Friday, May 14, 2010

My Homie, Phoenix

Word has reached me that she is not doing very well. Still early in the full diagnostics and testing stages, but indications are she has something going on with liver. She’s been getting hydrated, fed and served a concoction of antibiotics since her admission to the Vet Hospital since Tuesday. She must be feeling like crap, because I know my homie. She is an expert at opening doors, latches, gates, windows and anything else that has a “shut” function. If it opens Phoenix can figure it out. If she had been feeling well, she would have left the vet days ago.

In the office back in Tennessee, the staff had to twice figure out how she opened a hatch to the crawl space under the house. We rolled in dirt and ate spiders for hours until we decided to come out for some real food. No business suit executive was coming in there after us. Goddess was mad. We smelled nice and musty. Two days later, Phoenix figured out how to get us back down the hatch. Kind of like playing Lost before Lost was even on a story board, which I don’t think the writers ever did. Anyway...

Goddess has been pouring over the Internet, researching feline liver diseases and catching up on billiruben, which sounds like the punk kid from the other side of town who barely made Bar Mitzvah. Wish it was. Instead, billiruben is produced when red blood cells are broken down. The liver secretes this stuff in bile and high levels means something ain’t working right. Right now we don’t know what that something is. Phoenix never was one to eat pills off the floor – a possible cause of toxicity and liver damage. The Old Man takes many pills and drops a few occasionally, but like I said, Phoenix would rather eat flies.

Her blood work showed slightly elevated levels of billiruben. The vet, Dr. Karen, she says Phoenix’s X-ray showed a rounded liver. We are hoping this was just an infection and antibiotics will bring her back to her smart self.

She don’t care for taking pills either so the Old Man will have a challenge on his hands when she comes home. Phoenix can read human minds. Think “pill” and Phoenix actually can disappear. Sometimes I wished I had that talent.

That makes me want to tell you a disappearing Phoenix story. Goddess moved us into a little studio apartment in Knoxville when she got back from gallivanting around the world with Peace Corps. It had a refrigerator, a stove and a futon. Nothing else was in the apartment when she carried Phoenix inside. Then she went to get me. I was waiting in the Jeep. When we got back inside, Phoenix was gone. Poof! There was no place to look. A bathroom, an empty closet, an empty kitchen studio. That was it. What the hell? Even I couldn’t find her. Turned out, Phoenix squeezed behind the stove and crawled up into the pan drawer. It took a half a day to get her out of there. Good one Phoenix.

Tonight, on the high sea, I miss my homie something terrible. I’ve pulled a huge stunt leaving home and running off to Hawaii. If I don’t get to see my homie again…boy, my heart will be so broken.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bottle Cap

I was born dirt poor on a farm in rural East Tennessee. When I was rescued from the shelter I was taken to an office where I spent the first seven years of my life. Lots of human activities, but since this office housed of a bunch of business consultants they kept the place looking professional. Image was everything. Cat toys scattered everywhere was not the image.

Kitty toys were kept to a minimum. I had to make do. I learned to play with paperclips, staple guns and the occasional fanny on the copier. Not your normal cat toys, but more than I would have had if life kept me on the farm. I'm not complaining, too much.

Goddess feels compelled to remind me of my humble beginnings. One way she does this is to give me "make-do" cat toys. You know, not really cat toys. For instance, here she is giving me and my homie, Phoenix, a bottle cap. Sure they can rattle around on a hardwood floor. Ooooh, exciting (NOT). And they can take off in a shot, which is really oooooh exciting (NOT). But a bottle cap is no substitute for a fluffy felt duck, if you know what I mean.

Have you ever held a bottle cap between your front paws and rubbed your face on it? Cold, hard plastic. It's just not the same as a soft plush chew toy soaked with cat spit. Sink your teeth into that cap and you'll be sitting in the dentist chair come morning.

