Dear Family Cats (and also the dog),
Thanks for giving me an unforgettable experience. A night of induced insomnia and – okay – a couple laughs.
It all started about 130 am. The dog woke me up, walking in and out of my room, flopping down in the hallway, jumping up again to tick tick tick tick another circuit of my room. When she walks at a certain pace, her nails on the floor sound like the Sixty Minutes clock. At 130 pm, I find this charming.
After a moment of consciousness, I heard what had made the dog restless. Cat fight, a couple houses away. I recognized the voice of my beloved Luna, whom I had failed to lock inside. I keep the cats in at night (coyotes), but on hot summer nights Luna often evades capture.
Luna is 10 years old and I had never heard him fight before. He is a peaceable fellow who gets along with most other cats. The part of my brain that was awake decided it was a good idea to break up the fight. I filled a glass with water and headed down the street. No noise, no cats. Okay. I dumped the water and returned to bed.
Turn out my light, cue the fight, which resumed a few feet outside my window. Refill the water glass, take it outside, toss water at the cats. The other cat ran north. Luna headed west, stopped, stared at me, then sprinted after the other cat. Jerk.
The really!-I’m-mean-and-I’m-going-to-hurt-you! howling resumed in the backyard. By now I was too invested to shrug and lie in the dark listening to fake loud cat aggression. In the backyard, I decided to turn the hose on them. I turned the hose on full bore and I blasted them —
— with a dribble of water. Oh. The hose had kinked.
While I worked on unkinking the hose, from the house behind ours came brutal THUNK-thunk-THUNKs as the pit bull tried to slam his way outside through a closed dog door. He wanted in on the cat fight.
Suddenly I realized that what I needed was to be asleep. I left the hose and returned to bed. Where I lay, very very awake, for 3 hours. As many of you know, time expands at night and those 3 hours lasted for days.
I finally drifted off to sleep shortly before dawn. Not long afterwards, I jolted awake to shrill cat screeches. For the first time, our cat Bop had ambushed the kittens during the night, which is usually a time of truce. Perhaps Luna had inspired her.
There we were, stumbling into the hall, squinting at the lights we each turned on: my daughter and I, armed with water bottles, looking to spray Bop for messing with a kitten.
Actually the “kittens” are now 11 months old and two of them are bigger than Bop, but she knows how to bully and they will always consider her enormous.
Now the dog was energized. With two humans out of bed, it must be breakfast time.
Have you ever gone for a walk just after dawn? It is such a peaceful time of day.
P.S. As I write this, Bop has knocked the DSL modem to the floor. Twice. So we’ll see whether this exposé ever gets posted.
(This post responds to today’s Daily Prompt, “I’d Like to Thank My Cats”.)