Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Steve's New World

I know this would appear contradictory to the evidence on my armes and legs of the viciousness of Steve, but I have come to the conclusion that he is a giant wuss. I have realized that much of his aggression is fear-driven, although I have no clue why - I only kick him hard once a week or so. (KIDDING) (but not really)

On Friday after work, I was spending my first hour at home winding down by hanging outside on my front porch with a Hudy Delight and the cheapest frozen burgers that Kroger offers. My housemates decided to enjoy the beautiful evening with me and we took turns grilling the burgers and cutting our forest of a front yard with the prototype of the first reel mower ever concieved (you know, the ones that don't have a motor and the blades turn when you push it). The neighbors gathered around to comment on our artistic grass cutting styles and the fact that I had green feet from pushing the mower without any shoes on.

Amidst all of this, one of us had left the front door ajar, and Steve, being the curious fellow that he is, decided that he would like to join the porch party. Normally, I wouldn't be game for letting the little fellow wander around un-controlled outside for fear of him running away or being hit by a car, but for some reason, I was ready to oblige his interest and curiosity.

Initially, he cautiously sniffed and tip-toed (as cats are wont to do) around the porch and fron-yard shrubs in search of the meaning and purpose of his new surroundings. Nice dirt spots could be used for burying certain things, like things very personal (bad choice of word - he's not a person...cat-ional?) to cats and their digestive functions, plants could be used for making invisible olfactory walls with dual purpose - to attract female felines and deter the competition. His world slowly expanded as he ventured past the property line and saw the bird feeder in the neighbors' yard...fast food, as he would call it.

Every day since then, because he has stayed close to home and has always been back in time for dinner, I have let him out to explore, make new friends, and feed his primordial instincts to kill. he killed a bird on Friday, and he made me proud. Somehow, even though I have no experience in looking like prey, I have prepared this young squire to successfully hunt and fend for himself. My confidence in him began to skyrocket, and I believed I had a true guard cat in my midst.

Last night, I returned home from work to spend some time on my porch in the untamed wilderness of The Price Hill. I eagerly awaited the opportunity to see my Steve stalk his prey and lay claim to his territory, but this time, we had company. Now, I had gotten Steve from a friend of mine who had gotten him from a little girl who had found him in the woods and decided that he needed a proper home. I assumed that he still had a smidgen of the feral spirit that dominated the first few weeks of his life; after all, he seemed to demonstrate that desire on a regular basis.

It wasn't long between the venture outside again for Steve and the moment he spotted his prey. A little finch-looking bird in the neighbor's yard eating the seeds on the ground from the overstuffed bird feeder hanging from the lower branches of a tree designed to create shade and privacy for the occupants of the house next door. Steve carefully plotted the best route to pounce on dinner and satisfy the carnal urge to taste raw game. In the midst of lowering his profile in the grassy knoll of the neighbors' front yard, the village stray, in that very moment, let out a hiss that would make Kaa from Jungle Book blush, which then caused Steve to run helplessly, tail between his legs, back to the safety of the porch. This happened 2 or 3 more times before Steve decided he wanted to head back inside where it was safe and air conditioned.

I struggle to fathom how an animal who decides to dominate his space around me can be so timid around a smaller, uglier animal than himself. I would think it's because he's unfamiliar with the new territory, but it doesn't seem like he has any problem killing birds. I just want the little guy to kick some ass, take some names and dominate the neighborhood. That would make me proud.


  1. Like father, like son (cat)? I'm just sayin'....

  2. Finally, I get some credit!

  3. Ouch Brian! Ouch!

    I vow from now on to be ruthless.

  4. Ever notice Steve's double-take before he jumps up on anything? Pussy.