I oblige her by taking a few tentative pats at the cap(Yawn.) Phoenix will chase it and entertains herself with the stupid thing, but me, I'd rather sit in the window and watch birds. Or run away.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

My Side Of the Story

Once you bite a human, you’re marked for life. Once you attack a human, you are cursed to go to hell. Thus my name, Diablo.

I am a sweetheart of a kitty. Full of spunk. No fear. That happens when you’re an office cat. High volume of people in your life, you get use to the attention and the crazy things people do. Add to that I was carted back and forth from office to house almost every night and I got use to most things, including the typical rural Tennessee road block complete with German Sheppard. I’d growl at those dogs and believe it or not, they didn’t know what to think. They’d sniff around the Jeep while I prowled window to window making my presence clearly known. I can be tough when I got sheet metal and glass between me and Fido.

Anyway, you could say I was a bit concerned with defending my territory. At the office, there was Phoenix and at the house, just me. I considered both my place.

The house sat on a lake, surrounded by deep forests. Quiet, secluded. Goddess liked the privacy as much as I did. On sultry summer nights, she’d go to bed stark naked. (I'll keep this rate PG) Some nights it was dead still, except for the peepers carrying on in the reeds. What little breeze the lake offered was captured in the thick pine boughs. She’d stretch out under the circulating ceiling. Nobody around but the moon. From the opened windows I kept watch over anything that lurked in the inky shadows. Mostly stupid possum, a few cantankerous raccoons and lots of squirrels. The squirrels drove me crazy.

Every once in a while another cat would come prowl around, never with any good intentions. Whenever that happened, I’d go nuts. First I’d get a few deep growls to rumble up from the depth of hell. Very primal. Sounds most house cats don’t even make. The fur on my nape would bristle. A porcupine couldn’t even imitate this. I’d hunker down low, cocked and loaded. My eyes widened like a pair of headlights on a rainy dark night. I could feel my heart pound deep inside my ribs and my breathing evolved into snorts, similar to a feral pig.

I confess, I’d flip out. And the Goddess knew it. I wasn’t Diablo anymore, but a possessed demon. The domesticated house cat vanished.

One night a prowling intruder of the feline type came snooping around the deck. Goddess heard me getting all worked up. Try as she might to calm me down I wasn’t having any of it. She spotted the intruder on the deck and made an attempt to scare him off. She leaned over to the window and she growled.

I went over the edge, berserk. Mind you she is naked as a jaybird. I leapt up and sank all four canines into her ass, while latching on to the back of her thigh with my front claws. The back two feet kicking away at the flesh. All 110 pounds of her came crashing to the floor. This is how a lion brings down a water buffalo. A vicious attack.

The next thing I remember we were eye-ball to eye-ball. She was as shocked as I was confused. I could tell she was scared. I could see it in her eyes. The fear, but she remained calm, not provoking another attack. This would have been even worse because like I said we were face to face. Got to give her credit for keeping her wits as she faced down a demonic furball.

I growled and snorted. Blood was everywhere. Yet she maintained her composure. No panic. Good thing, because any sudden movement or sound would have netted another assault.

She spoke soothingly while she inched slowly away. Once out of immediate range of tooth and fang she got up. Never stopped talking and never took her eyes off me, but never looked me directly in the eyes either. All the while I’m guarded, snarling and snorting. She ended up locked in the bedroom. I crouched down at the door where I watched her watch me under the door. No threshold. A few hours drifted by and I came out of my trance, as lovable as my old self.

I’ve done this a few times. I’ve gone to the point of actually stalking her with the same fierce attitude. Once she had to jump up on the kitchen counters to escape. Could be why she joined the Peace Corps and ran away for two years.

