Tuesday, March 8, 2022


The kittens have grown into big cats. They are litter sisters, taken directly from their mother and placed into my wife's hands. They did not know how to drink water from a bowl. I saw them learn that instinctively as they dipped their face deeply into the water bowl, then licked their face. They refined that learned behavior to licking the top of the water. Took a few tries. 

I purposely built their long-term home with height and room to climb, jump and chase. Places from which to play hide and seek. Jumping on each other like jumping on prey. Hissing and paw fighting. Exchanging positions from being on their back in submission to being on top making the kill.  

After they were fixed, we let them out for the first time. Fearing they would run far and wide, they stuck close to the car port. Expanding their cat behaviors and activities daily into a larger world. 

Bad cat was yelping from high in a tree several months back. Apparently got in over her head after using her newfound climbing skills to new heights. I could hear her crying from high above, but could never see her in a tree.

I called "kitty kitty" a few times as I circled around the area. Told her that there was no way in hell I was going to come and rescue her. "You climbed up there and I know you can climb down. Get a grip!"

An hour later she came running, hell-bent for leather out of the west thicket of brush. "Whew!" is all she had to say for herself. Nap time!

Monday night, bad cat did not come home at the appointed time. Getting dark. Had not eaten all day. My wife was uneasy, worried and noticeably upset. I too was worried but, in the back of my mind, I trusted bad cat.

She has exhibited a propensity to test bad behavior right up to push coming to shove. This just might be the night she is going all the way. No notice or permissions requested, no phone call and most likely out running with a bad sort. 

At dead-dark bed time, no bad cat coming at a run from the shadows. 

Bad cat is a good example of kids misbehaving. All is some sort of growing up game they play. Testing their waters and we parents hope we have given as many lessons and skill sets to get them over this life hump. 

At daybreak we both head out as normal to let the cats out of their large, safe cage. There on the patio slab was bad cat. Waiting. A small meow. Looking no worse for wear. 

Wife was happy then angry. Felt the need to lecture bad cat. Don't do this again and where in the hell have you been. You know I was worried. You know better then to stay in the brush and woods all night.  What in the hell were you thinking. Add head-shaking and just one finger pointing that I do not think my wife wanted me to see. 

So the kids are testing the waters in a dangerous neighborhood. East Texas has its share of other bad players lurking over head, under warm leaves and in thickets. But as I watch the sisters move together in this neighborhood, they are formidable. A bad pair to draw to. They cannot be seen when standing still in underbrush. 

They are kids growing up in an adult world. So far so good. They do not appreciate being lectured to, I know that. 

They are bringing home kills now, small creatures, snakes and we do not know what is next. Are they getting too bold in this world or are they smart enough to be working their learning curve within their limits? 

I am not sure, but on this day, bad cat is grounded and does not have a clue. 


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