Traveller just did the darndest thing.
First, I want to thank you for the kind words you sent my way. Guess I'll have to put off the party for a while.
Anyway, our cats are almost always indoors. Our yard is full of fleas and ticks and. . .things. I've sprayed fifteen ways from Sunday, but all of our neighbors have dogs, and the critters keep coming back. But the cats rarely even glance at an open door to the outside.
I had some gardening to do and knew I could keep an eye out, so when Traveller followed me outside, I let him.
He walked around slowly for some time, savoring the new smells and just drinking it all in.
Suddenly he and the dog next door discovered one another at about the same time.
This is some mutt. This neighbor put up a six-foot, chain link fence a few days ago, then installed the biggest Rottweiller I've ever seen. This thing is big as a St. Bernard and has the attitude of a bobcat with hemorrhoids. He has never been seen to wag his tail, and judging from the way he greeted Traveller, he has made the destruction of cats his prime motivation in life.
With a mighty roar the beast launched himself at the fence so hard he almost tore the posts out by the roots. Snarling, slobbering, and bellowing like the Hound of the Baskervilles, he threw himself again and again at the intervening fence. "A cat! Just let me at him! I'll murder him, I'll tear him limb from limb, I'll use his gizzard for a chew toy. Ralph, Ralph, Ralph."
Traveller halted in mid stride, one paw in the air, head high, and sniffed daintily at the beast. "Humph. Wonder what his problem is?" Casually he strolled right up to the fence and stared nonchalantly at the slavering monster, who redoubled his efforts to get past that fence and at that cat.
Traveller struck a Sphinx pose right in front of the dog and watched with slight interest with his eyes hooded. The expression on his face is the one they should have in the dictionary under 'ennui.' Slowly he raised one hind leg and began "playing the cello" as he calmly licked and groomed himself, first one side then the other. The dog was beside himself with impotent rage.
Then Traveller s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d as far as he could, kneading the grass deliciously with his paws. Then he turned and sprayed a little elm tree next to the fence, almost in the dog's face. Slowly he sauntered away, stopping to sniff the grass and leaves, acting as if the Rottweiller didn't even exist. The dog was almost in tears.
About then I finished what I was doing and went in the house, Traveller at my heels.
It wouldn't surprise me a bit to look out and see the dog with a pick and shovel in his paws and a hard hat with one of those little miners' lights on it. Or maybe a pair of wire cutters.