No vet or cat expert has an explanation. Bad kitty trip. And yet, she still loves me. That’s why I got to get to Hawaii.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Marooned on Captiva

I have a little time on my paws tonight. I’ll make road entry number 37. (You haven’t gotten to read every one). Presently, I am marooned on Cabbage Island on the Intracoastal Water Marker 60, N. It is all because I learned of this restaurant that has like the best hamburgers this side of Cornudus, TX. (If you don’t know where Cornudus is you will.) Following my weakness for a scrumptious patty the size of my own head (hold the jokes) I wandered westward into the Gulf of Mexico.

Seeing how I just scampered over all the keys down to the southernmost point buoy in the continental US, I thought I had this island hopping thing down to a scientific theory…cats hate water, cats stay on bridges. Except, the only way to get to the Cabbage Island Restaurant was by boat. I had to find a boat.

Offer a couple of guys a bottle of beer and they’ll take a cat anywhere. I realized I ran a great risk with this proposition. But the two young men were harmless creatures, already too wasted by 10 am to consider the evil tossing of a feline overboard and then watching the poor thing swim for its life. I know, I know…stupid of me.

Well, unreliable transportation in the early afternoon, results in no transportation by evening. These two mooncalves were no where to be found after I had my fill of cheeseburgers in paradise.

I tried to hop a small skiff with three young college girls on spring break, but they looked like the types who would have put me in a box and taken me home. My luck, I’d find myself sitting in a small cage at the vets in the morning waiting for a check up and shot regime. My new name Snookem’s or something equally disgusting. (If there is a Snookem’s out there, and not of the Muppet sort, I apologize, but really…Snookem’s?)

Since I had to spend the night here, I decided to pay the campers a visit. Discovered a little campground nearby with camp fire rings. I guess this gives the campers a sense of the real wilds of Florida, mosquitoes and all. After hanging around the perimeter of the campfire, I learned two things. People get a little jumpy when they see glowing eyes in the dark. They think ‘gator. Then they get all big and tough and throw things. I’m not talking marsh mellows either.

The other night I slept curled up in an abandoned crab trap, so I know there are far worse places to be, but not much worse. I’ll be patient and wait out the night. There are boats shuttling back and forth all day. I’ll find something.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Florida Hospitality

Whew. The other night I lounged in the pool house, entranced by the swirling lights and bubbles jetting up from the Jacuzzi. The soothing sounds of bubbles. Soon I was peaceful dozing. After logging 1400 miles, fighting fearsome blizzards, crossing a huge ass bridge/tunnel, being held hostage by a bag lady, threatened by thugs on a ferry, and tromping through every Podunk little town in rural Alabama, I made it to Florida. The challenges became no less. I had to avoid Gators of the meat eating type and crazy Greeks in Tarpon Springs who want nothing more than to marry a Goddess who owns a very smart cat. But finally, after a two months odyssey I relaxed with a belly full of tuna in the company of my good pal, TooncesCat.

I had to use the code to gain secret entry. The human of the house was expecting one filthy ragtag fur pile in need of a bath. Why she thought that a bath would be necessary I couldn’t imagine. Sure, I’ve tromped through my share of swamps across the state, but I’m just like any other cat, meticulous about grooming. I ain't no off the street stray.

Not to be a rude guest, I brought a little gift and left it on the front steps. I tried not to leave too much cat spit on the bird when I took the head off. My presentation superb. Two little feet sticking straight up in the air. The only thing missing were two exs on the glazed-over eyes. Why the humans sigh in appreciation I’ll never understand?

Not to be disturbed Toonces locked us into the pool house. After ordering room service and downing a six pack of tuna, Toonces and I settled back and to talk story. Indeed I had a few and this is one I shared with him.

I grew up a traveling cat, shuttled back and forth from the office to the house for a good number of years before she decided to take off and join the Peace Corps. That left me and Phoenix with the guys in the office. They did their best to take care of us, but did not provide the same high quality care to which we had grown accustom. Even though she had left detailed instructions, they fed us more than we should have eaten. When the Goddess returned, we were two very fat cats. I mean fat. I couldn’t jump on a counter top to save my life, much less to steal a chicken bone.

