Run. Run far. Not far enough.
One blob of matted animal hair looks pretty much like the other after being dragged through the mud and wet bushes.
The afternoon’s gully washer rumbled until the darkness wasn’t just from the clouds.
At the first break in the storms, even the most finicky neighborhood pets were rushing out for a, uh – to see a man about a dog. (Of course, in any yard but their own.)
The German, rather demure and shy, prefers to use the facilities of the backyard. There, unobserved.
Knowing the neighbors’ territorial cats, we cautiously opened the door.
Next door is an old short-haired gray who’s spent most of its’ life in an apartment. Can’t decide if it’s just dim-witted, naive, or if the fat around its frame has also clogged the arteries of his brain.
Clawless – without much upper body strength – it often needs a little assist / a small rear end boost to clear the fence. Then it will balance precariously, eyes bulging in confusion, contemplating the German – who has on occasion almost grabbed that enticingly draped tail.
Then there’s the gray’s arch nemesis: A stout fluffy long-haired tom cat who feels all the yards are his – and he’s certainly not sharing with any overweight domestic short-haired dullard.
Never going to be friends. A cat bully sporting a frosted gray patched coat that would probably be a highly prized decorative pelt in some primitive culture.
And a confrontational attitude to match. Perfectly willing to sit on the porch and sneeringly stare at a hysterical German through the glass.
So just to avoid trouble, a quick scan of the yard before releasing the hound.
The German wouldn’t take long as the grass was soggy and unpleasant.
A few high-stepping paces and done?
Without a sound or warning: a sudden lunge into the bush.
Little frantic scrambling sounds.
Then the German trotted out like a show pony: ears perked and waving tail high.
Something in those grinning jaws.
Nooooo! Drop the kitty!
Not a wiggle. Not a swiping paw. Limp.
Drop the Kitty!
Put it down now!
Carefully. Gently placed. At my feet.
A wet matted lump.
Like a kid’s toy jerked from the washing machine too late.
Smiling dog, so proud.
Circling, Swooping. Darting.
Wanting the lump to play again.
Nooooo! Leave it alone!
Great. Which one is it?
Long hair. Can’t be the gray next door.
The one down the block, then.
Happy Mother’s Day. Here’s your cat in the bag.
I don’t think it suffered.
It must have been very quick.
There weren’t any meows. There wasn’t any blood.
So still. Those tiny claws. Little eyes squeezed shut.
German, leave it alone!
Wildly grabbing. (A tail perfectly acceptable temporary handle.)
Fighting to keep her from slipping the collar.
Shoving. Shouldering the dog inside.
I’m not sure it’s dead.
Look. The eyes are open.
And the mouth as wide as it can get. – all those pointed little teeth.
But it’s not moving.
Not even that naked little tail.
Maybe it’s in defensive mode.
Maybe it’s all hissed out.
Playing possum for its life!
Turn out the lights. Maybe?
Lights on. Nope. Still there. But its’ mouth closed.
Darn. Lights off.
German, get away from the door!
Stop bouncing. Take this to your bed. Go.
Tennis ball, good. Young possum, bad.
Let me get some shoes and a shovel. A sad duty. Tough being the one.
Deep breath. Flipped on the light. Opened the door.
Oh, it’s Mother’s Day.
A small miracle. (Thank you.)
Not a sign it was ever here.
(Except an attractive spot for a German’s sniff.)
The German can be very gentle
Carried it like a mother cat carries her kitten.
Maybe she thought it needed a home.
But that possum hasn’t picked his yet.
Take care little guy.
(You might try the yard two doors down: no kids, no pets, nice fountain!)
And German, tennis ball, good.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge