Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Max and the Cats, Slice 21 of 31

The wind was howling and snow slapped and stung.  Through the icy noise I could hear his plaintive cries.  He came up on the deck and cried.  Begging to be rescued from the blizzard and the plummeting mercury.

As I went into the house he sat crying at the back door.   The biting wind howled and roared.  Over the roar of the storm I could hear his cries for help.   I did not let him in.

I stood in the middle of the storm, the snow crystals burning my lungs.
I felt bad but I couldn't let him in, nor could I leave him out alone.  The black cat looked plaintively at me as I listened to his agonized cry.  I couldn't let him in because I am deadly allergic to cats.

I went and fetched a cardboard box and wrapped a plastic garbage bag around it.  Then put some old towels in the box.  I put it against the house for shelter.  The black cat snuggled inside.  He stayed with us for the next eight years.  He died about a month after my mom did.

Black Cat did not like dogs.  My dog Corduroy was blind at the time Black Cat came to live with us.  Black Cat would run from Corduroy.  She in turn would chase him.  Several times she came close to catching him.

Max was a pup when he met Black Cat.  I had so wished that he had smacked Max on the nose, instead of running.  But no he chose to run from that noisy ball of fur.  Max delighted with this new game.  So every time he was outside he would give chase.

Max like other youngsters soon generalized his experience.  He decided that chasing cats was a great pastime.

Max was about 5 or 6 months old when we took him with us to visit my sister-in-law.  She had several house cats.  I never stayed long because of the cats.  But this day we had Max with us.  One of my sister-in-law's cats was a gray juvenile.  When Max came into the house the cats scattered.  Finally the young gray sauntered back and sat a top the scratching post.

Max would take a few steps toward him.  The gray cat would hiss and bristle.  Max would whine and step back.  The cat would return to normal.  Max would take a step forward.  The cat would hiss and bristle.

This dance continued for quite a while.  Dan and I laughed at their behavior.  Finally the cat grew tired of the game and turned his back on Max.  Max stood and whined and cried.  Finally he stepped forward and poked the cat with his nose.  He had hit the on button.  The cat hissed and bristled for a period of time.  Then turn and ignored Max.

Max would then touch the cat with his nose virtually re-setting the sound sequence.  I think the game would have gone on indefinitely had we not left when we did.


  1. You tell a good story, Ruth. My daughter & son-in-law have cared for a feral cat "outside" for several years. She will let them pet her now, but will not enter the house. They have 3 cats inside. I loved that you found 'Black Cat' who stayed, & the further stories of silly Max!

  2. Brrr, I was shivering with Black Cat as you described how she came to be a part of the family. The story of Max and the hissing machine was too funny.


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