Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Tale of Two Kitties

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Yesterday leaned toward the latter, because I totally screwed up.

Did I mention that Mike and Jeannie have a couple of cats? There's Arlo, a dapper little dude who always wears a tuxedo. Some of my sharper-eyed readers will have seen him lurking in the window in the next-to-last picture of my first blog entry. Arlo was the new guy in the house until I came along. In this photo you can see that he and I share a common interest:

And then there's Willis, a crusty old toot who ruled the roost in his younger days:

Actually Willis still uses that tower, but only when Arlo is safely quarantined on the back porch, as one of them always is. There was a time when they tolerated each other--and even played together. Here's the photographic evidence:

But that was then. Now they fight like cats and . . . well, cats. So M and J have to keep them separated.

Strangely enough I get along with each of them--or did until last night. I swear I don't know what came over me. Well, that's not true, though you'll probably say I'm just making excuses. I'm sure it had something to do with the heartworms and the tick ailment and all the medicines I've been having to take. I'd felt really draggy all day and was in no mood to be messed with. Earlier, in fact, my peeps had me tied me out in the yard while they did some gardening, and when a neighbor's cat walked by, I took a run at him. When I got to the end of my tether and did a half-gainer into the grass, it darkened my mood considerably.

I want you to know that hassling cats is out-of-character for me. Just ask M. We've passed lots of cats on our walks, and I've never paid them any attention. Squirrels--same way. I'm very live-and-let-live. I think this time, though, it was just that I was feeling so sick. And tired. And I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired--you know what I'm saying?

(Also let me mention in passing that I realize there are three cats in this story, but I'm not going to change the title, since "A Tale of Three Kitties" would be just plain dorky and lose much of its literary luster. If it helps you to get through it, consider the "two" to be Arlo and Willis--or Willis and that foreign intruder. Whatever floats your boat.)

But back to business: The only thing I found all day that made me perk up was food--my own and anyone else's. That evening when I cleaned Willis's plate for him, he shot me the evil eye, as if to say Where's The Fish? So a while later as we were passing each other in the kitchen doorway, I growled and lunged at him and showed him what a really big mouth full of teeth looks like.

Willis didn't react all that much, but Jeannie did. She yelled at me and grabbed me by my collar. Then I growled at her, which just set her off some more.

Long story short, I slept in isolation last night, instead of being trusted to have the run of the house with Willis. He was locked in a bedroom, while Arlo was on the back porch (as usual).

I've thought about this a lot today. Believe me I have. And I've come to some important conclusions. Do I wish I hadn't scared the bejeezus out of Jeannie? Of course I do! Will I think twice in the future about finishing Willis's supper--or anybody's but mine? I certainly will! Am I sorry for wigging out with Willis and that poor, dumb cat from down the street? Yes and yes! Is J apt to forgive me anytime soon for being such a bonehead? . . . I don't know. I sincerely hope so. I know I'm a better dog than I appeared to be last night. I learned about give and take when J and M were out in the boondocks trying to win me over. And I can learn and grow from this unfortunate experience. I know I can.


Fred said...

Rule #1 Don't bite or mess with or otherwise make upset/mad the hand that feeds you.
Rule #2 When in doubt in a situation, consider Rule #1.
Good luck with the cats. Willis is a...Willis. I don't know Arlo as have not visited M & J since he arrived on the scene.
Hang in there, flash J those sad puppy dog eyes and you will be back in good graces. (don't overuse this trick)

Anonymous said...

Dearest Buddy, if we can live with the "mouth of the South" Daisy, M & J will certainly understand your occasional slips. Hang in there. Libby

Anonymous said...

You are a great writer! I enjoyed reading your story. We have a Lab mix named Buddy and 3 cats, one is a psycho. I will enjoy keeping up with your escapades.

A Fellow DeLandite.