Lki8onta;ljkrfpaetb: L’OBSERVATEUR’s kitties

Published 10:56 am Saturday, March 25, 2023

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Like many in our area L’OBSERVATEUR sustained damage to its building during Hurricane Ida. Unlike several others, our damage is repairable. All around us there are buildings that have been torn down or will likely be demolished.

Currently there is infrastructure construction going on. The area is being upgraded as part of a CDBG, Community Development Block Grant.   When finished it will feature cyclist paths, a green median and shade trees, green infrastructure components to hold and filter rain run-off, permeable parking, sidewalks, native plantings and historic light poles and banners.

Improvements will be seen along a 1.3-mile stretch of Airline Highway between Tiffany Drive and Main Street in LaPlace, continuing down the 0.3-mile Main Street corridor, where L’OBSERVATEUR is located.

On the corner of Main Street and Airline Highway a building that previously housed the St. John Parish Planning and Zoning Department was demolished to make way for a new park that will add recreation space and additional stormwater capacity for the local drainage system. When it is finished it should be beautiful. In meantime, like anything else in progress, it isn’t pretty.

It brings to mind my previous mother-in-law, Rachel Bulot. Rachel was a long time resident of LaPlace.

About 25 years ago, Rachel and I planted a rose garden outside of her kitchen window. She was dressed in all white for this project. When we were finished, Rachel looked like she was ready to attend a high society tea party.  I, on the other hand, looked like the cartoon character Pig Pen, with dirt wafting around me. That imagery accurately describes what is going on around us.

As a result of the abandoned buildings and subsequent demolitions our location became home to local vermin this past fall. It was as if there was big advertising campaign in “Small Furry Rodentville” that touted “Free: Warm lodging, come as you are”.

One day I was in the warehouse and watched a trespassing four-legged invader come in and fussed at it. It stopped, looked and the expression on its face was “You talking to me?”

In our search to fix the problem, we were given 3 cats.

The cats have jobs. There is, however a difference in opinion as to what they are. Their actual occupation is to keep the vermin at bay and greet visitors.

While they do this, they think their job also includes supervising what I do by sitting on my computer, walking on my keyboard and making sure I don’t eat too much. The little boy will come running no matter where he is if he hears the zipper on my lunch box or a food wrapper.

They make sure I drink enough water. They enjoy sound and movement of the water cooler.  When I put water in my cup, I put water in their dish. But if I am not careful, they will try to drink my water or bathe their feet in it.

They come out for video meetings and try to participate. They sleep most of the day, but as soon as there is a video meeting they have to be there.

The cats also keep me safe from things on my desk. You never know what those pesky pens are plotting or what that nail polish is going to paint.

We can’t forget plant patrol. They want to help me prune my plants. Unfortunately, it isn’t a talent that they excel. I received a beautiful plant and the cats thought it was for them. Since that day it is not uncommon to hear, “Leave that alone. That’s mine not yours. That plant did nothing to you.” I have said it so much that if they were able to speak, they would be mimicking, “That’s not yours.”

This week I learned if the adding machine makes noise the cats’ attention is diverted and they try to get the thing that makes the numbers print. One of the cats accidentally caused it to do this. After getting over their initial fear, they now want to conquer the foe in the calculator and will quickly run to inspect when it calls.

Each cat has its own personality. The gray cat is the most cat like of them all. She is skittish, but fascinated by the printer.  The little boy thinks he is a dog, looking for treats and cuddles. The third one is a tortoise shell cat, also known as a tortie. Her coat many colors much like a quilt or a crocheted blanket with yarn that goes from one color to the next known as variegated. She isn’t even remotely pretty, but she has attitude and thinks she beautiful. She is the most fearless and friendly, having never met a stranger. She is a show girl and prances when she walks. While looking up spelling of her breed I read an article that said torties were divas of the cat world.

Regarding the reasons for getting the cats, with the help of Debbie Bailey, the bug guy and our hired rodent assassins we have the issue under control.