Last weekend, Little Cat (LC) had herself a furry freakout. While I worked on Hidden Sanctuary all day, my husband decided to take the time to tackle our pond out back.
It is a lovely addition to the yard and provides a soothing sound when we run the waterfalls. Unfortunately, water evaporates by the gallon in the summer. In the winter, it collects leaves and pine needles and then turns it all into algae and frog eggs in the early spring. We try to take all the eggs to a local wetland before the draining and cleaning take place. This year we relocated a frog along with them. One final pouch of eggs is still in a bucket out back—it was found late in the process.
I say “we,” but all of this work was 99.9% him working over about eight hours. A few patches of pond armor are still needed, but it looks amazing. We have a skimmer and a new vacuum, so we are hoping we can keep it sparkling this year.
Little Cat Explores
LC has some squirrel friends she’ likes to watch during the day as she sits in front of the back sliding door. My cats are indoor cats, but every now and then we let them into the backyard to sniff around, usually with the harness and leash on.
As much as she loves the backyard, she is terrified of people. Whenever friends or family stop by—or even a delivery person—she bolts from whatever sunny spot she found to go hide under a blanket. We have no idea what drives her to be so afraid, but we let her calm down in her safe place.
On Sunday, her split personalities collided in spectacular fashion. After finishing with the pond, my husband found LC in front of the screen door, sniffing and listening to the outdoors. Mowers and trimmers were going, our pond vacuum had been on and off for hours. Despite all of that, she remained interested in the yard.
We put on the harness and leash and led her out back to show her the nice clean water. The trickling of the waterfalls raised her anti-water hackles, so she started pawing off between a couple of bushes. Everything was normal, calm… then the neighbor behind us yelled at his dog.
LC freaked the fluff out. She bolted so fast that the leash pulled out of my husband’s hand. Leaping over the grill, she was halfway up the window screen by the time he reached her. He caught her as the screen pulled out and away, starting to fall, only to have her scratching his arm up in her panic to bolt yet again.
She sprang away from him and climbed nimbly up the screen door, clinging to the top as the two of us worked to hold onto her while gently peeling her off her perch to bring her safely back inside.
Finally, she came loose. I had her scruff and bent to set her gently inside the doorway. The moment she saw her safety blanket through the opening, she decided to use my face as a springboard. Her back claws pierced my cheek and lip as she tore forward.
The leash caught her again, but inside she held still for me to remove it and take her to another safe spot upstairs. LC calmed quickly after that, and we three—including Big Cat—sat with her for a few minutes as she peered around cautiously. I palpated for bruises, finding no pain response. A half-hour later she was back downstairs, once more staring out the back window.
No permanent harm. The harness and slightly elastic leash kept her from hurting herself or running so far that she got lost. Her trust in us kept her from being traumatized. My face should heal fine, and you can bet your bum we will be scouting for stranger danger before she gets to sniff around out back again.
Don’t worry, I live to fight another day!