Your Cat is Dead

I didn't mean to kill the cat. But there it was. Dead. Dead. Dead. Ripped to shreds by a coyote. Deke's cat was dead. And I was to blame.I was living in Laguna Beach, California. My house was on a hill. In California this hill was called a mountain and it was where the coyotes came out at night.I didn't know it then, but I have come to learn, that a cat with nine lives is a seven course meal to a coyote. Deke should have told me this. Instead, as he was preparing to leave for Las Vegas, by showing me how to take care of his cat, he simply said, "At night, close and lock this window."I stood there, with a laissez-faire I could not care attitude, thinking to myself, in capital letters, "IT'S A CAT. HOW HARD CAN THIS BE?"As my mind malingered to thoughts that did not involve an animal that says "Meow," I do recall hearing the drone of Deke as he gave further instructions, ad hominem, about an animal he spoke about using personifications. "Calvin (the cat) doesn't like it when I go out of town." Or "Calvin likes to listen to the radio, but don't let him watch TV. He sits too close to the screen."And, once again, "IT'S A CAT." Echoed through my head so loudly it must have drowned out the important words like "coyote" and "They are cat killers."Friday night was great. Deke had satellite TV and a fridge full of beer. Calvin and I watched the Nature Channel all night long. And, I'll be damned, but that cat did sit too close to the TV. I think the cat had cataracts.Saturday night, the fridge was no longer full of beer, so I went out and left Calvin in. I decided I'd spoil the cat by letting him watch TV. But, how was I suppose to know that after That Darn Cat finished airing, there would be one of Those Damn Infomercials on TV.Obviously, Calvin grew tired of watching TV when he realized the products being advertised, like a knife that could slice through an aluminum can and then a tomato, required the use of an opposable thumb. So he opened up the window and went out on his final Tom catting crusade.Some windows open by sliding them from the left to right. Others slide right to left, and the good windows, the kind a cat could not open, slide up and down. But this window, the window I had been instructed to lock but did not, was on hinges and a simple push of the paw sent this mobile midnight snack on a coyote rendezvous.I plead ignorance and that is my excuse to the laws of nature. I didn't know coyotes ate cats. I didn't know this cat could open windows. But isn't that just like a cat, looking aloof, independent, and stupid. Cats can't sit, shake or roll over, but THEY CAN OPEN A WINDOW? I didn't leave the bloody mess for Deke to see. And, I didn't tell him the truth."Welcome back from Las Vegas," I said. "I let your cat out this morning and he hasn't come back." I figured, instilling hope was better than showing the remnants of a carcass.Why now does this ugly story rear its wicked head? Because I'm sitting in my friend's house. He, apparently, didn't check my house sitting references. Two cats, a dog and three fish are in my care. I hate fish. But even the fish will live. All the animals will live. Confined to the bedroom. No exercise, fresh air or watching TV. Safe and secure.In one room, what could possibly go wrong? Two Cats and a dog living together. And cats love fish. Wait a second. This morning the cats weren't hungry and the fish were "hiding."I better go.

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