May 7th, 2012


Cats and Dogs

Noir, the cat that's not our cat, had a rough day yesterday.

It started with a triumph.

Liv and Chicken came over Saturday night after my great-aunt's celebration. We were both (me and Liv, not me and Chicken) a bit tipsy after a lot of wine, margaritas, and beer over the course of the day, and we ended up passing out in my bed pretty shortly after we got home.

My poor husband had to sleep on the couch.

At around nine Sunday morning, Celosa, who had been sharing the bed with the other three of us, got up and asked if she could go outside. Of course, I got up to let her out. Chicken followed. Celosa came back in as soon as she was done with her toilet, but Chicken was concerned about something outside. She barked a few times, and then slowly backed up into the house.

A second later, Noir appeared and walked through the door.

"Good morning, Noir!" said Celosa.

"Good morning, Celosa," replied Noir. "Who is your short friend with the big ears?" Noir turned to Chicken to introduce himself.

Chicken took one look at Noir and ran away. She high tailed it out of the kitchen, returned to the bedroom, and hopped back into bed to be with her mama. And hid. Never was her name more appropriate.

Noir and Celosa were more concerned with Noir's breakfast than they were with Chicken's departure. I went about near daily ritual of making sure that Noir had plenty of food and that Celosa got the spoon that served the food. And I went back to tell Chicken's mama about her disgrace. Liv introduced herself to Noir and found him to be a quite charming and friendly cat.

Once Noir was finished with his breakfast, I got thought he needed to go back out, as he's a busy cat with a busy life. But instead, he asked if he could have some cat nip, and I was more than happy to accommodate his request. I left him with alone with a nip infused mousie and sleeping Graham on the couch in the TV room. Chicken, in the meantime, discovered that cat food is quite tasty, and she came back to the kitchen to clean the parts of Noir's plate that Celosa had missed.

Unfortunately, this left Chicken in a vulnerable position when Noir was done getting high, and she ran into him in the kitchen again when he was ready to make his departure. Face to face with a cat for the second time, she faced her fear, decided she couldn't handle it, and ran like heck back to her mama.

I let Noir out and wished him a good day. Liv and Celosa and I mercilessly made fun of Chicken, until we fell back asleep.

Later, at around seven, I went to hang out with Liv at my parents' house before she took off for San Francisco. Right before I was to take Liv to the airport, I got a call from Graham, who was at home. He saw the neighbors, Noir's other family, looking frantically for a cat, and he wanted to know when Chicken had seen Noir so as to give our neighbors a time frame if they were trying to piece together when and where he'd last been seen.

No more than ten minutes later, Graham called back again. He was irate. He'd found Noir in our back yard with half of his tail missing. Something about a dog biting his tail off. He was able to pick Noir up. Noir was very calm in Graham's arms until he realized that he was going back across the street, and then he started to fight. Nonetheless, Graham got him back across the street to our neighbors, who were in a panic about what had happened. Graham got them to focus on the injured kitty, and they took him to the emergency vet.

About an hour later, after I'd dropped off Liv at the airport, I got the full story.

Noir's other mama's parents had come over for a visit. And they'd brought their dog with them. Noir, being Noir, approached the doggie with friendliness and openness. Unlike Chicken and Celosa, this dog was not afraid of/pro-cats, and instead of running away, the dog bit Noir, breaking his tail. Noir ran like hell and went to his safe* place under our palm tree. Graham is pretty sure that Noir removed the broken part of his tail, and it's somewhere in our back yard. Noir's other parents were very happy that Noir has a second family that loves and cares about him, because otherwise he wouldn't have had a place to go where someone would have easily found him. The fact that it was a third, strange dog made much more sense, because Sky and Lilly, Noir's other siblings LOVE Noir, and like Celosa, they play with him.

Noir went to the emergency vet last night, but the wait was three hours long. His family wrapped and cleaned his tail, and they were going to take him to their regular vet this morning. He's supposed to be confined while he's treated, and he's going to HATE that. But he's very likely going to come over to our house a lot, with permission, because it's clear that he feels safe with us and that we'll look out for him.

I never saw any of this, and Graham said it was probably best that I didn't as it was not a great scene. He would have taken Noir to the emergency vet himself yesterday, except I had the car.

We will bring Chicken over to help Noir with his recovery. Surely a dog being afraid of him will help repair the psychological trauma.

*Safe for Noir, not safe for any of the birds and/or squirrels in our back yard. It generally looks like some sort of murder scene back there, and Noir's other parents said that sometimes he comes home from our house with feathers in his teeth.