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Fall 2011

More Bob the Beagle

by Pat Hamit

Bob's Cat, Lucy

Revenge of the Calico Cat
Recall how the cat, Lucy, would sit on the garage side of the doggy door and swipe at Bob as he tried to come inside? I thought it was her idea of devious fun, but there is more to this story than first told. There she is sitting by the back door and whenever Bob makes an attempt to poke his nose through the flap she takes a swing at him. Beagle Boy is always up for some fun but this game is rapidly becoming annoying. Bobby is so much better at giving than he is at receiving. Being quick on the uptake, he soon quits trying. We thought it was somewhat strange that he was barking to come in the house from the patio and not from his usual place in the garage. That is until we discovered this wicked little diversion that Lucy had cooked up. It's her version of Whac-A-Mole but she using a Beagle instead of a Hasbro mole.

I thought it was just fun and games or possibly a little sibling rivalry between the cat and the dog. I didn't know that it was serious or there was a bit of revenge being cooked up on Lucy's part. It goes to show how much I know about cats. My psyche doesn't work that way. I take most things in life at face value and nearly always fail to look for an agenda, hidden or otherwise. Only after witnessing this scene play out on a couple different occasions did I discover that there was, indeed, an agenda in play here. My dear sweet Lucy, like Shylock in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, is seeking payment in the form of "a pound of flesh" and Bobby Boy does not have a Portia to plead his case for him.

A couple of days have passed since Lucy's latest amusement at poor old Bobby's expense. I'm mowing the lawn when I see Bob chest-bump Lucy. Standing there with the mower running and my mouth open, I watch Roberto coming from the far end of the yard on a dead run. He is locked onto the cat like a heat seeking missile. This little dog runs like a race horse and it is obvious that there is going to be a collision. Just before impact, he raises his head and slams his chest into the cat at Beagle warp-speed.

It was a big wreck. The collision caused Lucy to cartwheel head over heels while Bob, who is smugly pleased with himself, looks on and swaggers away. Even though she lands on her feet, she is not a happy cat, far from it. She is ready to take on the Bobmiester then and there but she didn't. I've seen this cat handle herself and she doesn't back down from much of anything including dogs much larger than Bob. Lucy, always the dignified one of the two, gave the dog a pass. Little did I know that Bob's antics were neither forgotten nor forgiven.

After relaying this story to my wife, she tells me that this chest-bumping thing happens on a regular basis. She says she scolds the little canine devil but her reprimands have little or no effect. In any case, it's a lot like having a sister, what's the point of having a cat it you can't tease or harass her, huh?

So it is with malice towards one that Lucy, my dear sweet cat, plots her vengeance as she decides that it will cost that mutt a pound of flesh if he wants in her garage bad enough. If revenge is a dish best served cold, then this cat is one cool, cool kitty. After all, she is royalty. She IS the queen of the garage.

A Mouse in the House
When it comes to a nose that can detect various and different smells, my wife is simpatico with our hound dog. A sure sign that we are home is the open garage door. Since we store the dog and cat food in the garage it is little wonder that we have a mouse problem from time to time and my wife seems to be able to smell the little buggers before she can see them.

She gets a little frustrated with me since I am more than a little dubious about her alleged keen sense of smell. So there is a mouse in the garage? Isn't that what we have a cat for?

My solution is to tell Lucy that it's high time for her to earn her keep. During the colder months of the year Lucy likes to sleep on her heating pad under the heat lamp and I don't think she moves more than an inch or two all day. The time has come for her to get busy, catch the little rodent and restore marital harmony to our home. Having given the cat her marching orders, I consider this situation handled.

On Saturday morning I'm off doing whatever it is I usually do. Upon returning home I discover that the mouse issue is back on the front burner. It seems that Lucy caught the mouse and after playing with it for awhile turned it loose. Worse of all, she turned the mouse loose with a witness present. What was she thinking? So now, instead of having lunch like I planned, thanks to Lucy, I'm headed to the hardware store for mouse traps.

