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Battle of the Tail

by David Yehudah, Bellflower, CA, USA


As usual these little hairy varmint critters are trying to tickle the bejeebers out of me.

Next to the breakfast nook is a small, round barstool, very short. When I sit on it I can almost rest my chin on my knees. It's one of Sasha's favorite perches. She'll sit there for hours, either napping or watching the world go by, occasionally sharpening her claws on the rough burlap upholstery, another critter's hide, or passing hoomans' legs. Since the stool is usually underneath the overhang on the countertop, it's not always clear to the owners of those passing legs just what or who has tried to take a chunk out of their nether extremeties. On at least one occasion Sasha has spoiled a romantic interlude. My wife was not amused when her good pantyhose became dustrags on very short notice, Sasha having shredded Patty's pantyhose, both legs, and good humor, all at the same time.

The stool also swivels smoothly on ball bearings, much to Sasha's disgust when I get playful. She hates it when I spin her around. That, of course, gives me added incentive to do it every chance I get. It wouldn't be any fun if I didn't get a rise out of her, now would it?

I've mentioned before that she hates for anyone to mess with her tail. Just a few minutes ago she was sprawled out in all her glory on top of said stool, eyes closed, dreaming of who-knows-what fantasy lover tomcats, when her tail fell off the back of the stool and hung there, waving lazily from side to side.

Willoughby was curled up on a cushion on the floor right behind the stool, and when Sasha's tail came down, it was dangling right in front of his eyes. Oh boy! A play-pretty! Willoughby swatted the tail, and Sasha curled it up out of his reach. It twitched angrily for a moment as her eyes, opened only to the merest slits, swept the room. Her eyes closed again, and the tip of the tail slowly relaxed and hung limp.

Not content to let wretched enough alone, Willoughby began batting the tail back and forth. Sasha's eyes opened wide, her ears folded flat against her head, and the tip of that tail started really jumping. She seemed to have lost all sense of direction, being awakened from a sound sleep like that, and she couldn't seem to figure where the aggravation was coming from. Meanwhile Willoughby and that tail were just getting frantic, bouncing and jumping and twisting and swatting.

Enter Maccabee. From his vantage point he couldn't see The Battle of the Tail, but he could hear the commotion, not to mention Sasha's increasing growls, hisspits, snarls, and yowls of anger. He ran around the corner, eyes bright, ears flapping like a demented seagull, and tongue lolling almost to the floor, and ran right into Sasha's line of sight. With a scream of rage she lunged at Mac, claws extended for a major coup d' pup, and the effort spun the stool around and dumped her right on top of Willoughby.

Things got exceedingly lively around there for a few seconds. Willoughby got his, in spades and with interest, Mac escaped with his epidermis intact (for a change), and Sasha got a little exercise chasing Willoughby up over and around and through and in-between the sheets and under the bed and across several window ledges (pulling two curtains and a table doily out of place in the process), until Willoughby at last jumped onto the top shelf of my closet, where he is still cowering.

I wish I had that much energy. It made me tired just watching them.


Editor's note:


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