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Cherokee's Lament

by David Yehudah, Bellflower, CA, USA


Most of you are familiar with our resident geez, Cherokee. He was elderly when we rescued him, and he hasn't gotten any younger over the past several months. Usually the "rheumatiz" keeps him in one place most of the day and night.

His favorite spot is on the extended footrest of our recliner couch, preferably on Patty's end. Imperterba. . .impurter. . .Nothing seems to bother him, except the new pup, Toby. Toby has a way of running up behind Cherokee, thrusting his nose up under his tail, and biting him right where the dangling marsupials used to be. Cherokee just goes hydraulic every time this happens. He's gotten to where he sleeps with one eye open, and the approach of the pup gets his instant attention, all of it negative.

Toby is a black-and-tan, three-month-old dachshund pup with needle-sharp little teeth, not much bigger than the palm of your hand, and it's amazing how he gets around on those little, stubby legs. You know how small critters creep up to the edge of a high place, like a couch, and fearfully lower their nose over the side until they pass the point of no return, then thump gracelessly onto the floor? Not Toby; when he gets off the couch, he takes a flying leap into space, actually jumping upward and spreading his legs as if he were soaring, and hits the floor running. Once I saw him run the length of the extended footrest and launch himself into the unknown; if I had listened closely, I probably would have heard him squeak, "Geronimo!!!" (The spell checker tried to change that to "Geranium")

Last night Patty was sprawled out on the couch studying a dress pattern, trying to puzzle it out. Cherokee had gotten up to run an errand, and Madam was occupying that whole end of the sofa, including the extended footrest. It's always left out for his use. When he came back, he just flopped himself down on the offending pattern and settled down for a snooze. Patty was careful not to disturb him. She just left the pattern where it was.

Enter Toby. He reared up on my end of the couch and wanted up, so I scooped him up and set him between Patty and me. From where he was, Cherokee couldn't see the pup. Toby couldn't see the cat, but apparently knew just where he was. He got a running start, gave one of these Daffy Duck pounces (remember The Masked Avenger?), leaped clear over Patty's legs, and landed with a loud "Splat!" on that dress pattern right behind Cherokee.

I have never seen Cherokee move that fast. For a young cat it wouldn't have seemed so remarkable, but for this Walter Brennan of the feline persuasion, it was nothing short of miraculous how he leaped off the couch and streaked across the floor. Toby seemed puzzled; he wanted to PLAY! He even stood there on the footrest and yapped at Cherokee, but, alas, his playmate had vanished.

What'll they do next?


Editor's note:

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