Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Three-legged Cat

Okay, so the cat had four legs, but it could only use three. The gray cat named Blue came limping home a few days ago, some sort of injury being obvious. Blue is but one of the many cats the Missus has taken in through the years and if you recall, the same one that had a seizure and has been a little loopy ever since. The Blue cat spends a lot of her day scanning the skies, head and neck swiveling, looking for UFO’s, asteroids, or maybe Japanese Zeros coming out of the sun… who knows?

We checked the injury, or tried to and if you’ve ever tried to examine a cat that’s hurt you know what I mean, but the only thing that looked unusual was one claw that seemed to be aimed at an odd angle. There was no blood. Can’t be all that serious we think and place her in medical isolation, otherwise known as the utility room, for some healing time. The isolation was necessary as the other cats pick on little Blue at every opportunity, lying in wait, pouncing, and generally making her life miserable. My theory is that it’s a natural selection thing; they sense weakness (Blue’s mental problems) and want to eliminate her from the pride.

A day or so goes by but the condition worsens. The cat is literally hopping around her cell on three legs. Naturally, the Missus aka the Saint of Cats, takes the feline to the vet. The diagnosis is that the area around the wayward claw has an abscess. An injection of antibiotics and a king’s ransom in fees later, the cat goes back in the hole for recuperation.

Two more days go by and the cat is going stir crazy, meowing at the top of her lungs, protesting the inhumane treatment from her jailers. The Missus is back in the bedroom, talking on the phone, and the yowls of the cat are getting to me. I set it free, if only to roam the living room and the rest of the house. Wasn’t good enough. The cat goes to the front door and the yowls continue. What the hell? I’ll let it out, just for a while, for some fresh air. Besides, how hard can it be to catch a three-legged cat? So, I’m watching it with one eye and keeping the other on some dark clouds moving in—maybe the weather guys were right for once about the rain—while Blue merrily sniffs the flowers once again scanning the skies, ecstatic in her freedom. With darkness only minutes away, I decide her parole is over and make the move to bring her in. Nope. Cat has other ideas. I pick up my pace. So does the cat, the bum foot healing before my eyes. Faster and faster, now at a trot, Blue heads for the street and the wooded area beyond. Uh, oh. The lot across the street is dense with trees, fallen limbs from the ice storm a couple years back, and boulders. A small creek divides the acre. The lot is also thought to be the home of The Mean Cat, a feral cat that tangled with Old Yella recently resulting in yet another vet bill.

I make a dash to head off the cat and get to the street ahead of her, but she gave me a juke like an Oklahoma U. running back, and disappeared in the brush. I’m in big trouble. Not only did I let The Precious Blue out of her room, but now I’ve lost her in the woods with The Mean Cat in the neighborhood and night is falling fast. I am not prepared for a safari. I was in my evening wear, a tee shirt, a pair of sleep pants, and sandals and here I stand looking at trees, broken limbs, weeds, poison ivy no doubt, and slick steep banks with jagged rocks. But it’s that or face the Missus. I dive in.

Luckily the cat emerges, returns to the yard, and bless her little crazy heart, stood still long enough for me to scoop her up. By now I’m panting like a lizard thinking heart attack, the big one, all for a skinny cat. I return Blue to her room and quietly close the door. The Saint is still on the phone, oblivious.

Cats can drive a man to drink…and have.

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