The Django Tango

October 23, 2010 at 12:55 pm (The Easy Chair)

“If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it was meant to be.”

That’s always been one of the hardest philosophies for me to apply. If I love something, I want to hold it as close as possible for as long as possible, because I never know when it’s going to be snatched away. I blame it on my impending-end-of-the-world upbringing.

My brother-in-law has a bumper sticker that says, “If you love something, set it free. If it doesn’t come back, hunt it down and kill it.”

In a melding of both sayings, I watched what I set free hunt something down and kill it, right there in my back yard…

Our seven cats have always been indoor cats. On the rare occasion one has wandered outside, it takes no time at all for them to want back indoors. You can almost hear them telling the other cats, “Dang, it’s CRAAAZY out there!” There is one cat who just had to go investigate.

Allow me to introduce Django. Django is/was a male, about two years old. (His Grape Nuts have been turned into Raisinets.) He’s a mellow, unassuming cat. He hangs out, plays with the other cats, doesn’t suck up too much to the humans unless food is involved. It’s the quiet ones you gotta watch for.

There was some discussion in the living room a while back, between my BIL and my Sis. I heard, “If the little fucker wants to go outside, fine! Let him! He can earn his own goddamn dinner!” Bro-in-Law was getting tired of trying to catch the damn cat every time he snuck out.

Django has an escape method. Our screen door, in a previous life, must have been a walk-up window for a weed dealer, because the bottom of the screen on the window is loose. (It’s also how the humans escape the house; the indoor handle has broken off.) When one of the big people open the door to leave, Django bursts past, launches from the floor and crashes through the screen and out into the front yard. It gives you a heart-jump similar to watching Aliens.

At first, we figured he’d be gone forever. After two days, he returned wet, stinky and triumphant. The dog followed him around the house for hours, sniffing the cat’s butt and living vicariously. (The dog likes the back yard, but only when she can harass the neighbor dog. “I’m a bigger bitch than you!”) We’d wondered where he’d went; soon it became apparent.

There’s a homeless cat that lives under our house. It’s an old, cranky, weathered tom cat. We noticed he was spending more time in the front yard than under the house. Hmm. Then the other night, about 3:30 AM, I heard what sounded like a bunch of hysterical castratos at a horror film. Even the dog wanted to see what was going on when I opened the front door.

Homeless Cat was walking away from the house, shaking his head in disgust and limping a little. There was a clump of fur missing on his rear leg. And there was Django, sitting between the Homeless Cat’s entrance to the house and the retreating feline. Django’s expression? “Get off my lawn and outta my house, you flea-bitten piece of pussy!” He was kitty on steroids. Lion pride…

Django protects the back yard as well. The bathroom window looks out into the back yard, and I saw Django lurking under the tree-swing. He was preoccupied with something about the size of a ping-pong ball. Ooh! It’s a ping-pong ball with a tail!

I spent an extra ten minutes in the shower, watching him slap around the unfortunate rodent. I hope the mouse doesn’t have connections at Disney; Django could be in trouble…

How do we know when Django wants to come in? He tries to enter the same way he escapes. It sounds like a football crashing into the screen door. The deadbolted door doesn’t give like the screen, and my sister has opened the door to find him precariously perched on the rim of the window. Tightrope Kitty!

Django and I have a lot in common. We both like to wander out into the great big wide world, but it’s nice to have a warm spot to come home to. Mister Django has the main house, and the subterranean penthouse. It’s nice of him to let me live upstairs.

I’d better be careful when I wear my gray tee shirt. With all the back yard mouse abuse, Django has been pretty full of himself lately…

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