Bengal Manor Cattery



Watch Cat

Big Bob is the largest of the five cats that have lived with me for the past ten years. I can count on one hand the number of times in those ten years that Bob has failed to greet me as I literally slid off the seat of my pickup truck, my arms usually filled with my purse, planner and other paraphernalia. He was there on this particular Tuesday evening, but the moment I saw him I knew something was wrong. Instead of coming at a slow walk, or even his anxious ground eating trot, he came at a dead run. He's never been a vocal cat but when he reached me he began to "talk" in addition to his usual greeting ritual which consisted of rubbing against my shins a few moments before throwing himself down on the ground and wrapping his paws around my ankles. I set my things down on the hood of the truck to free my hands then bent down to give him a reassuring pat before the rest of the family surrounded me demanding equal attention.

Bob's Mother, his two sisters and nearly identical brother were milling around us within moments, and Bob leapt to his feet to race toward the house in irritation. Halfway there he suddenly stopped and washed an imaginary stain from his front paw before glancing back to see if I was coming. I gave everyone a quick pat, retrieved my belongings and followed in Bob's footsteps. He continued on toward the house, his tail swishing angrily from side to side, letting me know I was taking entirely too long to catch up.

I'm gonna nap!A dozen images flashed through my mind as I approached the house; had Amber brought in another tree frog and let it go in the kitchen. Maybe a breeze from the open windows had blown a door shut preventing access to the kitchen from their private kitty door located in one of the windows of my bedroom. Maybe Spidey had started collecting mice again, stockpiling them alive and well in my bathtub. Could Bobby have "lost" another snake under the couch and needed me to pull it away from the wall for him.

I managed to get the door unlocked despite the distraction of milling cats about my feet and balancing my belongings with one hand. I quickly glanced around but found no foreign bodies strewn about the floor, much to my relief. I dropped my things onto the counter and automatically opened a cabinet door and pulled out a can of cat food. I popped the lid and tapped the contents out onto their plate. Everyone gathered around trying to grab up the choice bits before they magically disappeared, that is all, except Bob. He was sitting in the middle of the floor looking up at me expectantly. This was serious.

"I've got to change clothes and feed the horses," I told him as I walked down the hall to the bedroom, still keeping one eye on the floor for anything out of the ordinary. He ran ahead of me and jumped up on the bed to wait, his eyes wide, alert, never leaving my face. At that moment, the phone rang and I hurried to the living room to pick up the call before the answering machine clicked on.

It was the air conditioner repairman, he had come by, a day early on the off chance that he might catch me at home. He told me, he had a tale to tell. He'd brought his dog along for the drive, an Australian Shepard. Instructing the dog to stay outside the yard fence, he closed the gate and walked up on to the porch to knock on the door. However, he'd failed to secure the gate and my own dogs managed to push it open. Out they went to play with the new stranger. In all their excitement… the new dog and one of the girls, (from his description, I'm sure it was Spidey) caught sight of each other. Spidey turned and ran and the dog took chase. Fortunately for Spidey, the dog never made it, Bob intercepted the dog, smacking it repeatedly in the face while spitting and hissing like a cat possessed. The dog let out a yelp and ran for his owners' truck, jumping up in the back where he believed he would be safe.

Mr. Dowdy said he just called to tell me, "That big yella cat was sure mad." He made arrangements to come back the following day but said, "I think I'll leave, Tiger at home." After hanging up, I went back to the bedroom and sitting beside Bob, let him tell me about how the big evil dog tried to get Spidey. I pet him for a long time, until he seemed content that he'd conveyed how anxious he'd been.

I changed my clothes and tried to coax him off the bed to come with me. He just looked at me through barely open eyes and remained resting in the bed. I was home to look after things now, he was off the clock.



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