Puffed Up Cat

A few days ago I went out for my morning jog/walk/stagger/crawl (done in that order) with two of my dogs. As I rounded the last corner near our rural home, the dogs decided to take a detour to my neighbor’s house and chase some of the many kittens that live and breed in his barn. They found one that was apparently unaware that the sight of all of his cat-buddies heading to the barn like rifle shots and leaving cat-shaped clouds of dust where they used to be standing was a signal that all was not well. It just stood there. Defiant or dumb, I just don’t know… but the cat could fight. Even though this one was doing a respectable job of defending itself, it did have the look on its face of a professional wrestler wanting to reach out and “tag” his partner so he can get the heck out of the ring. I scooped up the cat and held it against my chest as I swatted at the dogs. The kitten showed its appreciation of my valiant rescue by latching onto my T-shirt as if its life depended on it… which was probably an accurate assessment of the situation.

It came to my immediate attention that the needle sharp claws of a frightened kitten are much longer than the thickness of a T-shirt. Quite a bit longer, actually. The kitten frantically navigated its way to my shoulder, around the back of my neck, and finally onto my back directly between my shoulder blades, during which time I was trying to pull it from my body while simultaneously keeping the dogs at bay. I don’t know how many steps the cat took to get there, but it felt like about 1,000. I’m sure it was only a few hundred, though. The animal was now firmly attached to my T-shirt… and me… like a strip of industrial strength Velcro.

The dogs were leaping about and trying to get to the cat, which only encouraged the critter to dig in and hold on even tighter. (Did I mention that they have needle sharp claws?) I couldn’t reach the cat to extract it from the middle of my back, and it didn’t seem to have any intentions of voluntarily leaving its newly found sanctuary while the dogs were watching it like a plate of hors d’oeurves, so I simply had to walk the remaining hundred yards to our gate with a puffed up cat stuck to the middle of my back with dogs bouncing around me like gymnasts on a trampoline. I coaxed the dogs inside the fence, then walked back to my neighbor’s house (the cat still clinging tightly with it’s claws so deep they felt like they were wrapped around my spinal column) until it relaxed, moved to a spot where I could grab it, and I was able to pry the darn thing off of me.

I’m just glad no one drove by to see that spectacle.
Andy (Big Stinkie)


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