Being a bit of a health nut, she immediately put us on strict diets. That’s when life changed drastically. We were moved out of the office and relocated to a studio apartment. It was just big enough to turn around in and find your own tail. While we were now on a starvation diets, Goddess remodeled the kitchen and completed her book. Fortunately, we were not there long. We set off on a traveling adventure, a book tour.

Little did I know that the studio apartment would be huge in comparison to the nineteen foot RV she packed us into. I took it in stride, but Phoenix was bound and determined to break out of that moving prison.

One day we stopped in a busy shopping mall on Cape Cod. While Goddess paid a visit to a book store, Phoenix clawed at the sliding screen. That cat managed to get it open just enough for me to slip my now skinny body through. When she got back and saw the window was open, she gasped in horror. Imagine busy parking lot, zooming cars, strange people walking by and acres of trees around the perimeter. And of course, I had no clue as to where I was.

Inside she found Phoenix, but I was gone. She came outside and looked around the RV. She stared at the nearby woods. The scrub pine left the ground covering all brown. Brown cat, brown ground. She’d never find me. And no telling how long I had been gone.

She sat on the ground near the RV and began to cry. Rats. I felt so sorry for her. Even though she was hauling us around the country in that stupid RV, I couldn’t leave her. So when she looked up, there I was. Right beside her. Talk about hugs and kisses. I think she was a little miffed at Phoenix for opening the window and all, but she never let on. She got out a roll of duct tape and taped every screen shut. That’s when Phoenix started messing with the door! But that is another story.

You see, I figure she will be so happy to see me when I get to Hawaii.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cops and Robbers

Took a fast trip to Tuscaloosa last week when I smuggled aboard the University of Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team bus. I expected to watch my team take it to the Bama Girls, but a couple of things happened. It might be easy to stow-away on a bus, but not so easy to slip in the doors of an athletic center. Security wasn’t an issue, but the hundreds and hundreds of human feet shuffling through the gates was. Even the team entrance proved a little disconcerting. If you are human get down on your hands and those things you call knees and try it sometimes. It’s a rib banging experience.

But my persistence paid off. I weaseled in behind the team’s bench to hear Pat Summit rail at the girls. Intense. They were being outrebounded and Coach thinks that is blowing some court opportunity. The Lady Vols won, but coach was mad. Winning isn’t everything, but how you play the game is. I’m glad I wasn’t on the end of the icy stares. No words needed when Coach is on fire.

As much as I loved to see the whole game, the crowd was no place for a cat. No one is paying attention to me. The dangers of stomping feet is too risky, to say nothing of the sticky floor caused by spilled soda. It’s worse than standing in the middle of a busy intersection. When the substitution horn went off I nearly jumped out of my fur.

I went looking for a quieter place where I could clean the soda off my toes. It’s amazing where you can go when you act like you belong there. In this case, the comforts of Athletic Director’s office. I snuggled up on a few papers on the desk, leaving a small pile of fur, toenails and a trail of sticky foot prints. Next thing I know the lights are on and someone is asking, “Where did you come from?” Not much on answering questions, I took off down the hallway before anyone could catch me. Out the door I went to discover I slept the whole night and missed the bus back to Knoxville.

Oh well, I back tracked to Birmingham and took in dinner at the aquarium. Hey, can I help the fact that I haven’t had a fresh fish dinner since the night I cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge? Whose going to miss a few fishies anyway?

It is time to get serious about getting to Florida. I would have been there by now except I had run in with the wiry little cook at China Buffet in King Frog, Georgia. He got a little upset when he found me in the kitchen. Called the cops. All he needed was a broom and I would have scrammed. Instead, this guy thought there was someone else stalking the pots and pans. He got scared and asked the Georgia Highway State Patrol to investigate. There I was in the kitchen with spicy pork all over my chin and a flash light shining in my eyes.

