A LITTLE PERSPECTIVE – Feb. 27: I’ll be the one standing downwind

No animals were hurt in the production of this story.

Came home to an unmistakable and very unpleasant aroma in the carport the other night. An unfixed male cat had been marking territory. The problem was he was marking my territory – not his.

Things got worse though.

I had thought the fumes in the carport were strong – but I was about to get a lesson on how bad it could get.

Because the cat had gone into the house through a pet door.

It was dark in the kitchen when I opened the back door. But the porch light gave enough light that I could just make out a cat jumping off of the kitchen table.

Cats are very distinctive, one from another. Different ways of holding themselves, different ways of moving. And I knew right away that this was not one of our regular cats.

Then I inhaled and knew for sure there was something seriously wrong here.

This wasn’t the first time this particular cat had gotten into the house. So I’d been leaving the pet door closed lately. There is a plastic door that snaps in place like a Tupperware© lid.

It’s been too cold for the cats to go out, and far too cold outside to have an open hole in the door in the middle of winter.

But this cat had enough of the cold and thought he would come inside to warm up. So he pushed and pushed and pushed some more until the snap on the pet door cover came loose on one side and he was able to just walk on in.

That was probably okay as far as it went. I am not really a cat expert – but this is my theory of what went down over the next couple of hours.

Cats are territorial. There is also a distinct rhythm in how cats interact and if you add a new cat to the mix that dynamic changes.

Stressors happen too. For instance, if a cat doesn’t feel really confident that they have an escape route available then tensions are going to escalate.

So here was this strange cat in the house – again. When I’d seen him in the house about a month ago I tried to make a rule that if he was going to insist on being indoors in the cold weather then he was going to be in a pet carrier.

The cat didn’t like my idea and we’d had a bit of an argument. He scratched me pretty good and then bolted out the door.

I hadn’t seen much of him since.

But he was definitely back now, with one very significant difference. He couldn’t get back out. The pet door lid was only loose on one side – so the cat had simply pushed it open on his way in but it had swung shut again right behind them.

I was in Beaverdell, and I would be in Beaverdell for at least another couple of hours.

I can only imagine what went on while I was away – but I can definitely tell you what the atmosphere was like when I got home.

The guest cat was evicted again. But the fragrance lingered on.

It is the next morning now. It smells okay – or at least seems to smell okay now.

I am not certain the smell has gone away – perhaps filtered out by the central air heating – or maybe I have just gotten used to it.

Just to be on the safe side, I’ll make a point to stand downwind of everyone for the rest of the day.