Jo Ann Jaacks: My cat stole my Lucky Ducks

We all know about cats and their curiosity, and I’ve witnessed that many times with Darlin’, my therapy cat, who tries to run through every open door and jump into every open cabinet. I have also observed that cats can be vengeful and pilfering little dickens.

Case in point: My cat and I have a routine - early to bed and early to rise. Once, in a world far away and hard to remember (i.e., pre-pandemic) I was having fun with friends and lost track of time, returning home at a late hour. The first thing I noticed was my cat, with her back to me, curled up and glaring at the carpet. The next thing that caught my eye was that the various piles of paper that line my home office central were scattered all over the living room floor with several that were ripped and apparently chewed. And then I saw that my entire candle collection that is usually on the cocktail table was strewn about the room as well.

Since my desk is a forbidden area, I felt some punishment was required to reinstate that decree. I picked up a hissing and kicking feline, locked her in the bathroom and went to bed. After five minutes of listening to a howling banshee trying to take down the bathroom door with her claws, I relented and opened the door. Darlin’ ran up the stairs to her attic aerie, not reappearing until I announced “food!” the next morning. She was purring and rubbing against my legs so I assumed all was well.

Life was back to normal for several weeks, until I noticed that the largest yellow duck in my collection of what I call “lucky ducks” was now prominently posed inside my cat’s favorite bed, amid her assortment of cat toys of all kinds. My own assortment of yellow rubber ducks began with a cocktail at the White Horse Country Pub several years ago. I disremember the ingredients but I was intrigued with the name. When I asked the waitress why it was called a lucky duck she said, “It’s a surprise.” Seeing the smiling yellow ducky floating on the drink was a happy surprise indeed. I began bringing it with me to happy hour (back when there was such a thing), setting it swimming atop a blue Margarita and making other patrons smile.

Pretty soon I was receiving gifts of specialty yellow ducks, including one reading a book and one that came all the way from Iceland as a souvenir from my sister. They were all dear to me, so I removed the duck from the cat bed and put it in a drawer for protection. The next morning, all the remaining ducks (9 or 10) from the cocktail table had disappeared. I knew the culprit, but she wasn’t talking, so I undertook a thorough search in every nook, cranny, and cat bed . . . sadly to no avail. Darlin’ is an indoor cat, so I know those nine or 10 ducks are here somewhere and I will unearth them . . . someday.