I may have a new title – crazy cat lady. At least if the neighbors would have seen me a few weeks back I’m sure they would have unanimously anointed me with it.

The cold, snowy days may have slowed some of us down but not the cats in my neighborhood. One of the females is pregnant and “momma cat,” who has had two litters of kittens already seems to be trying for a third.

Her first litter – Midnight and Princess CeeCee – are soon to be “fixed.” Midnight is a solid black male that has the softest, smoothest coat I’ve ever felt on a feline. While he is shorthaired, Princess is long-haired black with white markings, including a thin white line right down her nose. They took up residence on my enclosed back porch or I should say once they were on the porch I closed the outside door and they have been there ever since. They get fed regularly, have a litter box and choice of couch complete with afghan or a box filled with straw to keep warm. These outside wild cats now love to be petted, although they are still somewhat nervous of loud noises and unknown spaces. They will come in for a short while to a sitting room that opens on to the back porch but if one moves too quickly they race for the porch – the one haven they know for sure is safe.

The goal with these two has been to tame them down so they can be taken to be “fixed” and possibly find them good homes.

Well, despite having all their needs met, Midnight decided to zip out the back door as Dad was leaving Muffin off the porch. Muffin comes to stay in to sleep and eat but then wants to roam at night. Especially with “momma kitty” close at hand.

I think it was a planned maneuver.

I can just imagine Muffin talking to Midnight. “You don’t know what you’re missing. You can roam all over and find interesting smells. There’s other cats out there, too. It’s a whole big world to explore.”

Of course Midnight took the bait because what did he know. He’s been sheltered since he was four months old. I think Muffin likely had the notion that if Midnight got out then he could lead him far, far away. For Muffin and Midnight are not buddies. Muffin is older and usually ignores Midnight other than to nudge him out of the food dish.

Once outside the two took off before Dad even had a chance to turn around. For several hours Dad would look for him, opening the patio door to call him by name. No sightings but we figured Midnight might have gone under the porch, where he was born. Muffin returned and spent the night on the porch – happy as can be.

However, Muffin did not return alone. There was a large male cat that looked identical to Muffin unless he was looking right at you then you saw the solid white chest. I don’t know where he came from as I hadn’t seen him before. I’m sure the female cats were drawing him into the area but I was afraid if he encountered Midnight it would not go well – at least not for Midnight. So I had to scare him away – out of the backyard.

I did the usual – moving toward him, clapping my hands loudly and yelling “get out,” “go on home.” This would have the result of him moving a few steps away and turning to look at me or hiding under the deck. At one point I was on the back deck near our large crimson maple tree and he was on the other side of the tree, in the yard. I yelled again and this time he turned and defiantly hissed at me.

Let me tell you, by this time I was in no mood to take backtalk from a strange cat. I don’t know what possessed me to do it, maybe because I’ve always had a cat when I was growing up and so I understand a little bit of their nature. Whatever the reason, I raised my arms, bent at the elbows in the age old “hands up” look and bent my fingers to look like I was pretending to be a tiger or a lion. Then, starring eye to eye with this sassy feline, I opened my mouth and let out a loud hiss like sound.

Whatever I said in cat talk, had Mr. Sass backing down and looking for cover. But I was on a roll now that I had found a method to spook him into turning tail.

He went under the steps leading up to the deck. I bent down on one side and “hiss!” He ran to an old bench in the back yard with some boards piled around it to hide underneath. I followed quickly after him and again “hiss!” Now he ran to the fence and behind the shrubs planted there. I went along the shrubs “hiss! hiss! hiss!” Soon I could hear an animal making its way quickly through the wooded area beside the yard.

That was the last I saw of Mr. Sass. He’s not been back, at least not where I could see him.

As I had walked back across the yard, in the dark, Dad looked out the lower patio door to see what was going on. I calmly waived and continued back to the back porch door once more calling for Midnight. But if he was nearby, he certainly wasn’t going to venture out and accidentally run into whatever had been making that hissing sound.

It only took Midnight one night to realize he didn’t want to spend another one outside, without food or a warm bed. He is now safely back inside and if all goes well, will be going with his sister to be “fixed” this month.

I must say though, I’m glad we have a privacy fence and that it was a cold, dark night out. So no one noticed the crazy lady chasing a cat around the yard and hissing...I mean, what would the neighbors think.

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