Fat Kitty’s Great Escape & Why He Ain’t no Huck Finn

Yesterday, I wrote about the skit Hadley performed for Destination ImagiNation “Big Bug’s Bad Day.”

Now, I’m here to tell you about Fat Kitty’s Bad Day.

Everyone worships that big, lovable, gentle slug. As much as the dude loves to cuddle, he adores being in the backyard even more. The house rules (that I instituted) are that someone needs to be back there monitoring him at all times.

Yesterday, I broke my own rule. He was meowing incessantly to go outside and Bode was doing the same for some lunch. I thought I solved both of the problems: I let Remy go outside with the mental note to keep an eye on him while I prepared Bode’s lunch.

And then I forgot.

A half-hour later, Bode just happened to be looking out the window and saw Fat Kitty (somehow) jump onto our generator and hop over to the other side of the fence. I raced out there like a banshee, screaming at him to come back. Frightened, he gazed up at me and tried to jump back up to our side but his claw-less paws slid down the fence.

Between our property and the hobby farm behind us is an easement that snakes through the area. It is overgrown with weeds and trees, rendering it nearly impossible to navigate. I recruited a couple of guys working at our neighbor’s to corral him but extremely stranger-shy, he took off. By the time Jamie was able to help, traumatized Remy high-tailed it through a hole in our neighbors Steve and Angella’s fence and he was M.I.A. the rest of the afternoon.

The neighborhood was canvased, tears were shed, prayers were uttered and there was a pending doom about breaking the news to Hadley. An overreaction? Not really. With a coyote den in the nearby Open Space and a Rottweiler for a neighbor, outdoor cats don’t survive in our neighborhood. A fat, claw-less cat would make for a tasty meal.

OK, meals.

Then came the golden phone call from Steve: He had spotted Fat Kitty trying to hop his fence. When Steve tried to approach him, he ducked under the deck into an inaccessible cement hideout.

That is when the circus began. Haddie, Bode, his buddy Noah, Jamie and I tore down the street to confront our now-terrified cat cowered down in the hole. For a half-hour, we begged, bribed him with treats and tried to poke him with a long stick. Nothing worked. I attempted to offer Steve’s 1-year-old Dylan up as sacrifice to go in after him. Though Dylan was willing, mom Angella wasn’t.

Gotta love overprotective parents.

But in the end, it was Angella who came through when she had the idea to spray him out with water (which he absolutely abhors). We positioned ourselves strategically around the porch as five preschoolers blocked the brunt of the yard (a strategic move on my part because if there’s anything Remy hates worse than water, it’s mauling toddlers.)

Steve set up the hose….

…and Jamie started spraying. I’m told that Remy’s initial reaction was shock but then he gave Haddie and Jamie the look: “Has it really come to this?”

It was the same look my mother gave me the entire duration of my teen-age years.

Fat Kitty was covered in dirt and the water formed a mucky coat. He streaked outta there and tried to hop the fence before I mud wrestled him to the ground. His paw was bloody and he voiced the Meow of Death, which was duplicated when I unceremoniously bathed him.

After recovering from the trauma of a *real* bath (he spent about three hours licking himself), he camped out by the back door. In a decidedly Huckleberry Finn move, he longingly gazed outside, no doubt reminiscing about his big escape to the Last Frontier where, if only for a short time, he was free from civilization’s traps.

Too bad he didn’t get farther than three houses away.

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