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Chris French
Phyllis Donovan Tues., Dec. 12, 2006.

Cat escapes close call in dog attack

Our dignified long haired female tabby cat spends most of her time in the house but since the tough short-haired young tiger cat moved in with us last winter, she’s become more comfortable sitting outside in the yard or on our back deck with him.

Although she swats and snarls at him from time to time if he invades her space, she tolerates his company outside when he seeks her out and they sit companionably together enjoying the good weather and peering down from our second-story raised ranch deck at the huge white Pyrenees dog next door who “woofs” at them and wags his tail congenially whenever he notices them. They know he’s securely tied to his run and is no threat to them.

I used to worry whenever our female cat went outside but with her young male pal, who fended outdoors on his own two years before we adopted him, I sort of feel he’s keeping his eye on her and will protect her from harm.

I don’t know how far our young tom cat roams so I don’t know if he was even aware that two houses up from us lives a Husky who also spends time tied out in his yard. That is, until a few days ago when the Husky got loose.

Our older female was still in the house early that morning and the young tiger was out lounging on the back deck waiting to be let in for his breakfast. All of a sudden my husband heard a huge scuffle on the deck, chairs were being overturned and bodies were bumping around. He looked out just in time to see the Husky hot on the heels of our startled and desperate cat.

In the time it took my husband to get to the back door and yell out at the dog, the poor cat had barely escaped, run down the ten steps and launched himself into my star magnolia tree, the first tree he came to as he fled the deck. The dog by then was up on his hind legs pawing at the trunk of the tree and determined to catch his prey as the cat cowered high up the branches where it had scrambled.

My husband’s shouts at the dogs were enough to bring me running and I’m sure wake up all our neighbors within hearing range. Meanwhile, the dog’s owner was outside and calling the dog home.

After the dog left we called the cat but it remained up in the tree refusing to come down. Peace descended in the neighborhood, I fed our female cat who immediately wanted to go outside to make her rounds of the yard. Still no male cat. After an hour or so, I looked out and there was our female cat, sitting in the grass under the magnolia tree and staring up into the branches. She was keeping vigil for her now scaredy cat friend.

I had to go out couple more times to call him down from where he was totally hidden in the high branches until he carefully picked his way down from his leafy perch. Cats might make short work of climbing up a tree but they seem to have trouble getting back down head first. It took him awhile before he figured out how to reach terra firma and scooted into the house for his breakfast.

For the next couple of days, he refused to go out at all in the daytime. Unless I went out with him, he was traumatized and apprehensive. When I came back in, he wouldn’t stay out there alone. So much for the great protector.

“Why don’t you just pick him up and put him out,” my husband says, not realizing how scared the poor thing is. But he weighs 17 pounds (no lightweight) so I’d rather he went out on his own. Slowly the memory of his attack is dwindling. He’s started creeping out the front door, searching both ways for trouble. But he’s totally avoided the deck, not wanting to be trapped up there again. He is gaining back his confidence but it’s taking a while.



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