One for the Cat

Skitty Kitty is trying to catch a bird. 

But there’s a window in the way. Every morning, he comes running down the hall and jumps up the carpet-covered tower and to the windowsill in the split-level basement apartment. In fact, he practices every morning. When the man comes dragging himself down the hallway from the bedroom where the woman remains sleeping, turns on the lamp in the wee morning hours, and then settles himself down with his bitter-smelling drink and the laptop on his lap, he first pulls open the window shade for Skitty Kitty. 

That’s when Skitty gets his practice in. 

First things first: Skitty positions himself down the hallway and sits. He holds himself incredibly still. There’s nothing to do but wait and a cat can be a patient creature. Skitty can feel that in his dna – just hold still and wait. And then, with reasons unsure to anybody but him – maybe some tripped alarm in his head, maybe some flash of floaty in his eye, he launches himself, tears down the hallway, around the corner, across the living room floor, and up the tower to the window: MREAHWR! 

But the birds are wise to Skitty Kitty. 

When they first arrived in this new place – Skitty, the blind, roly-poly dachsund who was never much fun to begin with, the woman who first pulled him out of the alley when he was a kitten and brought him home to feed him and cuddle him, and the man now who opens the windowshade for him and seems to enjoy the wrestle and romp and the nudge and the stroke – there were birds out there. They were lovely things, cardinals, a brownish tan female and two bright red males. There was a bush at the corner of the window, and the birds frequented it. Possibly to nest, but probably to find some bits of crawly bug to snap up. God, they would flutter! Skitty loved launching himself at them. 

They were gone now. Skitty still practiced. In fact, he was getting quite good at it – jamming down the hallway like a furball rocket and straight to the window. But no more cardinals. 

The man wasn’t much fun in the morning. Usually, he just tapped away at the laptop and ignored Skitty in the morning. After a bit, the man would make himself some breakfast and then he’d dress himself, pack up his laptop, sometimes his guitar, go and kiss the woman on the head, and disappear out the door until hours and hours later. And the woman slept. She had a touch of the nocturnal about her – seemed to prefer the night to the day. 

Skitty had the run of the place. That was new. Before, he was often kept in a single room with the roly-poly blind dachsund. The woman would disappear for hours upon hours, then return to feed him and often not want to play – although, she was always good for some nice scratching.

Now, though – oo!

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