We have two cats. One is fat, likes to sleep, and snuggle next to you. And the other is slender, anxious, and looks for any moment to sneak out the back door with you. Once he is in the yard, we all try to figure out how to quiet the others, so we can snatch him up and bring him back inside the house. After going through this ordeal for the last couple of weeks, we decided to let him hang out in the yard with us. It was going well, till someone asked where’s the cat?….”look mom, he’s in the tree ,” said my youngest son.
Yes he decided to venture up the tree. “Cats are great at climbing up, but not always so good about coming down,” my wife said. “That’s why people have called the fire department to come over and help.” When I heard that, my internal shame meter went from 0-60. There is no way I am calling the fire department over to our house to get a cat. Furthermore I am not about to answer questions from gawkers that will come over to watch the show their tax dollars paid for.
So we try coaxing him for about 10 minutes, and then agree to wait and see what happens. At that point, my wife and son leave for the grocery store. My youngest son is on the swing. And I’m raking the yard, with one eye on the tree. All I don’t need is a dead or injured kitty on my hand. As my son yelled out, “he’s going up the tree,” I’d call to the cat, hoping he’d respond.
I tried gently tossing the soccer ball, hoping he’d scooch-no luck. And then I wondered about spraying some water from the hose, but the sprayer was so messed up, I got more water on me than the cat. And by now, I noticed the birds were watching him, and appeared to be taunting him. “Here dumb kitty,” I could hear them chant. The only problem was they were not on the same tree, which would mean he’d have to do some leaping from one tree to another. So I took out the ladder.
Of course, my son wanted to climb up with me. We got one of the cats toys, hoping he’d come to that, but he just slowly walk down the narrow branch, and then freaked out. You could almost hear him say, “I can’t. I just can’t. I’ll fall. I know I’ll fall. HELP!!! Get me a kitty xanex.” When I thought of him falling and hurting himself, I could only imagine the vet bills-so I climbed up the kids castle, which is near the tree. And before I knew it, I was climbing up.
I reached out, pulled him to me. Strangely, I was waiting to hear, “My hero,” followed by purrs of adoration. Instead, I got a freaked out cat with claws extended, screaming, “I’m going to die…you’re going to drop me..Where are you going..how are you going to get down..I’m going to jump..I can’t..I ought to scratch you..So I moved down slowly and put him in the castle. Of course, he then scurried around the yard and then flopped on the ground from exhaustion.
It was as if realty hit him. He was on the ground reflecting on his near death experience. For a moment, our other cat came out, and …then quickly returned back in the house and went to sleep.