Recently we performed one of those random acts of kindness some people are always bragging about; we took in a stray cat. He’d been haunting our neighborhood for some time, and our two-year-old son would excitedly point and repeat "mew, mew" when he stopped by to cage a meal, so we dubbed him Mew, a few days later Mew formally adopted us when I opened the front door without checking for infiltrators. He made himself at home not knowing that there was still an obstacle to his permanent employment, our dogs Abigail, a medium-sized mixed breed of regal bearing but indeterminate parentage and Max an old Australian Shepard mix who happily divided his retirement between sleeping and farting. Fortunately, the dogs were undergoing their semiannual trip to the groomer and happened to be out of the house at that particular moment.
The cat was bundled off to the veterinarian to be “fixed” although I doubt Mew realized he was broken. When we retrieved him, the vet informed us that he was something called a Flame Point Siamese, which we later speculated is a subspecies of honeybadger. On his return, Mew was exiled to the spare bedroom, ironically for his protection as he had yet to meet the dogs. He slept peacefully for a day or so recovering from his surgery; the dogs, unaware of the intruder, suspected nothing.
On the third morning, Mew decided that the accommodations had become confining and resolved to escape. His opportunity came the next time I attempted to leave the bedroom after a care and feeding session. Mew saw his chance and kicked on the warp drive employed by cats seeking passage through a guarded door. Unfortunately, his escape route led to the hallway where he found himself separated from the dog Abigail only by my frantically descending leg. At this point, I discovered that Mew wasn’t a stray cat, but rather an unusually short and hairy ninja. As a side note, I wish to inform the Yakuza that his disguise was perfect and I apologize profusely for having him neutered.
Immediately detecting the dog, Mew sprang to the attack, deploying claws to scale the intervening terrain (me) and launching an airborne assault on the unsuspecting Abigail, who was caught unaware and set to panicked flight. Mew paused for a moment, analyzing the situation and liking the odds set off in pursuit. The dog terrified and thoroughly confused kept looking back over her shoulder trying to bark as well as determine the nature of her pursuer. Not liking what she saw, she executed a 90° evasive turn into the kitchen, withdrawing from battle but colliding with Heidi, my wife, knocking her down amid a cascade of the lemonade she had been pouring. Now even more frightened and confused Abigail paused to administer a proper trampling and fled into the living room.
Mew failed to negotiate the turn into the kitchen and continued down the hallway with me in pursuit. Mew continued headlong down the hall emerging on the opposite side of the living room where he encountered our older dog Max, sleeping peacefully on his cushion. I can only imagine what went through his head when he opened his sleepy eyes and saw the cat bearing down on him hissing like a cobra. Max let out a mighty WOOF! And struggled arthritically to his feet. At that moment Abagail entered the room from the kitchen moving at highway speed colliding with Max just as the cat sprang.
A scene of much violence and general mayhem ensued as Mew first attempted to defeat his foes in hand to hand combat but then mounted Abigail’s back perhaps thinking he could ride her to freedom. Abigail disliking this turn of events bucked and spun rodeo-fashion about the room trying to dislodge the hitchhiker. I’m not entirely sure what happened to Max during the melee leading to some concern that he had been torn to shreds. Complicating matters, the vengeful and lemon scented Heidi, dripping with wrath and lemonade adding blistering profanity to the cacophony of yelps, barks, screeches and yowls that accompanied the battle.
The day was saved only by my joining the battle inadequately armed with a cushion snagged as I passed the couch. Swinging this weaponized upholstery, I managed to disrupt the struggle enough for Abigail to flee back into the kitchen and through a closed screen door leading to the relative safety of the backyard. Once the field was clear of enemies, Mew returned to his usual loving self.
After the battle, we returned a somewhat incredulous Mew to his bedroom prison; apparently, he was under the impression that he had won possession of the house and its staff through trial by combat. Max turned up outside leading us to wonder how he managed to exit the house, some black material found on his supposedly clean feet led to speculation he had gone up the chimney. Abigail was unwilling to reenter the house and had to be escorted by Heidi or myself.
The day after the battle, Mew received a transfer to the home of my cat-loving sister who counts her cats using a formula based on the number of cats per square foot. The final toll turned out to be about $500 worth of veterinary bills covering numerous scratches bites and perforations to the dogs. While Heidi and I escaped with only light to moderate shredding. The screen door had to be replaced Thankfully the children were elsewhere in the house but heard enough cursing to expand their vocabulary to that of a Marine Corps drill instructor.