Fortunately, there was no attempt to collar me. Lots of laughing by the Patrol Guy. But the cook wanted to serve me up for dinner. Made mental note. Some Chinese do eat kitties.

Now preparing to enter Florida to raise hell. Spring break baby.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


I don’t know what I would have done if I found my mom. It would have been sweet to smell her breath, touch her nose, lick the top of her head. Even curl up with her on the wool blanket where I was borne. But I knew in that place where cats just know things, it would be a small miracle if she survived. Life is hard down on the farm.

After nearly a month on the road, I managed to get from Saratoga Springs, New York to Greeneville, Tennessee. Pardon the expression, but I’m dog tired.

The barns and farm out buildings look pretty much the same, but honestly I don’t remember too much. I was a youngster when they came and scooped me up along with my siblings and dropped us into a shoebox. We all thought we were going to be treated to a night in the big house. You know, where the Big Man and his wife lived. Where the dim yellow light flickered all night, so inviting and warm. But we were left on the steps of a shelter to be found tired and aching with hunger by the time the staff arrived in the morning.

After disparaging remarks about the awful treatment we endured, they took us in, filled out the necessary paperwork and gave us a two week sentence. At the time, I didn’t know that meant two weeks before they would put us down for good. Limited resources in them rural shelters.

I showed my attitude early when I didn’t take too kindly to the poking and prodding during the physical. I drew my own blood sample. After that, I was left alone with the rest of the kitties in a small pen. Living conditions were crowded and messy. One long hair kitten had diarrhea! I managed to stay clear of the poop, because that's a bad way to market yourself for adoption. But unknown to me, I caught an awful sickness.

I saw the Goddess before she saw me. Her eyes were all over Phoenix who hunkered down in the back of her cage. Phoenix was pretty scared of just about everything. She was older and had lived with a human who had died. That caused lots of rumors among the kitties, but I paid little attention to that gossip.

Goddess came in with a friend named Rob, who never in his life had been around cats. Can you imagine that? Nevertheless, he had great choice. He found me and liked my spunkiness. And even though they were “just looking”, they couldn’t help fall in love with my bowlegged strut. So for the second time in as many days I was shoved into another box (can you see why cats don’t take well to carriers?) and carted off to the offices of Design Management, where Phoenix spent the next two days behind a filing cabinet.

Phoenix and I had no problem bonding. She was like a big sister. If I got too rowdy she'd take her paw and pin me to the floor. That whole office had hard wood floors. I never knew the luxury of carpet and ultimate traction until much later.

Like I said, I caught some bug at the shelter. For two days I didn’t eat. This worried Goddess. She had already taken me to the vet to start the shot regiment, but she carted me back there when I got sick. Right there in the vet’s office, the doc whipped out some fishy-smellin' canned cat food. I lunged at the piece Goddess held and sank my teeth in her finger. She had some mixed feelings about that. Happy I was eating yet crying from the pain I inflicted. Hey, it wasn’t to be the last time I'd bite her.

Because I had to take lots of medication that week – around the clock – she took me home every night in her Jeep. That’s when I became a traveling cat.

My hometown is where I am from, but it is not where I should be. “I was borne under a wandering star. Home was made for 'coming from' and dreams are made for 'going to.'”

I continue to push south and dream about mom. I miss her everyday.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

From the Road

Kitties should not have to endure such elements. After slogging through swamps in the coastal plains of North Carolina, I approached the Piedmont Region thinking I would find warmer weather. So wrong. My fur has thickened nicely since I left my New York abode. Unfortunately a thick coat hides my ribs. Few strangers pity me, thinking I’m nothing but a fat cat. When I hit Florida I’m going to shed like a bad dust rag.

My last good meal was the chickens in the barn. I attempted to get some good East Carolina barbeque when I showed up at a so out-of-the-season but early Super Bowl pig pickin’ party. The smells of the pig roasting on a grill attracted several felines. None of us were invited and were kept at bay by an overly zealous Chihuahua. I was ready to take the mutt on until a brick was tossed my way. I scampered across the yard with a biscuit in mouth. My raiding skills are becoming keener, yet I keep getting leaner.

