Recently, one of our lazy wistful walks woke the neighborhood with barking that translated to “I’m here! I’m here! I’m here!” And hissing that screamed, “Stop or take a slash.” As if the poor black cat that was dumped on our country road didn’t have enough problems, he was now face to face with Lucy again. But this time we were on his turf.
Our first encounter with the black one came a few weeks ago at three o’clock in the morning. Lucy, our devoted Blue Heeler, woke me to warn me of an intruder in her backyard. The whining and abrupt cold nose on my arm roused me to the situation. Since she seemed so intent on saving me from the critter outside, I thought I could at least get out of bed and act concerned. Looking out the window into the moon brightened night I saw the rather large black animal crouched by the hot tub stairs. I checked for a possible white stripe or strange “tale” and saw none. I assured her that we were safe inside the house, but Lucy continued her pacing until at last I opened the door.
The chase was on with lightning speed until the large black cat could not jump or climb over the fence it had once casually crossed to enter our backyard. In a sudden turn of events the cat took a hissing swipe at Lucy then raced, not to the nearest tree, but to a large tall cottonwood tree toward the back of the yard. With Lucy on his tail I watched as the cat climbed straight up, and then in slow motion slide back down toward Lucy’s barking jaws.
When I realized that Lucy might actually catch the cat, I raced to the tree wearing my twenty year old Halston’s blue night gown, screaming nonsense garble like “stop, no, wait!” As the cat’s haunches hit the ground I dove for Lucy like a tackler downing the quarterback making full contact with the dog just seconds before first contact (the bite).
Poor Lucy didn’t know what hit her, and I certainly felt surprised finding myself on the ground. With three of us huffing, puffing, and hissing the chase had ended. The dog and I sat safely by the tree as the cat flipped his tail high and marched off like he deserved a round of applause.