One night while Ike was wandering around in our backyard, he started barking his THERE’S SOMETHING BACK HERE GUYS bark. (He also has a SOMEONE’S WALKING THE DOG BY OUR HOUSE bark, a STRANGER! bark, and an I WANT THIS TOY bark which sounds suspiciously like a high pitched squeal.)
I immediately assumed there was a possum in the backyard and panicked, because Y once told me that Ike would lose to a possum in a fight. And even though I’ve worked out that Y doesn’t always know what he’s talking about, I still trust him 99% of the time. And no possum was going to kill my dog, dammit. I had to do something.
So I made Y run outside and deal with the situation, because I (in a shocking turn of events) don’t like rodents. To be helpful I paced and considered what shoes would be best to wear to a dog funeral. A second later, I heard Y scream at me to get outside.
When I got to the scene of the kerfuffle (that’s right, I just said kerfuffle), Y was dragging Ike (who, thankfully was still alive) inside.
“Go comfort it until I get back, make sure it’s okay,” Y said, pointing around the corner and referring to the alleged possum.
“What?! No! I’m not going near some strange rodent! You do it!”
Y looked at me, not amused. “Go over there and comfort the kitten.”
I turned to my right, and as if an ironic spotlight had suddenly been dropped on it, the tiniest of kittens sat shivering and mewing. Which I would be doing, too, had a mean old mutt just terrorized me.
mean old mutt
The kitten must have sensed that I am not a cat person, and ran off as fast as it could.
About a week later, I saw the kitten in our backyard again (alerted once more by the telltale THERE’S SOMETHING BACK HERE GUYS bark). The cat ran off into some unknown location, but I wanted to make amends; to apologize for the big goofy dog who seemed to think life was an episode of Tom and Jerry.
I tiptoed around our yard with a ramekin full of heavy cream(we keep things fancy around these parts), calling in my best cartoon voice “Heeeeere kitty kitty… heeeere kitty kitty.”
Are you rolling your eyes at me right now? As I heard the words coming out of my mouth, I rolled my eyes at myself (and may even have blushed), but it was honestly the only idea I could come up with for how to get a cat’s attention. Ridiculous, right? I mean, who am I, Elmer Fudd’s cat-catching cousin?
After a minute, I realized that no, my method of catching a kitten was not doing any good. I packed up my ramekin and was about to head inside, when…
A cat was actually peering under my fence, as if to say You raaang?
Not the kitten I was looking for, but one of the neighborhood cats I’ve known for the past three years – one of the elders of the feral cat community, you might say. His timing and concerned posture were impeccable. I could have sworn he was panting, his cat eyebrow was furrowed in concern. I imagined he was at Feral Cat HQ, holding down the fort when he saw the bat signal — aka heard my pleas of Here, kitty kitty– and rushed over to make sure everything was okay. It was the only explanation.
I brought my ramekin full of cream inside with confidence. I knew with our feral cat neighborhood watch program as strong as it was, the little kitten would be just fine. Mean old mutt and all.