Friday, August 13, 2010

Cat Tales, Part 33457

Tiger loves to chase other cats. It's just about his most favoritest way to pass the time other than eating and barfing on the carpet. So when he's outside, he chases cats. When he's inside, he chases the other two cats. Well, he chases one cat in particular: Pounce.

Pounce is a calico cat, and calicos have a reputation for being a special bucket of crazy. She is no exception. She is more likely to leave claw marks on your leg from trying to get away from a loud sound on the television than any other cat on the planet. She hides under the bed at the slightest ruffle in her routine. Since Zane came along, she pretty much lives under the bed, and only ventures out when she thinks he's asleep or not here. We have had my mother-in-law and her yappy dog staying here, so Pounce has not ventured downstairs for many months. So when she does come downstairs to look around and maybe nap by the window, she also has to contend with Tiger and his cat chasing ways.

It wasn't always so. When Larry brought Pounce home as a kitten, Tiger decided that he was her mama. We would often find the two of them curled up together, or Tiger giving Pounce a bath, or some other cute domestic scene. Tiger even defended Pounce from Morris, at least once Morris noticed that there was another cat in the house(about six months after we brought Pounce home).

This morning, since Zane was at school and the MIL and yappy dog are at their own house, Pounce crept down the stairs. She came in the kitchen to greet me as I was washing dishes and then went to hang out in the living room. I noticed Tiger stalking her, but I was doing the dishes, so all I did was say "Tiger! No!" in my firm voice. Tiger is a smart cat, I've learned over the years. Tiger knows his name, and he definitely knows that 'no' means to stop what he is doing. He doesn't always listen, of course, but he knows those words. I also know that he heard me because he stopped and looked at me. Then he went back to stalking Pounce, and I got busy with the dishes for a few minutes.

All of a sudden I heard this horrible sound, and I turned off the water. It sounded like a cross between a baby crying and some sort of yowling. It sort of raised my hackles, because my first thought was that something had happened to Zane. Then I remembered that he was at daycare. When I investigated, I found Pounce wedged in the baby gate at the bottom of the stairs. In her haste to run away from Tiger, she forgot that she is too darn fat to get through the bars.

She was yowling, trying to pull herself through, but she had only been able to get her head and front legs through, and that was that. Tiger was hovering about--he actually looked concerned for Pounce for a second. Then he put his paw out to smack her on the butt.

Larry had been upstairs but also came to investigate when he heard the yowling. Between him pulling the bars apart and my holding Pounce(and with her frantically trying to continue to pull herself through the bars) and folding her front legs underneath her, we were able to extricate her from the gate. Tiger wanted to chase her again, so I grabbed him and put him outside for a few minutes. After Larry and I got Pounce calmer and made sure that no vet visit was needed, I let Tiger back in.

Pounce had settled herself in front of the window for a nap, and here comes Tiger, ready to stalk. This time, I made sure the baby gate is open.

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