The new digs appears to be the spot for wandering, homeless critters whether it is skunks, squirrels, birds, raccoons, possums, chipmunks, enormous toads or a cat. The latter finding its way to our back doorstep several weeks ago and won’t leave. It may have something to do with the munchkins having fallen under the stray’s spell. Which is an easy thing to do considering she is this button of a thing with gray, black and white fur, nose the color of clay, and a pathetic meow.
Named Feathertail by “let’s adopt everything that happens into the yard” Brie, the feline more often than not can be found wrapped about our legs every time we set foot outdoors. She is relentless about being petted, likes to head-butt the dog, and occasionally takes a swipe at his tail — the cat, not Brianne.
Thing is, we can’t move without the sudden arrival of Feathertail with her claws of doom. When taking out the garbage or trying to get to the Orange Crusader she swoops onto the scene — like Batman — wrapping about the kneecaps with a demand to PET ME! Something the munchkins are more than happy to oblige as they love this cat and as you can imagine, it was the end o’ times when the stray was found in the fork of the largest tree on the property over the weekend. Brie came barreling downstairs from her bedroom with the news the cat was in the tree. At first I thought she meant the short weeping cherry trees that hug the porch — no big deal. Nope! The cat was in the big, nameless tree in the right-of-way, seated level with the second floor of the house, and showcasing her ferocity with an occasional lick to her bum.
“I think she was after a squirrel,” said Brie. “We should get her.”
“How?!” I said, watching as Feathertail continued to preen from a dizzying height and imagining days of Cat Watch 2014 with Brie more adamant on saving the feline as time passed until I had no choice but to call the fire department.
“You could get her with the ladder!”
“Uh, no,” I said, imagining my taking the rickety, highly questionable ladder from the garage, setting it against a tree facing one of the busiest streets in town, and climbing to a second story level to rescue a cat. One with really, really sharp claws, by the way. Plus, I don’t care much for heights. Oh, I’ve gone to great heights in roller coasters and whatnot, but ladders … seems an emergency trip just waiting to happen. What with multiple broken bones after falling to the sidewalk with a terrified stray cat attached to my face.
“I am not climbing a ladder to get your cat. Oh, no. She’s on her own,” I said while walking away but giving Feathertail a backward glance — and you know what they say about looking back. Even as I continued to say it serves her right for going that far up into a tree for a squirrel. Course, not 10 minutes later the eldest made the announcement the cat was out of the tree having made a straight beeline run down one side thanks to those well-sharpened claws. Which means she was once again out and about terrorizing the neighborhood (IE. us) with her non-existent meow, knee wraps, and claws of death.
Course, I will take cats over what I glimpsed while stepping into the kitchen late Sunday afternoon. My eyes moving out the back windows to the fence line where, at first, I honestly thought I saw a hyena. I waited, wondering just how bad my eyes were getting when a large black, brown, and orange striped dog with white feet and a very wide face re-emerged from behind the garage.
A couple of hasty blinks later so as to confirm it wasn’t a hyena but an actual dog I had to wonder what next — lions, tigers and bears?
Bethany J. Royer is the mother of two munchkins and has a serious case of psychology student senior-itis. She can be reached at email@example.com.