Friday, March 13, 2009

Vertical Limit

Two of my neighbors, a couple of doors down on either side, have dogs which they keep in fenced yards. Dogs who were extremely fond of treeing The Runt in his kittenhood before he learned to stay out of their spaces.

Now the cats are enjoying a new pastime: Teasing the dogs. They'll park their little cat butts several feet outside of the dogs' fenced yards and watch the dogs go wild trying to get to them. I've done everything I can to discourage them, telling them that it's cruel; that it's all fun and games until somebody blah blah blah, but do they listen to me? Noooooooo. Probably because they don't understand human language, but still.

The other night the inevitable happened. I looked out the kitchen door to see the cats frantically flying across the back yard, followed extremely closely by the neighbor's enormous Chow mix. This dog is HUGE, and while I'm sure he's a giant teddy bear, he is extremely intimidating. I mean, when this dog growls, the freakin' ground trembles. The cats had evidently teased him past his breaking point, and he had either jumped over or busted through his fence, and was now determined to get those damned cats once and for all. Folks, he was so intent on the chase, I later found divot marks in the back yard where he had dug in his paws to get better traction.

I flung the door open and started calling, hoping the cats could get in the door and I could get it shut before the dog caught up. Little Girl came tearing up the stairs and streaked through the door, at which point she flopped onto the kitchen floor as if to say, "Whew! Safe!" I turned around to see The Runt coming up over the deck railing.

I live on the second floor. The deck is on the second floor. The deck railing is on the second floor. From doing a little forensic reconstruction after things had calmed down, I discovered that The Runt, evidently figuring that he couldn't make it to the stairs before the Chow got him, had flung himself onto the wooden shed door underneath the deck, caught the top of the shed door frame (eight feet up) with his claws, scrabbled onto the bottom deck rail (nine feet up), and then propelled himself over the top deck railing (twelve feet up). This cat, who is maybe a foot long, managed to vertically hurl himself eight feet to the top of the shed door and then scrabble the rest of the way.

My old, beloved cat Rocky used to do this in reverse; if someone startled him while he was on the deck, he'd leap to the ground below. But I never even imagined that a cat could make a trip back up.

Hopefully, they've learned their lesson. - that dogs will break through fences if you enrage them enough. And if somebody ever starts up a cat Olympics, I've got a contestant for the high jump.


kitkat said...

I read this post yesterday sometime, and I ended up dreaming about it last night. It was something like I saw where you live (I knew it was your place even though you weren't there) and I could see exactly where the cats had to jump. It was probably because yesterday I was thinking, "I wish she had a picture of this" because I'm not very good at imagining spacial things. So, there you go. I had a dream about you and your cats (sort of).

rockygrace said...

Oh, that's so weird!

Sometime I dream about people whose blogs I read, too. At first it freaked me out, but I guess it's no different from dreaming about something you see on TV.