Sunday, October 28, 2012

Rescuerama: A Mystery in Progress – Part 1

A cat fight erupted in our bushes Thursday night and I dashed outside to break it up. A bit of loud clapping did the trick.

I looked around to see the perpetrators and in the quiet came high-pitched, muffled mewing. Turned out to be the young pit-bull mix across the street, who was showing his concern for the action in my yard.

As I walked down the sidewalk and continued looking for the cats, one of them came running toward me and threw herself down on her back in my path—hinting at a bellyrub. She was certainly friendly, but I’d never seen her around the neighborhood. I obliged her wish for contact, yet I felt like someone was watching us. Sure enough, a neighbor’s cat was staring at me with dagger eyes. Ah, now I knew both parties behind the altercation.

The neighbor’s cat typically follows me around and comes running to me whenever I call his name. Now I’d betrayed him with a tiny, inconsequential female who had trespassed his turf. Or whom he was romancing. He stalked toward us and I scooped up the female, telling the male to go home.

I felt terrible. Whether he wanted to fight her or woo her made no difference to me. As far as I was concerned, they sounded the same and both sound terrible.

I walked up the street to check with a neighbor whose indoor cats sometimes escape for an outdoor spree. Unfortunately for the sprite in my arms, the neighbor’s cats were all present and accounted for. Now what?

I returned toward my home and a concerned party guest from across the street stopped me to see the cat. She’d heard the commotion and wanted to make sure the cats were okay (she has four of her own). Since neither cat was hurt, she suggested I simply put the cat down so she could find her way back home. I would hear this same suggestion from someone else later.

Without a plan of my own, I tried it their way. I didn’t feel good about it. My husband distracted the male cat in the front yard while I released the female in the back. But when she started to follow me, I knew I couldn’t abandon her to the night and the multitude of dangers that lurked there.

She would stay with us until the morning, when we’d get her scanned for a microchip.

to be continued…

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