Beanie was a tough cat. She had a healthy respect for dogs, of course, as all smart cats do, but, to her, other cats were only cannon-fodder: invaders to be driven away. If one of them dared to cross into her yard, they were met with flying teeth and claws. And size was no matter – especially if another cat tried to make off with her ! Weighing in at a mere seven pounds, Beanie, the vet told me, was considered petite. Beanie, however, did not know that. She knew she was a big, brave fighting-machine and that was all that mattered. Even huge tomcats did not intimidate her. During any confrontation, her sheer, cocky self-confidence would usually send her adversary flying before any contact was even made.
What happened one bright, summer day, however, changed all of that. My big boxer was patrolling the yard when she spotted a stray cat in the garden shed. Trying to be helpful, my little boy ran to pick up the kitty but only succeeded in driving it out of the shed and straight at the boxer. A brief, loud battle ensued, ending quickly with the surprised boxer, who had never actually caught a cat before, sporting a bright-red scratch on her nose. The stray cat escaped, unhurt, over the back garden fence. Beanie, however, had been watching in shocked amazement. Not knowing that my boy had accidentally chased the cat toward the dog, she seemed to think that this wild, crazy cat had actually attacked the boxer. “How could that be?” she must have asked herself. “All cats are afraid of dogs!” Horrified, and not looking back, she raced in the opposite direction.
It was two long days before Beanie came back home, despite the fact that my son and I called and called for her. When she did come home, scared and more than a little hungry, she raced into the house and hid behind the couch. For the rest of the week, she tip-toed around the house and yard looking carefully behind curtains, furniture and even the washing machine. Any little sound would send her flying for cover. She wasn’t afraid of the dog at all. My son and I thought she might be, but they remained fast friends. She seems to spend a lot more time in the safety of her cat condo though! I’m convinced she was looking for that mythical creature: the cat who had dared attack a dog.