Backing out of the driveway, I notice that my wife has a look on her face that tells me she is in great pain from biting her tongue as she successfully prevents the "told you so" words from passing over her lips. She knows she doesn't have to say anything; married men know THAT self-righteous, indignant, patronizing look, don't we?

Later in the day after things seemed to have settled down, the mousetraps are loaded and ready to be placed. Upon opening the door to the garage I see Bob standing below the steps. He is standing over a dead mouse with a look of accomplishment on his face. I do not believe what I am seeing. It has to be some kind of doggy deception. Beagle Boy is trying to take credit for Lucy's work. There is no way that he caught that mouse and not the cat. This a new low for this hound dog and he isn't the slightest bit embarrassed. I'm praising the cat for doing her job and she loves it. Bob, the little liar, is off sulking which is okay with me because I'm ignoring him anyway.

Getting home from work later in the week, I find the Bobmiester in the garage bouncing with enthusiasm and in full hound dog hunt mode. He is going bezerk! Blowing his Beagle bugle and sticking his nose in the corner between the freezer and the wall.

Oh, for heaven's sake, what now? After the weekend mouse episode, this dog is still on the top my list and it is definitely not the A list. Putting the stuff in my arms down, I pull the freezer away from the wall and the Bobster goes into attack mode. Unbelievably he nails another mouse. The whole thing is over in a matter of seconds as a vindicated Bob indignantly shows me the results of his hunt. Pointing out my error in judgment seems to be the latest family past time. All I can say is that humble pie is an acquired taste and I have eaten my share over the years, but never a slice served up by a Beagle.

Honing his talent as a mouser, a day later Bob tagged another mouse. All right, I got it! He is just adding insult to injury now and sucking up to his Pack Leader. After this latest catch, the Pack Leader, by virtue of her keen sense of smell, my wife declares the garage mouse free and our home returns to a reasonable facsimile of normal.

It's a Two Ring Circus
Lucy the cat doesn't just live in the garage, she is the queen of the garage but she wants to be a house cat. Upon his arrival, Bob moved right into the house and made it his own. It would seem that life just isn't fair and Lucy has never quite gotten over this situation.

Lucy is always looking for an opening to get into the house. When she is determined, it only takes a small opening and she is in as fast as greased lighting. Getting her back out is a challenge. It is a lot like herding cats or in this case, cat. The ever helpful Bob, pretending to be a Boarder Collie, only adds confusion to chaos.

A similar scenario takes place whenever we are late for work or church. Open the door and Lucy shoots into the house while Bob scrabbles out to the garage. Getting one in or the other one out isn't as difficult as it is time consuming and more than a little frustrating. Getting both of them where they're supposed to be is a little more difficult. Once you get the cat out where she belongs the dog is out too. Getting the dog back in is an open invitation to the cat to come back in the house and the whole thing resembles an animal act at the circus. Keeping in mind that you are already running late but once you successfully complete this vaudeville scenario, Sunday or not, church seems like a good idea. I'm wondering, how we can get this on David Letterman's Stupid Pet Tricks?

One day, coming home for lunch, I find the door from the garage to the kitchen standing open and not an animal in sight. I was the last one to leave the house this morning, but how could I have failed to shut the door behind me? Sure enough, there is Bobby sleeping, curled up nose to tail, in the middle of our bed. He slinks down and sheepishly retreats to his own bed after he finally notices me standing in the doorway contemplating his job performance as director of home security.

Lucy is nowhere to be found. I've looked in all of her usual hiding places without luck. Bobby, trying to redeem himself, decides to help me look. After a thorough search of the house, she is found in the utility room, sound asleep in the dirty clothes basket. I can't contain myself, in a loud voice I yell LUCY! The startled cat shoots straight up into the air as all four paws are searching for traction as she continues her assent into the atmosphere. The cat, unlike the dog, could care less about redemption and that is when the whole "Old Woman in the Shoe" scene of "one jumped in, one jumped out, one jumped in the sauerkraut" thing started all over again. Lunch, what lunch? Tell me my life isn't a circus! Forget lunch, I'm headed to church.

Lucy was killed by a careless driver last November. She was a loyal companion and a loved member of our family.

 


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