Monday, February 8, 2010

The Cat was not in the hat.....

Friday morning started with a surprise. The alarm rang at 6:01 am and I got up to get our coffee and let the cat in. Instead of a cat waiting at our back door there was a stray dog. Damn, I thought, Basil is scared of dogs.

Troubadour got up and took the dog's collar off so we could check for a telephone number or address. Apparently the dog's name was Cooper. He was a medium sized dog that looked like he had some terrier in him. His owners didn't answer their phone so Troubadour made a makeshift leash out of string (their dog was not dragging a leash behind it like it had gotten away while on a walk) and started off down the street. He met the owners part way there and gave them their dog.

We proceeded to get ready for our work day and hoped that Basil would come home. Called his name, banged his food dish. No Basil.

We set off for work knowing I only had a half day and he would survive being outside for a few more hours since he didn't go out until 3:30 am. I got home from work at 11:00 am and still no Basil.

Started my house cleaning and made a little noise. He will usually come running when he hears dishes. He thinks he might get fed. I finished all of my chores about 2:30 pm and still no Basil.

Troubadour suggested I go out back and call him and see if I could hear him meowing. Sure enough I could hear him and he didn't sound happy. Our backyard borders a tree farm behind it and we have a fence panel down from a bad February storm a few years ago. We made a makeshift fence panel from shade cloth and rope to keep the deer out until we decide whether we want to replace the fence with another wooden one or a chain link/wire type fence.

On a side note, if you don't put up a makeshift fence you get critters like these in the yard feasting on all your lovely plants ..... Incidentally this buck and his younger friend were the reason for our makeshift fence.

Back to Friday .... I decided to brave the blackberry brambles and evergreens to see if I could find Basil. I put on my heavy leather garden gloves and then Oakleys for eye protection along with a long sleeve jacket over my sweater as not to snag the brambles. I had my fingers crossed I wouldn't find any poison oak. This picture show the thicket of brambles I went through to get to the clearing in the tree farm. This is directly on the other side of the makeshift fence panel.

After a few minutes of playing "Marco Polo" with the cat, me calling him and him meowing in response, I finally found him up a tree. Damn. He was about 12 feet or so up and the limbs were quite spread out. He did not look happy. He was having a hard time holding on and looked like he had been up there the whole time. I told him to hang on as I went back in the house to fetch the metal extension ladder from the garage. Extension ladder fetched I headed out through the makeshift fence.

I made it through the bramble thicket again and finally was able to extend the ladder. There were so many brambles up against the tree that not only could Basil not jump down, but the extension ladder would not lean far enough towards the trunk to actually touch it - it was about 8 inches away. Again, I told Basil to hold on as I went to get the shed key to grab the pruners and loppers to chop through some brush.

I grabbed the tools and headed through the brambles for the third time. As soon as I got within a few feet of Basil he jumped to the ladder and ran down it. Poor little guy. He was scared so it took him about 15 minutes to venture into the house. Of course the noise I was making folding the ladder and getting it back through the fence wasn't helping, I'm sure.

When he came in he had pitch and pieces of fir needles and blackberry stickers stuck all over in his fur. I gave him an extra helping of tuna and he bed up the rest of the day and all night. Sure was quiet in the house.

The funny thing is that Cooper's owner called me back on Saturday morning to thank me for Troubadour bringing their dog back to them. She wondered how Cooper had got in the yard and I mentioned that he either went behind everyone's fences and came in the back opening or if he had seen our cat in the front yard may have snuck through the hole we have cut in the fence for Basil. Basil is 16 lbs, he needs a large cutout. She stated that he likes to chase cats and he would have probably scaled our fence if he'd seen Basil. I tried to mention that Cooper was probably the reason I had to drag a ladder out to get the cat out a tree, but she was so talkative about how her dog likes to chase cats that she kept cutting me off.

It would have been nice if the dog owner would have acknowledged their owner error and that she was sorry our cat got treed. But no..... she would have had to think beyond her own needs to do that. I am just thankful that Basil didn't get chased out into the street and get hit by a car. He is home safe and sound, and he lives to meow another day.

The rest of our weekend was relaxing an uneventful. Troubadour had coffee with the motorcycle group on Saturday and we just puttered inside the rest of the day due to the rain. Went out for groceries at 7:30 that night and were surprised at how busy the stores were.

Sunday we slept in and then did yard work. It was sunny and cloudy on and off but we were able to put a few hours in weeding, raking, pruning, and doing general outdoor tidying. Went inside in time to catch the Super Bowl. Troubadour decided to take advantage of the sunshine and went out for a few photo tags while I held down the fort, watched the game, and got supper in the oven.

All in all, it was a nice relaxing weekend even if it did have an odd start.

-Au Revoir

"Weekends are a bit like rainbows; they look good from a distance but disappear when you get up close to them." ~ John Shirley


  1. Trobairitz:

    You should write mystery novels. I was on the edge of my seat waiting for you to rescue Basil. Lucky he has nine lives

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  2. Poor, poor Basil -:) He sure looks tired but comfy on his bed, though. I'm happy you were abel to find and facilitate his rescue. Extraordinary measures on your part, to be sure.

    I do hear what you're saying about Cooper's mom, her eye teeth getting in the way so she couldn't see what she was saying .......

    Hope your week is peaceful as well.

  3. Enjoyed the story...and what a big cat!

    Not sure how to contact you, but I was reading your interests - Scotland, kilts, etc. I'm in Scotland so if you want anything traditional sending over just let me know (the local deli does a great vegitarian haggis!)

  4. Thank you gentlemen for your kind words.

    El Diente... Troubadour is Scottish on both sides of his family (from the Clan McLaren) so I love all things Scottish by association. Thank you for the offer of shipping items, but I must say... I am kind of frightened of veggie haggis :-)