Cat Watch

Day 1
Stop me if you have heard this one:

So a cat gets stuck in a tree.

The neighbors came over which is a little bit of surprise as they never come over. They are very nice people but not much into the neighbor kind of thing which is cool because I'm not that much into it either. It's our mutual dread of small talk that have bonded us.

"You guys have a cat right? It's stuck in our tree."


Shit, shit.

Shit, shit, shit, shit.

My whole goal in the neighborhood is to do nothing whatsoever to draw attention to myself. I just want to blend in, that's all. Its the sole reason why I mow my yard. If it wasn't for the stares of the neighbors I would never mow. I hate yard work like Britney hates a good parent.

I head outside and there is my cat, way up in their tree. It's an oak but only because I call every tall tree I see an oak. I have no idea what it is but it's tall, therefore it's an oak. And crowded around that tree is about 8 people, all neighbors, pointing at my cat who is currently about 50 feet up. Again, I'm guessing at the height as I have no real idea the spacial relationship of things. I'm guessing it's about 5 basketball goals up, thus the 50 feet.

"Is he stuck" they ask.

And I panic. I do the only thing that comes to my head. I pull a Chief Wigem. Nothing to see here folks, move along, nothing to see.

"Oh, no he's not stuck. He does this all the time. He'll come down in about an hour." I don't believe a word of it because A). he has never done this and B) I have no idea what I'm talking about. But I sound good and that's all they need.

The crowd breaks up and I run back to the house cussing the cat the whole way. Stupid damn cat that gets stuck in the stupid dumb tree. I get back inside before I notice my zipper is down and my boxers and showing, bad.

Day 2.
The neighbors are back. Their daughter is scared because the cat is still in the tree and she is worried about it. I want to be a good neighbor but I'm failing miserably.

The only time we talk to our neighbors is when my animals act dumbshit and do something bad to the neighbors. We were introduced because I let my two dumb as rocks dogs out at the same time the neighbors let out their little rat dog. My dogs jumped on that little poofy thing like it was a free hooker on Friday night. That's how I met my neighbors, a doggy gang bang.

And now my cat is stuck in their tree and their daughter is freaking out.

I go over and do the only thing I really can do. I look up at the cat and order him to come down. That's all I got. I am ordering a cat to do something. I see the stupidity in this but I can't help it. He promptly ignores me. So I talk louder. GET DOWN HERE NOW!

Nothing. No surprise here but at least I look like I'm doing something.

I am a man that can't even control my own house.

Day 3.
Does the fire department really come out to get a cat out of a tree. Everyone has heard of this but I have never seen it in action. Would they really? This seems like a waste of city resources to me but I'm determined to get the cat out of the tree today. The look from the neighbors was enough to convince me that today needs to be the day that I call someone.

For the record, the fire department does not get cats out of trees.

But animal control does but only in certain circumstances. First, the cat needs to be injured. Second, the cat has to be of height that they can get there ladder to. I pointed out that if it was just a ladder issue then I could do this myself. I own a ladder, I'm a real man, I promise.

But no, they won't do it either. However, they say they get calls like this all the time and deal with it a lot. They say to just put food at the bottom of the tree and the cat will come down on it's own. They PROMISE that this will happen and not to worry about it. I don't tell them that I'm not worried about the dumb cat, I'm worried about pissing off my neighbors hating me enough to plant poison ivy around their driveway.

The kids and I head out and start our vigil of sitting in the neighbors yard with cat food trying to get the cat down. He's making a lot of racket and I lose it. I tell the kids to put on the earmuffs.

"Listen you dumb cat, get your ass down here right now! I swear to god I will climb that tree and pop you if you are not here on the ground in two seconds."

That's right, I said "Don't make me come up there".

Day 4.

Cat still in tree. I ask my other stay at home dads what the hell to do. I get the same response--the dumb cat will come down on its own. That's it, I'm out of advice.

I start coming up with plans. The kind of plans like the CIA came up with in the 60's to get rid of Castro. Exploding cigar type plans. What if I fly a kite into the tree then the cat can use the string to shimmy down it ninja style. Then I realize that he would cut the string with his claws.

What if I go to the lumberjack store and get some of those spikey boots and then climb up and get him. But where is the lumberjack store? Do they even exist in the Midwest?

I thought about shooting a BB gun at him until he jumped but even I think that is to mean. Truth be told I'm still a softy. Two of my animals are rescues and this cat is the prize of them all. We found him as a kitten when someone spray painted him so we took him in. All in all, he's the best pet I own, a great addition to the family. Poops outside, comes home to eat and sleep, and kills all the varmets. This cat is better than my car.

And knowing my cat like I do, maybe I should play to his weaknesses? I consider going to get a little rat from the pet store and putting it at the base of the tree. The mere presence of an uppity rat might actually do the trick. But then my daughter would want to keep the rat as she loves all things furry.

Crap, crap, crap, crap.

Day 5.
This is it. We have to do something today. I'm actually worried about the cat. He's been up there 5 days with no food and no water. We check on him about every hour and refill both food and water but I think I'm just feeding dogs that the people walk. At first I thought he was doing this just to screw around. A cat prank, if you will. I'll freak out my owners and that will show them.

A storms coming and I'm pretty sure it's going to be a bad one. My cat only weighs about 5 pounds and I'm thinking he would make a pretty good sail for one stiff wind. It's starting to rain.

The neighbors knock again.

"He's coming down!" they say.

About time, I was out of ideas other than cutting the tree down and hoping that they didn't notice that their oak was gone.

We go outside and the cat is very nonchalantly walking down the trunk, like he could have done this anytime he wanted. It's starting to rain pretty hard but everyone's happy. My daughter claims that she "rescued" Clarence and deserves her Diego Rescue Badge now. I hate that show.

We try to pick him up but he bolts for our house. No problem. He's got to be hungry and tired and a little bit wet by now. We get him into the house and I pick him up checking for any obvious signs of injury that my insults might have caused. Nothing, he appears totally fine.

He goes to the food bowl and begins to eat, I'm thinking he's got to be starving by now. He eats for 2 minutes, very leisurely, and then goes upstairs for a nap. I'm wondering at this time did he really come down every night and do some hunting and then jump back into the tree just to mess with us.

Round 1 goes to you sir. Very well done.

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