Ferocious George takes on the world
All my cats have had a good upbringing – which is more than I can say for a friend of mine’s cat, a fat, orange tub of goo she calls George.
My cats were taught by their mothers to retain their kitty dignity even if they’re dozing on top of the television and fall off and don’t land on any of their feet. My kitties were instructed in the finer arts eviscerating the guts of small animals, then bringing them home and proudly placing them precisely where I put my foot when I first crawl out of bed. They were even taught, in true cat-style, when and how to groom their most intimate parts, but only when you’re having company over for dinner.
They are cats in the true sense of the word.
George, however, who’s not quite a year old, obviously was taken away from his mother at too young an age.
For starters, he likes dogs. He’ll run right up to the meanest dog in the subdivision, rub against its legs and outright confuse the mutt, who knows – and is quickly beginning to doubt itself – that he is supposed to chase and devour those of the feline sort.
George doesn’t have the best balance, which must be an anomaly in the world of cats. I have seen him jump onto ledges, only to skid-skid-skid and fall off the other side or dump a potted plant down the stairs. He takes a running jump onto the table – and slides right off the other side, sometimes into that potted plant.
And he’s afraid of the Great Outdoors.
George ventures out onto the deck only when there are at least two people and his loyal dog to guard him against the dangers only seen outside. Some of these include shadows, the wind and the basketball net. Any of these things will send George running back into the house at a speed he usually reserves for arriving for dinner – anyone’s dinner.
He’s hopeless, my friend and I agreed the other day as we lounged in 40-degree weather trying to get tan.
We watched as George ventured out into the Big World, his eyes as big as egg yolks, ready to see what the big deal was all about. He didn’t make it far. In the four hours we sought sunshine, he ran into the house 14,529 times.
First, the wind blew over the snow shovel, sending George straight into the air.
The wind then rocked a hanging birdhouse. A leaf fluttered across the deck – George flew. He again gathered the courage to wander out again, and perched himself on the edge of the deck. The wind kicked up, turning Ferocious George into an orange blur as he darted back into the house.
We laughed; George turned his back on us, his tail flicking angrily, his ears turned back in disgust. His kitty dignity had suffered a major bump in the road.
He turned defiantly, and crept out of the house, darting us a look of contempt, and walked to the far end of the deck. He even turned the corner – a milestone. Out of sight, out of mind, right?
Until, that is, Ferocious George came screaming around the corner, his tail looking like he’d stuck it in an electrical socket. But this time – could it be? – he was holding something in his mouth. Something small, something brown.
“It looks like a mouse,” I said.
“Not George,” my friend said.
“No, it’s a bird,” I said. “My cats do that all the time.”
At the feet of the brave, growling, nerves-on-end warrior-hunter was his prey: a gray pine cone.
There might be hope for him yet.
Jane Stebbins can be reached at 668-3998 ext. 228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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