Thursday, March 10, 2016

Traumatized Cat

The other day I was reading in our living room when I heard a jingle-jingle-jingle right outside our window.  It was odd enough that I leapt up in time in order to see a small black lab, its tags jingling as it chased Smokey, our cat, off of our front porch, across the street, and about twenty feet up a tree in our neighbor's front yard.  

Judging by how easy he was to catch, the dog was friendly, and I think he just wanted to play.  Smokey, however, puffed up to about twice his normal size and yowling from a fork of narrow branches, seemed convinced that he had narrowly escaped being devoured.  I held the dog's collar and our neighbor, B, called the owner.  The dog had escaped a little earlier and the owner drove up in his truck after a few minutes.  

Then we waited for Smokey to climb down the tree.  He wasn't budging.  B shook the treats they sometimes give Smokey.  Nothing.  The Child ran home and came back with a can of cat food, which he opened and rang Smokey's dinner bell  (we ring a little bell every time we feed Smokey and its Pavlovian effect usually brings him in from the night).  Nothing.  Smokey scanned the streets as if to look for slavering packs of dogs.  B's wife, J came out and called to Smokey to encourage him down.  Mark even set up a chair on the sidewalk under the tree.  After about five minutes and several tricky fork negotiations, Smokey jumped out of the tree.  And headed east, down the street. 

He was out of there.  We had looked up from the ground under the tree and laughed at him.  And there were dogs who ran up onto your porch and chased you.  He wasn't going to put up with that sort of things, and I'm pretty sure he was going to Australia.   I eventually retrieved - well, OK, dragged - him from underneath another neighbor's jacked-up four-wheeler tuck and took him home. 

The next day we found him uncharacteristically hiding in our closet, in the dirty laundry basket.  He also hasn't gone out the front, electing instead to lurk in the garage or on top of chair pads on the washer and dryer.  Luckily, we do have a fenced in back-yard, and he's forayed out there a few times. 

I supposed it would be another week or three before he finally decided to venture out front again, but four days after The Chasing, he has allowed himself to creep out the front door and see if our neighbor has any snacks.  
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