Wednesday, July 20, 2011

how to catch a kitten

This is one of the hardest posts I've written. No, nothing's wrong. I just can't tell you this story without making Ike out to be a total, for lack of a better word, douchebag.

One night while Ike was wandering around in our backyard, he started barking his THERE'S SOMETHING BACK HERE GUYS bark. (He also has a SOMEONE'S WALKING THE DOG BY OUR HOUSE bark, a STRANGER! bark, and an I WANT THIS TOY bark which sounds suspiciously like a high pitched squeal.)

I immediately assumed there was a possum in the backyard and panicked, because Y once told me that Ike would lose to a possum in a fight. And even though I've worked out that Y doesn't always know what he's talking about, I still trust him 99% of the time. And no possum was going to kill my dog, dammit. I had to do something.

So I made Y run outside and deal with the situation, because I (in a shocking turn of events) don't like rodents. To be helpful I paced and considered what shoes would be best to wear to a dog funeral. A second later, I heard Y scream at me to get outside.

When I got to the scene of the kerfuffle (that's right, I just said kerfuffle), Y was dragging Ike (who, thankfully was still alive) inside.

"Go comfort it until I get back, make sure it's okay," Y said, pointing around the corner and referring to the alleged possum.

"What?! No! I'm not going near some strange rodent! You do it!"

Y looked at me, not amused. "Go over there and comfort the kitten."

I turned to my right, and as if an ironic spotlight had suddenly been dropped on it, the tiniest of kittens sat shivering and mewing. Which I would be doing, too, had a mean old mutt just terrorized me.

mean old mutt

The kitten must have sensed that I am not a cat person, and ran off as fast as it could.

About a week later, I saw the kitten in our backyard again (alerted once more by the telltale THERE'S SOMETHING BACK HERE GUYS bark). The cat ran off into some unknown location, but I wanted to make amends; to apologize for the big goofy dog who seemed to think life was an episode of Tom and Jerry.

I tiptoed around our yard with a ramekin full of heavy cream(we keep things fancy around these parts), calling in my best cartoon voice "Heeeeere kitty kitty... heeeere kitty kitty."

Are you rolling your eyes at me right now? As I heard the words coming out of my mouth, I rolled my eyes at myself (and may even have blushed), but it was honestly the only idea I could come up with for how to get a cat's attention. Ridiculous, right? I mean, who am I, Elmer Fudd's cat-catching cousin?

After a minute, I realized that no, my method of catching a kitten was not doing any good. I packed up my ramekin and was about to head inside, when...


A cat was actually peering under my fence, as if to say You raaang?

Not the kitten I was looking for, but one of the neighborhood cats I've known for the past three years - one of the elders of the feral cat community, you might say. His timing and concerned posture were impeccable. I could have sworn he was panting, his cat eyebrow was furrowed in concern. I imagined he was at Feral Cat HQ, holding down the fort when he saw the bat signal -- aka heard my pleas of Here, kitty kitty-- and rushed over to make sure everything was okay. It was the only explanation.

I brought my ramekin full of cream inside with confidence. I knew with our feral cat neighborhood watch program as strong as it was, the little kitten would be just fine. Mean old mutt and all.


  1. If it makes you feel any better, I'll tell you a little story about my mean old mutts. A couple of years ago, we were walking them through our little town on leashes. ON LEASHES (this part is important). As we walked past this one house, a Boston Terrier with balls too big for his stature (figuratively) came roaring off his porch to tell my dogs, in no uncertain bark, to get off his effing piece of road. My dog did not like being approached by an off-leash dog while she was leashed, and she went straight for the jugular. The dog ended up being fine, but the owner was PISSED. Not that it was our fault, really... but it was really embarrassing and I felt so bad for that poor little terrier.

  2. ok so I have to admit that when I first started reading I thought the end would be much more traumatic - although I would be hurting for the little kitten, too (even though I'm allergic to cats). I think Ike's telling you he needs a little brother or sister ;)

  3. lol is it terrible that i was rooting for ike!? :)

  4. Corinne - It was slightly more traumatic (for me at least!) but I decided to leave out the worst part, but I'll post it here because surely no one reads the comments, right? Y swears he saw Ike with the cat in his mouth! But it was dark and I refuse to believe it. He must have been mistaken! And the cat looked okay and ran off so he couldn't have been hurt...right?!

    Whit, no, not terrible :) I would root for Moka if she attacked some island creature!

    V, poor little guy! But his owner should have cut you some slack, you can only control your dog's natural instincts to a certain point! I'm on your mean old mutts' side!

  5. Our neighborhood is FULL of feral cats that I have no problem with (keep the rodents away, etc.) and our dog loves to make a game out of chasing them out of the yard. She goes crazy. So the other night I let her out late, past midnight, and I hear her starting to go nuts. We live in a duplex with two apartments behind us and we all share a big yard, so I'm worried she's going to wake up the neighbors. I go outside and there is a DEMON CAT, with a collar (!!!), chasing the dog. Really?? Every time the dog got close, the cat would swipe a paw, hiss, growl (I didn't even know cats did that), and occasionally lunge at her and chase her a few feet. I had to pick the dog up and carry her inside. Now the cat comes by at least three times a week to terrorize. Stupid demon cat. I got some advice to use a spray bottle with water to keep the cat out of the yard, so we'll see how that works.

    I'd say Ike was definitely in the right (dogs > cats), but I guess kitten is a little harsh. :) glad baby kitty was okay. maybe he'll think twice next time!