First there was Puss. He’s a loving sweet young cat with a playful disposition who adopted us. All he wants is two square meals a day and loving attention from any of us, or anyone who shows up on our lanai for that matter. My husband buys him toys, like balls with jingles inside and a fishing pole with an attached catnip-filled fish. Even I bought a glove at the thrift shop with cloth strands and feathers hanging from the four fingers, clearly a cat toy. Our dog lover is the most attentive. They play, they meow and bark at each other, they nap – Puss is going to miss her when she leaves this week for college. And despite what Jade says about preferring dogs, I think she will miss him too.
In the last couple weeks, another kitty has come around. My husband named him Felix because he’s all black with piercing green eyes. Most of you probably don’t remember the cartoon character, Felix the Cat (“the wonderful, wonderful cat…”). Our little Felix was not nearly so friendly. Scared and skittish, he’d run whenever we came out of the house. At first he came onto the lanai to eat the remains of Puss’s dinner. Puss didn’t seem to mind. Then Felix showed up while Puss was eating dinner, and intimidated him out of the way (not sure how – Felix is so much smaller). So my husband decided that Felix should have his own bowl. That pleased Felix and Faye, our cat lover: “Oh Daddy, he’s so cute, so little. He’s even cuter than Puss. Can we keep him? Please Daddy?”
I’ve learned to bite my tongue. I don’t understand why my husband agrees to all this – he’s allergic to cats and other animals, so we’ve never had pets. Still, the only expense I’ve incurred from our cat exposure is Puss’ deballing, the one thing my husband did not fund – something about guys sticking together. I figured I’d be picking up that expense for Felix as well, if only we could get close enough to pick him up. I’ve already borrowed Mitch and Dianne’s cat carrier.
Faye was persistently friendly to the little kitty, and finally Felix let her pet him. But not too long –any noise and he bolted under the lanai. It was a slow careful dance, but Faye’s patience paid off. Of course Puss was jealous, and began to swat Felix as they sat together in the sun all afternoon. When Faye caught him in the act, she scolded Puss, but that only scared Felix who then disappeared. That suited Puss even if he did get a reprimand.
On the weekend my husband asked us, “Does Felix look fat to you?”
My jaw dropped: “Oh no.”
Faye looked perplexed: ”What Mom?”
Yup, Felix is Felicity. Before I could get “him” deballed, she got pregnant. We know that Puss is not the dad, so that means there’s a third cat around somewhere. And of course, Faye wants to keep the kittens. Good luck with that.
On top of all that, Dandy, the new alpha rooster from across the street is hanging around our yard much of the day with his buddies and chief consort (maybe it’s Henrietta!). And my husband has not only allowed two hens to roost in our foliage to raise their babies, but didn’t tell me until the chicks hatched.
“Why are you allowing more chickens? Those babies might be roosters?” I asked incredulously.
“Are you kidding? The cats get free food with no work involved, and they’re afraid of the chickens to boot! They don’t even chase the tennis balls!”
Yesterday was the last straw. I heard click, click, click from the lanai, only to find Dandy and Henrietta eating the remains of Puss’s dry food from the morning feeding, right out of his bowl. Chickens – on our front lanai!
You might ask, where was Puss? He was lazily viewing the chickens from his perch on his favorite chair. “Get them!” I shouted to him. No dice ‒Dandy is bigger than Puss. I tried to chase them away with my camera, but they hid behind the grill. Finally they flew over the railing, landed in the front yard and sauntered away. Later in the day, I heard stuff falling over in the carport. There were Dandy and Henrietta, sitting on top of some boxes, looking quite at home. I shooed them out.
How did this happen? Cats AND chickens. And the cats don’t even chase the chickens! Why us?
For more chicken stories, see:
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