Thursday, December 3, 2015

The New Nemesis

Do not let this deceptively peaceful photo fool you; he's a rabble-rouser.
This is the Artful Dodger, a neighborhood cat who likes to slide under my gate from time to time and hang out in my yard, napping in sunny patches and hunting the birds who flock to my rare patch of grass and trees. When I took this picture he was clearly fresh from devouring some small animal and did not care in the slightest that I was standing right next to him as he indulged in a little well-earned food coma time.

When I first saw him I knew immediately he was going to be trouble. Any cat trespassing so flagrantly, so nonchalantly, on Jabberwocky's turf was bound to provoke his wrath. And yet for the first couple of months Jabbers seemed perfectly happy to stay indoors, much to my relief. We negotiated outdoor privileges for him in Dublin, but only because I knew that when (not if) he got in a fight I could rush him to the 24/7 kitty emergency room and he wouldn't even need a rabies shot because they don't have rabies there. When he eventually, inevitably, did get in a fight that's exactly what happened. Here in Addis the vet care is somewhat less thorough, and god only knows what kinds of diseases the Dodger and the rest of his ilk are carrying.

But the Dodger must have been teasing the Jabberwock pretty mercilessly while I was gone for Thanksgiving, because as soon as I returned my precious boy bolted outside all puffed up and ready to defend his territory, come what may! Until what came was me with a broom to beat him out of the bushes, whereupon he decided that discretion was the better part of valor and beat a hasty retreat. But now that Jabbers has fixed his mind on going outside again I know that this is only the beginning of a long and bitter war of wills, albeit one with frequent intermittent snuggle sessions. Better keep that broom handy. 

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