We used to have dogs.
When I was little, our two pups were strays that we’d taken in. We gave them a warm home, many-a-kibble, an obscene amount of human food and a one-size-fits-all doggie door. They were happy. And so were we.
Fast forward to 2012, when I am living in the house I grew up in. It holds many memories for me, and I love it so. It’s just me and my cat (shocking, no?) and he has come to adopt the doggie door as his own. He’s an indoor/outdoor cat — comes in when he wants food, a comfy bed and a warm lap on weekend mornings, and goes out when he wants to party, sprawl in the sunshine, relieve himself and rule the neighborhood. He’s excellent.
Tonight, I walked in the back door and was greeted by tufts of fur on the family room carpet. Black, soft, freshly-torn-out-of-a-cat’s-body tufts. Ouch.
I turned on the lights to make sure what I was seeing was real.
Cat fight tufts? Inside the house?
The doggie door is one that took him a while to figure out. A while, that is, until he realized he’d need to use it to get fed. Food outside = ants. Food inside = a cat that uses the doggie door.
I wondered if a stray I saw on the patio a few weeks back had also learned how to use it. Was it possible the stray had come inside, only to be followed by my cat who decided to show it who’s boss?
(Or perhaps the other way around, given the fur clumpage.)
I thought I smelled cat, er, “odor” upon arriving home, but wasn’t sure if it was the mature stargazer lily fumes from my kitchen table bouquet or cat stink that I was picking up. Yes, tonight I decided the two smelled similar.
I put the tuftage out of my mind and walked through the house to see what else I could see. Nothing much. Until I came to my old bedroom, which is now a guest room.
The curtain rod was down. And when I say “down,” I mean that somehow it had leapt off the three U-shaped brackets it was resting lazily in, plummeted 4.5 feet to my dresser and knocked over a small lamp.
Did the possible cat fight extend into other areas of the house? Was there an earthquake? Did the plantation shutter lady who recently came to give me a quote have to move the rod for some reason, after which she put it back incorrectly and it just happened to fall today?
Heck if I knew.
All I had were tufts of fur and a fallen rod.
Thankfully my shining friend (see post from 2/15) was back in town and was on his way over to give me the low-down on his 3,000-miles-away interview. I greeted him and immediately sent him looking for stray cats, dead cats, ghosts, murderers and anything else that might’ve been hiding in my casa. I was relieved when he found nothing.
(Still, it didn’t stop me from just doing another once-over around the house after he left.)
Bottom line, tonight I am thankful for friends who keep me safe, for pets who keep me on my toes and for stray cats that haven’t yet decided to call the inside of my peaceful casa their personal home. Here’s hoping a quiet night of sleep is ahead of me, with no more cat shenanigans to be had and no more tuftage to be found in the morning.
And PS – it was the stargazer lily.