I went camping to
a mountain range called Our Skills (my "owners" call it “the Catskills”)
in Upstate Mew York. It was great, not the trip, of course. In fact the
trip was the worst five hours of my life! Banged around in a tiny cat carrier,
going at a snail’s pace through what my "owners" called a “traf-ick-jam”
with the violent blaring of the horns and the roaring of the motors. Ugh!
The memory is enough to make me puke. It was bliss at last when with a
final strained “vroom” the car stopped. Ah, what joy as the wind blew over
me bringing a thousand new smells some of fast confident hunters, some
of scared little rodents. Rodents…yes, rodents…the tiny beady-eyed, trembling
and, above all, tasty little things. Oh joy! I hammered at the door of
my cat carrier.
“Out! I need out!” I yelled to my human
servants, though it sounded like. “Miaaaooow!”
Yes! A hand had come level with the
cage door, the lock clicked and I was out! Free! I sniffed the air happily.
So much to be explored…but first…I came over to the one of my “owners”
who always fed me and rubbed against his legs (I was pretty sure it was
a he, but it’s hard to tell with humans).
“Gerr-away!” He told me in a loud voice.
I moved aside tactfully, this human was Annoyed. I guessed that for humans
other humans were different. But to me they are basically divided into
two types and have
four moods. The types are the Mean and the Kind. The Mean are the ones
that throw things at me, and the Kind are the ones that feed and groom
me. The moods are Well-Disposed, Indifferent, Annoyed and Bloody Furious.
I believe that these are self-explanatory.
As I philosophized over this I stalked
around the house. It was quite large and had been fitted into a gap probably
made by “ecks-plow-zi-ves”, at least that’s what the humans said. A forest
stretched away uphill. Suddenly my attention was riveted to a movement:
chipmunk! He saw me too and immediately darted towards a hole into which
he promptly dived. No worries there. He’d be caught later.
Purring contentedly I continued my explorations.
I came back to where the car was parked and smelled the air. Hmmmm… fish…fish=pond,
pond=water, water=drink, drink=animals, animals=food. So making the connection
I happily strolled off. As I reached the pond several surprised
frogs eyed me
curiously, then turned away. I wouldn’t bother with them anyway, even if
I caught one I’d never get through the skin. Then I felt it. My ears pressed
firmly against my head I turned. Sure enough it was there: a wild cat.
“Leave!” He miaowed angrily at me.
“No!” I miaowed back. We circled each
other exchanging threats and insults. He was bigger and stronger than me
and we both knew it. At last he advanced, I knew I had absolutely no chance
to beat him but oh well. I rushed at him full speed. He was surprised by
this attack for usually in a case like this the other cat would stand its
ground patiently. Before he knew what was happening I scraped his cheek,
but he gave back almost thrice what he got. I tried to dodge but jumping
away from one paw just made me run into the other. Desperately I grabbed
his shoulder with my teeth. One of his arms weakened but sudden realization
dawned on me: I let go and rolled away as his teeth snapped shut over where
my neck was a second ago. Hissing angrily we faced each other. I struck
first leaving bloody marks on his forehead. It wasn’t long when the retaliation
came. Barely had I time to pull back when his giant paws landed in rapid
succession on my shoulders. Summoning my last strength I leaped forward.
We rolled over and over on the ground suddenly right before my nose I saw
the small but sheer drop down to the water. Out of pure terror I grabbed
on to the wild cat with all every muscle in my body. He sensed something
was wrong but it was too late. Over the edge we plummeted.
We didn’t fall far, only two or three
feet but that didn’t matter. We hit water sending scared catfish flying
across to the other side.
“Miaaaaoooow!” I wailed even though
I was only about two inches deep.
“Save me, somebody!” The wild cat yelled
“What iz go-ing on?” Came the loud booming
voices of my supporting staff.
“I am here!” I called to them, scrabbling
at the steep banks. The wild cat was pulling my tail! Grabbing hold of
sapling, which bent under our combined weights, I kicked the wild cat furiously.
He let go. Well, what happened next is sort of hard to explain… most of
our “combined weights” was in the wild cat and when he let go…well, you
see there was this twang, the sapling straightened out and the next moment
I was flying through the air. Before I knew it I was in the water and this
wasn’t the two inch shallows of before. I went under.
I awakened a little while later because
something had jumped on me. Instinctively I kicked whatever it was with
a paw. With a surprised ribbit it jumped away. I eyed the frog; it eyed
me back. We stared at each other for a while, at last my eyes watered and
I turned away. With a triumphant croak the frog swam away. I stood up and
looked around. Nothing seemed familiar. I realized I was lost.
For a little while I stood getting my
bearings right. It is vital for a cat to know where it’s going before it
sets out. This was the wrong lake, for one thing it was bigger and for
another it had a great big slap-together fence of dirt and wood which started
a few meters away from me and ended on the other side.
This marked the end of the lake for on the other side of this contraption,
only a tiny stream flowed away. So this was upstream. That meant I had
entered from somewhere at the other end. I began to walk in that direction
squelching along. I began feeling hungry. I looked around. Nothing much
was present, after a little while I caught a few large grasshoppers; they
weren’t much but at least they were nutritious enough.
The sun was setting; normally I would
be pricking my ears up and preparing for another scuffle with Rats, the
evil-minded tom that lived down the block, but today I was battered and
tired and anyway Rats was tens of miles away so following my instincts
I scrambled up a tree and lay down to sleep.
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