Cat Bowl

No, I’m not referring to a bowl as I would use to feed my cat his food or water; I’m speaking of my excitement on Super Bowl Sunday this year.

This post is not about growing up in NY, but it certainly is a memory in the making, even if in the present day.

So, it’s Super Bowl Sunday. I’m not watching the game. Have not watched an NFL game all season, but that’s not important for the purposes of this post. It’s a gray Sunday here in SE Texas, but the temperature is not too bad. That’s somewhat significant as the story unfolds.

A bit of backstory is needed to set up “Cat Bowl”. We have a very pretty cat named Owen. How we got Owen will be the feature of another entry down the road. Suffice it say, we have this very pretty black cat named Owen and we love him very much. He’s not the most affectionate cat in the world, and we wish that he were more so, but Owen is Owen and we love him just as he is. He’s about four years old and he was declawed on his front paws when he was a kitten. He was meant to be an indoor cat.

Well, somewhere along the way, I started feeling bad that he would simply sit by the window and stare outside, so I decided to try a cat leash on him so that when I took him out, I could make sure he didn’t run away and get tore up by feral cats that had their claws . Surprisingly, it worked pretty well, and he loved going out with me in the backyard on the leash. Our backyard is fenced in, so I started to feel bad that I had him confined to the leash, so being the sucker that I am, I started to drop my end of the leash and see what he would do. Well, he loved a bit more freedom and would run around the yard having a grand time pulling the long leash behind him. Of course, Mr. Sucker then began to think that it was a shame he had to drag that stupid leash behind him, as it would get caught on things like plants and branches. Naturally, Mr. Sucker decided to take the leash entirely off and see what he would do. In the initial stages it was great he would run around exploring, chasing bugs and having the time of his life. I felt good until Owen found out that jumping the six-foot fence was child’s play for a young, healthy cat. This created a whole new set of challenges for us. We could not let him out of the yard, as he really can’t defend himself with no front claws, yet he had so taken to being outside for periods of time, it would have been cruel to try to turn him back into an exclusively indoor cat. What to do? We tried everything from the electric fence, which proved to be another disaster and possibly the topic of another blog, to collars with bells on them to collars that would vibrate. All proved disastrous.
Fast Forward to today: the only thing that works pretty effectively is for us to keep a close eye on him, which means when he is outside, one of us has to be outside. This was not too bad in the beginning, but he has so taken to being outside and enjoying the yard that he wants to stay out for hours, and, being the said sucker that I am, I let him.

Now, to his defense, he has gotten much better. He will no longer try to jump the fence for the hell of it. However, if one of the cats from the neighborhood shows up, all rules go out the door. He is chasing them over the fence, wherever. He is very territorial with other cats. He kind of laughs at the dogs that come along the outside of the fence and he just stares at them as they bark their heads off. He is intrigued with squirrels and birds, but, in general, leaves them alone. Its other cats that are his weakness. He doesn’t want them around and he thinks he is a bad-ass, so he chases them. He doesn’t know he doesn’t have front claws, and thankfully, neither do the cats that he chases. So overall, he can be trusted outside now, with us constantly checking on him to be sure he’s not trying to be the bad ass feral cat he thinks he is. When the weather is not totally bad, one of us is usually on “cat duty” while he has a grand old time and basically runs our lives.

So Super Bowl Sunday is pretty much a normal Sunday for us. We have the back door slightly cracked open so the Crown Prince can come in and out as he pleases and one of us is going outside every few minutes to make sure he is ok. We find ourselves surfing channels on the TV to find something to watch other than the game, and come across something called Kitty Bowl. It is an adorable show featuring beautiful little kittens engaged in a game of “football”, featuring “announcers” and “sideline” reporters. It had us engrossed, as the main purpose us the show is to get animals recused from shelters around the city, and we are all about that. So, as we are going in and out watching our spoiled brat, the Kitty Bowl is playing in the background on the TV.

For a short time, we find ourselves on the phone speaking to a friend who is going through a really rough time in their lives. We are trying to offer help and support. I realize it’s my turn to check on Mr. Wonderful, so silently mouth the words to Rhonda: “where is the Cat?” (I was not sure if he came inside or was still outside.) While still talking to our friend Rhonda motions with her hand that the cat is outside, so outside I go, leaving Rhonda on the Phone with the friend. I check everywhere, twice, and can find him nowhere. “Oh good lord,” I think, “Did this fools jump the fence to attack some other cat?”

Rhonda sees me through the large window in the kitchen walking back and forth in the backyard and, while still on the phone, gives me that “Where the hell is the cat look:?”

In a brilliant and rapid response, I shrug my shoulders high and mouth the words; “I can’t find him!!”  I then run back in the house and motion to her to please excuse herself from the phone conversation and help me find the cat. Thankfully, our friend is a cat person as well, so was very understanding. After hanging up on our distressed friend to find the crazy cat, Rhonda flies outside to check the yard as well…. No cat. She comes back in and we are looking at each other not knowing what to do next.

All of a sudden Rhonda gets this frightened look on her face.

“Did you hear that??” she demands.  I respond no,( as I couldn’t hear a jet engine if it were 10 feet from me… buts another story)

I heard a cat screeching!!! She declares, “Our baby is getting hurt!

So…. Out of the house we fly, in no particular direction. It was only two weeks ago when we heard the same kind of screeching when Owen had chased down the neighbor’s cat (who was probably just trying to be friendly) and they got into in the front yard. Anyway, we had visions of Owen finally getting his butt kicked by a REAL bad ass cat. So, there we are, running around the outside house calling his name. “Owen! Owen! Come here, Owen!” (What a waste that was…. As Owen has never come when we called him anyway.)

It had rained the previous day, so I’m running through muck and mud looking for this knucklehead cat. I was in the backyard so decided to get back to the front yard by going through the house rather than taking the long way around the outside of the house, so tracking mud through the kitchen and living area, I move quickly through the house. I stop briefly at my closet to get a jacket, as it’s getting cold outside. I do a double take in the closet. There, comfortably laying on his rug, is Owen. He looks up at me with his beautiful yellow-green eyes as if asking: “Something wrong?”

I breathe a sigh of relief and tell him he is a good boy (another waste of time) and go find Rhonda, who is still yelling his name in the backyard. I inform her that the Amazing Disappearing Cat is resting comfortably on his little rug in our closet. She also sighs in relief and says she thought he was outside. Apparently, Ninja Cat had crept in through the slightly cracked door and had gone to rest in the closet.  Now, you KNOW this cat heard us running around like fools in and outside of the house calling his name, freaking out. Do you think it would have been too much effort for him to walk out of the closet into the living room (about 15 feet)? Yep, too much effort…..He was comfortable, after all.

Oh, and the screeching Rhonda heard that had her thinking Owen was being eaten alive……. The Kittens on the TV show…… playing……… the Kitty Bowl.





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