage, grabs his wood axe, winds up and smashes it into the door frame so hard that he can hear the strike plate crash into the sliding glass doors on the other side of the kitchen. The door pops open, he goes in, cleans up the floor, calms down and has a quiet evening.

Around bedtime, he realizes he hasn't seen the cat all evening, and goes looking. He finds the poor thing wedged in the bathroom corner behind the toilet, trembling like mad. Little brother figures that Kitty was probably in the kitchen when he killed the doorframe, and spends a fair amount of time petting and soothing the poor little guy.

On Christmas Eve, Billy drives up to my folks' house, Annabel comes in from New York, we have a lovely Christmas and they leave a day or so later. A week after they get home, they wake up one morning to find giant clumps of fur everywhere, and a cat who is one-half to three-quarters bald.

So they rush Kitty to the vet, and three doctors, two techs and a student intern all rush around looking things up in books, doing blood tests, asking questions until finally my brother says, in a very very small voice,

"Erm, if something scared him really badly, could that cause this?"

"Oh, of course, stress-related alopecia" says the vet. "Why, did something scare him?"

"Maybe." says little brother, still in that small voice.

So that is the story of how my younger brother literally scared the fur off his cat (who did go on to live a pretty long and full life).

Oh, and the name Billy Chapman is from Silent Night, Deadly Night

1 comment:

Sherri said...

And I bet that cat got treats like MAD while your brother tried NOT to EXPLAIN.