I’m allergic to cats. I like them, but I’m never going to be able to have one in the house.
As a result, Silas hasn’t had a lot of experience with them. He’s sniffed a few in the vet’s office, where they sometimes have foster kittens in an enclosure in the lobby. Otherwise, his whole experience of them is the time that he got attacked.
Silas is, somewhere in his DNA, a terrier, with a terrier’s instincts to hunt and kill things. He never really gets the chance, but he dearly loves to chase a good squirrel now and then. The ones in the back yard are especially troublesome to him, because they never come down low enough for him to get a good chance. They run across our garage roof, where Silas can see them but not reach them.
Lately, something else has been running across our garage roof.
That would be the neighbor’s cat. At first I thought the neighbor didn’t realize this was happening. She lets the cat out onto her seemingly safe patio, which has at least eight feet of wall or fence on every side. Then the cat climbs a tree, leaps to the garage roof (our garages are all adjoined), and runs across to do who knows what.
Silas is, needless to say, somewhere between bloodthirsty and terrified by this. I honestly think that he sees this cat as the WORLD’S BIGGEST MOST EVIL SQUIRREL.
In order to stem the tide of frantic barking, I casually mentioned to the neighbor, “Oh, is that your new cat I’m seeing run across my garage?” This is a lady who genuinely loves animals, and I expect she’ll be upset by this. “Yes!” she says, “the new cat is such a handful!” And then the conversation turned to something else. I still don’t know why she’s letting the new cat outside, since she knows it’s running away.
A little while ago, the inevitable happened. Instead of climbing down the neighbor’s tree, the cat climbed down our tree. Luckily Silas was inside at the time. I have never heard him so upset over anything. It’s been over half an hour, and he still can’t go to sleep. His eyes drift closed, and then snap back open to look out the patio door.
Poor anxious guy. I guess I’m going to have to speak more firmly with the neighbor.