Mother Interrupted: The cat’s in the cradle ... er, refrigerator
by Debra Carpenter
Jan 03, 2014 | 548 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Children, those blessed joys that grace our lives with humor, wonder and ungodly messes. How we love them! They are so innocent, so perfect in their tininess. Nothing compares to the love of a child because they can’t tell how strange you are yet and just don’t know any better.

In the words of the South, bless their little hearts.

You know who doesn’t think children are innocent gifts from God? Animals. More specifically, pets. Getting even more specific, our cat, Huckle. What reasons could Huckle the cat possibly have for thinking children are evil masterminds plotting his destruction?

Do the words “cat” and “refrigerator” mean anything to you? They meant something to my daughter last week when it apparently seemed reasonable to put our sweet little kitty in the fridge and then stand guard in front of it so Mom and Dad didn’t let him out.

Before you ask, my daughter is a very pleasant little girl. She is always smiling, dancing, laughing and making jokes (or at least saying things that make me laugh). She does not like to hurt animals and she is normally very loving with Huckle. However, on this day, Huck had eaten her snack and aroused her three years of pent-up aggression. So, naturally, she put him in the refrigerator to teach him a lesson.

My husband and I were talking when we heard the sound of a cat in distress

His first thought?

“Debra! There’s a cat trapped under our house! Maybe in the walls!” he shrieked.

That just didn’t sound logical to me. So, I decided we needed to walk around the house and make sure Huck wasn’t trapped in a room. Coming into the kitchen, my daughter saw me and ran toward the refrigerator. She stands in front of the door and says, very sweetly, “Where’s Huckle cat? Maybe he is cold. I miss him.”

And just like that, it became very clear where the sound was coming from.

And yes, he was cold.

When we made Molly apologize to the cat, she didn’t seem all that sorry.

“He ate my snack! Sorry, Huckle cat. Sorry I made you go in the refrigerator.”

Sorry indeed.

The moral of the story is, you can either have a toddler OR a pet. If you’ve already got a toddler, and you’re thinking about getting a pet, consider thinking of your pet as a science project instead. Your toddler will run lots of complicated experiments on them.

How many crackers can I feed the pet without it throwing up? Can I ride on this pet? How can I make this pet talk to me? What happens when I throw a toy at the pet? And does this pet want to wear clothes like me?

My only question is, Huckle, why don’t you just run away from my daughter when she walks toward you?

We must have a masochistic cat on our hands. In any case, we’re in the market for a locking refrigerator, if you know of any.


(Editor’s Note: Debra Carpenter is a novice mother, wife, college student and a syndicated columnist who is published in several Tennessee newspapers. She writes about the parts of parenthood you didn’t expect when you were expecting. Follow her on Twitter: @interrupted_ma or visit the website at