So I made the mistake, this morning, of opening the back door and letting the cats out into the back yard at 6:30. They spent all day yesterday out there because it was sunny and warm and lovely, so in their minds it should still be sunny and warm and lovely out there.
It was not.
But I let them out anyway, because they were gathered around the door shooting me hopeful looks, and I cannot bring myself to dash the hopes of cats who only want to run out, half-climb the tree, and run around like their tails are afire before flopping over onto the cement pad and rolling around happily.
I let them out, as I mentioned, at 6:30 and then at 7:30 I got dressed to go walking, and I went to the back door and I called the cats.
“Kittykittykitty!” I called. From various points of the yard, Sugarbutt, Tommy, and Mister Boogers came running, ran inside, and looked expectantly at me.
“Kittykittykitty!” I called again. Joe Bob was still out in the yard, I could see him snuggled up against the old chicken coop, and he was studiously ignoring me.
“Fine,” I said, and shut the door. I went to the dining room and started my laptop downloading some podcast episodes, I went into my bedroom and got the socks I needed, and then I made the bed. I went to the back door, sure that Joe Bob would be doing his “I’m just a sad little kitteh who only wants to come inside but the door is closed, o woe” thing.
No Joe Bob.
“Fine,” I growled in annoyance, and put my boots on and went outside to fetch him.
Except there was no Joe Bob anywhere. Not next to the coop, not under the coop, not hanging out in his favorite patch of daffodils, nothing nowhere nojoe.
“What?” I said, then realized that the side gate, which comes unlatched all the time, was hanging open in the breeze.
I started calling for Joe Bob, then ended up stomping around the perimeter of the house calling for him (at 7:30 in the morning, you’re welcome, neighbors!), and just as I got back to the back yard, he came flying across the lawn from the other side of the garden, jumped over the fence, and sailed into the old chicken yard and under the coop.
I spoke gently to him. I spoke softly to him. I coaxed and wheedled and whined, but that little [censored] refused to come out from under the coop.
(Side note: The coop will eventually be leaving the yard. And then the chicken yard will revert to back yard (once he takes down the fence sectioning off that area of the yard.))
“UGH!” I finally said, and I began kicking the side of the coop.
I gave the coop two or three hard kicks, and then Joe Bob came running out from under the coop, hellbent for the back door. He got to the top of the steps and tried to go through the cat door, only there was an issue with that act, since I’d shut the back door to keep the rest of the cats inside. I approached the door to open it for Joe Bob, and he ran back across the back yard to the safety of the chicken coop.
“You,” I said.
“Are,” I said.
“[CENSORED],” I said.
I flung the back door wide open and headed back to the chicken coop.
I coaxed. I wheedled. I begged. I suggested a Joe-Bob-only Snackin’ Time. All to no avail, and so I kicked the side of the chicken coop, again telling Joe Bob what a jerk he was, like such:
“You (kick) are such (kickkick) a JERK (kickkickkick) get in that house!”
After the third or fourth kick, Joe ran across the yard. Sugarbutt, who’d discovered that the back door was open and decided that meant it was Yard! Time! for Everyone! was sniffing around the bottom of the steps. He saw Joe Bob coming at him and froze in horror for a moment then decided that the sky was falling, and he whirled around and raced to the top of the steps and through the cat door. Joe got to the top of the steps and then paused, glancing over his shoulder at me.
“Get in there!” I said, and he did.
Much like Spot was, Joe Bob seems to be under the impression that if he’s outside he’s being a bad boy.
“Robyn,” you are saying. “You kick his safe place and tell him what a jerk he is, what do you EXPECT?!” To which I respond, he’s always acted like he thinks he’s not supposed to be outside when we walk out there. He acts like he’s going to be scolded, even though I PUT the collar around his neck so he can go out there, and I OPEN the back door so he can get out there, and in fact many times I HOLD the screen door open so he doesn’t have to push the cat door flap open with his pointy little head. I LIKE letting him out there (as long as he doesn’t run away), so why the drama, Joe? WHY?
I did not, in fact, put those cat beds there for the cats. I was washing them, then I took them out of the dryer and left them on top of it, and before I knew what was going on, they’d claimed it for themselves. They take turns sitting there, looking out the window all day long.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.