Tales from reddit: Crazy Cat Lady

I used to do onsite stuff for home users. Most of the time it was faboo, nice people with nice homes, made a few friends, etc. But this one time I had a call that came out of nowhere, a lady in Old Towne (a part of Augusta GA that is famous for mansions that are nevertheless sorta rundown). She called me up and said she had a home office PC which needed a backup and Windows reload. She asked with forced nonchalance if I had any allergies; unfortunately for me I have a terrible allergy to most domestic animals but, always a trooper, I just said don’t worry about shit, I’ll be there in a jif.

So I get there, walk in the front door and the first thing I notice is the STANK. The smell of ammonia was all up in this piece, dawgs. The second thing I notice is the lady herself: she’s wearing a wispy white nightgown, which was bad enough considering she was probably in her mid-fifties, but because she’s rockin’ it sleeveless I notice that she’s got these scratch marks, some old and some new, all down her arms. Oh shit. That smell, and those arms: that’s right, we got us a crazy cat lady.

Anyway, cat ladies are nothing new to me in my line of work, as computers and craziness are often bedfellows, but I could tell just from the scratch marks on her arm that this was going to be hardcore.

She tells me to follow, and we go all the way to the back of this enormous and rundown old Antebellum house to what I think was probably once a kitchen, she opens the door and I am immediately bombarded with a stinking yellow cloud of funk that can only be cat piss. She walks on in, but I hesitate and look at my phone, wondering how I can possibly get out of this job, hoping beyond hope that someone would just call me so I could beg off, but nope.

So I walk on in and before the scene even enters my brain, I hear them hissing like a pit of snakes: I’d say somewhere around 60-75 cats, all of them hissing at me. It was weird in a way that I can’t even fully describe: the room used to be a kitchen, like I said, but all the cabinetry was more or less doorless like it had been partially uninstalled, so there was just row upon row of cats lining the walls, and even more creepily squirming around like a furry river on the floor, and there were at least three on her desk, which is where I had to work. And all of them were looking. right. into. my soul. Finding me lacking.

Time to get your game face on, I said to myself, but what I was actually feeling was a kind of subtle terror. I like cats in a normal environment, but when there are that many cats together in an enclosed space, one gets the impression that one is not in the room with “cats” anymore, but rather some kind of collective alien entity and this particular entity was malignant.

Two minutes in and my eyes are watering from the smell. Five minutes in and I start to sneeze uncontrollably. Ten minutes in and I had to do what I had never done before, I looked that lady in the face and said, “Yeah, this is not working. I’m going to have to take your machine into the shop for service because I can’t breathe very well and frankly I’m a little scared of this situation.” She was unsurprised and helped me get the computer (which by the way was practically ruined from all the hair and dander, I’m told the cleaning of this computer in the store has an epic tale of its own but I was not a part of that) to my car. By this time I am literally wheezing even though I’m now out of the room, and by the time I get to the shop I was seriously starting to think about heading to the hospital, and indeed I did end up going home early because of the awful hacking cough I had developed.  Took a few days to fully recover.

A few days later, I had to bring it back, but this time I rolled in there with a paint respirator (again, she was unsurprised) and ten minutes later I was on my way home with a 200 dollar tip in my pocket. Still creeped out though. All in a day’s work.

tl;dr: Crazy cat lady had ~75 cats in a small room with her computer, ended up out of work sick, but crazy cat lady tipped well; conclusion:


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July 2010
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Currently Reading:

Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame - Charles Bukowski

Currently Listening:

Mr. Bungle - California

Why, yes, I am cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce.

You lika de juice????

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