Fred? Is a punk ass. He somehow lost his collar when I was in India. No one has seen it. A few nights after I got back, when I was still jet-lagged and sick and reeling from reverse culture shock and spending four consecutive days holed up in the Harrytown Tusic Mall shooting "Bye Bye Birdie" as performed by ten-year-olds, my lazy cat turned busted out some kung fu moves, the likes of which I haven't seen since that time a bat got into my apartment, and ran out of the house.
Again. I am the smarter species! I should know better! I actually managed to block him on his first lunge but then everybody was kung fu fighting and blammo, he was under the deck.
I was trying to get him back myself because I was afraid Joel would kill me for not catching him- AGAIN- because we've been going through more of this kind of jackassholery than usual recently. I'm... in a very special place right now. I'm always special, which is why Fred and I have an understanding, but lately... hoo boy. Being married to me is a treat, let me tell you. Time to get my meds re-evaluated! Yay!
Anyway, cut to 20 minutes later, we realize that Fred has strayed from his usual routine of ducking under the deck to sniff the house and the reason we can't get him out from under the deck is because he has ventured into the woods. The oh-so-itchy poison ivy-strewn woods next to our house. Of course, he's not wearing his IDs because he got rid of his collar and stashed it somewhere, so we can't even hear the bell that he usually has on.
Joel and I are alternately shining flashlights on him and trying to cajole him toward us with fistfuls of rotisserie chicken when he darts my way. All of sudden Fred thinks his Crookshanks at the Whomping Willow or some shit. I dive for him- and miss- flat on my stomach and HE DISAPPEARS AGAIN, this time running toward the house. oel has wedged himself under the deck and as we creep around snarking at each other, "I can't believe you dived and missed!" "Yeah, well, there was a LOG under that bush and it really hurt, you know." "You? I still have bruised rib from when he ran outside before Thanksgiving!" and other mature exchanges.
We're really staring to worry, the two of us, straining and shimmying and snarking with fistfuls of moist and increasingly warming fistfuls of chicken when Fred meows. We look up to see him pawing at the backdoor, all, "I'm done with outside time now! Open the door for me, please." And now I'm covered in poison ivy- turns out the roots and stems are still exposed even if the frost has killed the leaves.
You know the Christmas carol about the holly and the ivy? It's stuck in my head. You know, "The holly and the ivy, When they are both full grown, Of all the trees that are in the wood, The holly wears the crown.: Yeah, well, of all the trees that are in the woods, my cat has to dart under the one still wrapped in ivy vines. I am so itchy. No one is wearing a crown, but Fred has a brand new collar with the biggest dorkiest bell ever and new ID tags, and I am incredibly itchy.
Meanwhile, Bella took an extra-long time doing her business today, and I panicked when I couldn't see her in the backyard anymore. I ran around calling her name and acting like a nincompoop and freaked out looking for my keys planning to drive around screaming her name because I've been doing a lot of catastrophizing lately. Of course, I couldn't find my keys- step right up to the jackass show!- and so I was about to hop my bike.
I was trying to back it out of the laundry room without knocking down all the rolls of wrapping paper when Bella nudged the front door open (our screen door no longer closes properly for reasons beyond my comprehension; don't tell the cats) and let herself back in. I turned around to find her smiling at me with her head cocked to the side, all, "What? So I pooped in the front yard today. Is that a problem?"