In my never ending quest for creative ways to damage myself I seem to have broken new ground. I glanced out the office window last Thursday morning and there, on the opposite lawn, was a gorgeously long-haired cream-orange cat in mid-stalk. Torvald Einar Magnussen spotted him too. Torvald’s movements as he hunkered atop the printer suggested an imminent lunge through the window — screens, panes and all.
The unexpected kitty trotted across the street, onto my lawn, and right up the front walk, detouring around the side of the house toward the jungle of dried and trampled overgrowth that is the back forty. I followed. After a few moments’ perplexity I spotted him creeping along beside the autumn sedum, ran back to snatch up the camera, and squeezed off a few shots.
He seemed eager for the critters that populate my underbrush, so on brief consideration I slipped outside with a dish of kibble. Moments later he was face deep in the bowl. I forbore to snap any more pictures and crossed the living room toward the office, only Mister Torvald was still exhilarated by the whole notion of an intruder cat on the turf, and underfoot at the best of times he became a lethal missile. The living room gyrated. My hand, the one that wasn’t holding the camera aloft out of harm’s way, hit the edge of the CD cabinet, shedding gobs of skin as I pushed awkwardly back in an attempt to avoid hitting the wall headfirst. A clumsy martial-arts roll took me backwards into the nearest bookcase, with which the back of my head connected at a velocity I wince to reflect upon. Feature me sprawled supine in the wreckage of a 17th-century-style water barometer, a gift from a client a dozen and more years ago, blue-dyed water soaking into my britches and glass shards scattered hither and yon.
Peachy Kitty has not been seen again about the estate, but kibble has been devoured, so I suspect he is out there, somewhere. A feline shadow rocketed across the street this evening, with a gratifying tinkle of tags, suggesting that he belongs to someone but that said someone is clueless about letting cats out so close to a four-lane divided. I will keep my eye out for him. The scabs are almost healed.