April 26, 2010

CATS!!!!! (not the musical!)

Oh how I’ve wanted to write about my least favorite subject for the longest time. I know, that seems like an oxymoron — wanting to write about something you hate — but I can feel my paws itching as they float over the keyboard just knowing I can write about those infuriating felines.

My day started with the feral beasts and ended with them, too and throughout the whole day, those pesky furballs kept popping up…and I mean POPPING up (one of the reasons I despise them so!).

We walked Ann to school this morning and on the way, walked past Boy’s house. Boy is a large, gray tabby who likes to sit on his stoop and wait for dogs (like me) to walk by. Now when Monty walks by, Boy and Monty rub against each other in this cross-species love fest. If Monty weren’t such a good friend, I’d have to cut off all relations, but since he is my best buddy, I just watch him love up Boy and get sick to my stomach.

But this morning, there was Boy sitting there just waiting for me and as we got closer, he sauntered down the stairs to rub against me…as IF I were Monty. Gretchen sees this as learning experiences and she works tirelessly to keep me focused on her and not on the cat. Today I did pretty well. I didn’t go into KILL mode though I did go into ALERT mode, which Gretchen says is okay as long as I don’t go all Cujo on her.

I didn’t. I behaved. It took every fiber of my being to behave, but I behaved.

So school, teaching, then home again and off Gretchen went to pick up Rosie and Tyson, putting all that cat training behind her…EXCEPT…

…they walked down to the park, they get onto the path, and who should run out of the bushes STRAIGHT AT THEM?

Now, I know I have a prey drive (I also have a play drive), but Rosie and Tyson have serious prey drives. Not only did one cat come running out of the bushes right at the dogs, but another cat was in hot pursuit right behind it. AND while the one in pursuit had the smarts to spot the dogs and hightail it back into the bushes, the lead cat did not. On top of which, the lead cat was that hairless cat that lives right next to the park. It took Rosie and Tyson a few seconds to put all the pieces together…

…is it a cat? Is it a dog? Is it an alien?

…is it really running right at us?

…is it like not going to stop and come right up to us?

…oh my DOG we need to kill it!

And then they went crazy. Tyson jumped up and down and barked like crazy, which set Rosie off into her spinning, barking, biting anything close by mode and here was Gretchen holding the leashes so the dogs didn’t kill the cat (oh please let them!) and separating the dogs so they didn’t go after each other.

And what did the cat do?

MOVED CLOSER! Yes!!! The cat saw all the craziness of the prey driven dogs and sauntered up to them like, “Hey big dogs, you want a piece of me?”

Luckily, a friend of ours came by and helped out by shooing the cat back to its house as quickly as possible, though the cat really wasn’t interested in that idea at all. The rest of the walk took time because Rosie and Tyson kept looking back over their shoulders to see if the cat was following them.

And it didn’t end there…as they were rounding the corner for home (a different corner since Gretchen didn’t want to run into the cat again), two little Chihuahuas were on a walk with their owner and scampered by up the street. Rosie and Tyson went on high alert again thinking the cat had multiplied and returned, but once they got a good whiff, they let down their guard and everyone could continue on their way.

Next was Zoe. I got to go on this walk (though darn it! I wish I’d been on the walk with Rosie and Tyson…we would’ve had a fantastic time with the hairless cat!) and even though we rarely see a cat, who should be perched on a neighbor’s porch, but a black and white monstrosity about the size of a raccoon. Zoe didn’t notice. I noticed, but so did Gretchen and therefore we had to be on our best behavior.

When she posed us on the steps for our photo, I was thinking about the cat when I spotted a small soccer ball, which grabbed all of my attention. Even Zoe was wondering what I was so focused on, though she wasn’t the least bit interested in playing with the ball.

I, on the other hand, carried it for about 4 blocks before dropping in the parking strip of some unknown house.

Next we drove to get Gemma and Saber. We played at the tennis courts, which helped me out a bit — substituting my prey drive for play drive…

…but then, when we went on our walk, another cat crossed our path. Now Saber, he gets alert with cats and squirrels, but Gemma is worse than me about the whole Cujo thing. But she didn’t see the cat (lucky for Gretchen) and while Saber perked up his ears, I was the one who had to be reminded that chasing cats is not what I’m supposed to do.

Darn it!

So now, after three cats in three outings I was totally looking for them when we went to Alice’s house to pick her up. Alice, I would like to remind you, lives with a cat (imagine!) so I didn’t think she’d be at all interested in helping me spot them (which she wasn’t) but as we went on our way through the park and neighborhoods, I kept my eyes open and nostrils flared in search of another cat.

Instead, I found that soccer ball I dropped earlier in the day on our walk with Zoe and decided to carry it for another few blocks and drop it off at Alice’s house as a house-warming gift (since they just moved in). Alice went into her house and spent the rest of the day there with her cat, while we headed back home for our last walk of the day with Oshi and Perrito.

In our neighborhood there are lots and lots of cats. So many that often I have to look both ways when leaving the yard. One of those cats is Orondo who lives across the street but never spends time at his own home. Instead, he loves Oshi and Perrito (and they love him too) so whenever her hears the dogs leaving their house, Orondo usually runs over.

Which is exactly what he did today…right into my path!

Oh my did I ever kick my prey drive into high gear. I mean, all day long I’d been super good not attacking any of the cats we spotted and always being attentive to Gretchen’s commands. But when Orondo ran at me, I let it all out. Man, did that ever feel good! Of course, it didn’t scare Orondo in the least. He just cowered down a bit and waited for his little pals (dressed in stylish outfits) to come visit.

By the time we finished our walk, I was both exhausted from all the cat hunting and thrilled that at any given moment, I might see another feline in my path. Luckily for Orondo, he’d gone home while we dropped off the boys and then I curled up on my bed for a nice long nap whereupon I dreamt about flying fur and musical meows.

Until tomorrow,

Rubin

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