Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bob's Good Idea

Bob, the Cat-Boy-in-the-Hood who has chosen to live with us, occasionally finds his new home boring. With his usual creativity, he has found a good solution—good, at least, for him!

This April, the weather has been erratic, with warm spells, followed by really chilly cold spells. We’re glad to see the rain, because we need it, and I’m glad to see the cold, because it suppresses the neighbors and quiets the place down a little.

Anyhow, Bob has a pretty good routine devised. He cruises, hunting for moles and mice as he always has, using our house as a convenient pit stop for crunchies, and for shelter when it rains, snows, blows or is otherwise inclement. This works well for him, even at night, because we are retired and also because we are old, which means one or the other of us is awake and always ready to play doorman for him.

When the weather is really bad, however, he may be stuck inside for 10-12 hours which soon becomes intolerable. Things then become intolerable for our other three gentle, completely domesticated felines who are kept indoors most of the time. To liven things up, Bob will try to play with them, and like a lot of tough street cats, his idea of fun is not the same as theirs. He plays rough, and although I don’t think he really means to hurt them, they clearly do not like it.

Well, around 2 a.m. on a night when I was up reading, it started to rain. So, I opened the door as usual and there he was, waiting to come in. After giving him the usual quick stroke on the head, I went back upstairs and climbed into bed, because rain on the roof is a wonderful sleeping potion for me. No sooner had I settled down, then the noise began. It was kitty thunder footing, and if you have more than one cat, you know what I mean. Amazing how much noise those dainty little feet can make, especially in a herd! I figured Bob was just blowing off steam, so I ignored it. With the lovely rain drumming, I soon went back to sleep.

The next day I came downstairs and at once realized that this had not been a good choice. In the middle of the living room lay a headless mouse. I realized Bob must have smuggled in some "entertainment."
Sure enough, a few nights later the process repeated. I tried to check his mouth. He easily evaded me, and trotted off into the dining room. The other cats—for once—followed. There he dropped his mouse, and then sat back with a feline smile. The others approached, quivering with excitement. Rarely do they get such a thrill!

The poor mouse took one look and made a run for it, and a melee followed as the indoor cats took after it. Bob licked his paw, apparently well pleased with himself. It suddenly came to me that we now had a mouse inside—perhaps crippled—which would obtain a small revenge by dying far back under my ten-ton entertainment center. After hanging around for some time, following the stampede hither and thither, I realized there was not much I could do to either help the mouse or hinder the cats. In the end, I decided there was nothing to do but go back to bed.