The mountains of Appalachia are between me and my old home in Tennessee. Mixed feeling about returning to the farm where I was born. I seriously doubt if Mom is around after all these years. Barn cats have tough lives. Too many barn cats must be disposed. The lucky ones end up at the shelters. The not so lucky end up as pig food. I was lucky. It will be nice to see the Tennessee relatives.

I got to thinking about Phoenix, my homie, and the Old Man back in New York. I’ve been on the road for a month. Seems like it has been years that I learned how to jump trains with the yard cats south of Albany. I’ve many more miles to go, with places to see and cats to visit. Been invited to Kansas to see a ball of string. It’s tempting to go see this wonder. Maybe get a couple of souvenirs to send back home to Phoenix. Hope she doesn’t forget me.

Tennessee, here I come.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Folly Fork, NC

If you happen to be slogging your way cross country, bushwhack style and you happen to come across an old barn, filled with 40 chickens, a cat and a coonhound...

I took a small detour north to visit the lit kids at Washington College. There I filled my belly on tasty treats from Hodson Hall before turning south again. Ahead of me stretched the lower portion of the great Chesapeake Bay and the 20 mile bridge-tunnel, that carries the main north-south highway on Virginia's Eastern Shore, and provides the only direct link between there and south Hampton Roads, Virginia. I’m all about direct, so I needed a plan to cross.

I hooked up with a middle-aged fisherman wearing the biggest boots I've ever seen. He was head across the bridge with the intent to land some Big Ones from Sea Gull Pier, which extends from the southernmost of the four man-made islands in the bay. A kindly chap, and he knew I wanted more than just a ride. While he provided a lift, he expected me to work for it so I spent the night chasing sea gulls away from his bait bucket. It was an assignment more appropriate for a Golden Retriever, but it earned me good standing and fish entrails.

Exhausted, I spent the next day sleeping under a couple of smelly tarps in the bed of his pickup until two young pups came exploring. Well rested and fed, I leapt for solid ground in a suburban neighborhood on the west side of Virginia Beach.

It was time to move inland if I am to make for my original stomping grounds in Greeneville, Tennessee. Unfortunately, the foulest of winter weather caught me in the middle of the dreariest of landscapes, Dismal Swamp. I slogged through the dead thickets and thistles accumulating muck on my once shiny coat. When I thought it couldn’t get any worse, winter reminded me that groundhogs have yet to forecast spring. I swear, I never left New York. Snow up to my...chin.

The elements got the best of me. I needed shelter. That’s when I found the barn. Since I was almost in tobacco country, I guessed that a sweet aroma of dried tobacco would linger in the rafters. What a mouth watering delight to find chickens instead.

I shipped one fat bird to MedusaJ in the UK, hoping customs won’t be an issue. It was a special request from my Twitter friend. I plucked a few feathers off another, when an old coonhound moseyed in to see what the commotion was. Stupid chickens couldn’t keep their beaks shut.

Tonight, I’m dry, semi-warm and have a chicken pinned under one paw as I sit in the rafters of an old barn in nowhere North Carolina waiting for the dog to disappear.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Bag Lady

The wind hollered like a freight train rumbling out of Buffalo in the middle of January. The Bag Lady, a boney pile of layered rags kept me buried inside her tweed coat. I don’t know who was keeping who warm. She was bedded down under the Southeast Freeway overpass near the Potomac. Faint and eerie shadows danced with the gang graffiti on the overpass' I-beams. Reminded me of the Yard Cats. Suddenly, I missed those boys.

Never a quiet moment for the last several days. My eyes only closed after sheer exhaustion.

I wanted to see more of DC but, I got nabbed by the Bag Lady almost immediately. Sly one, she was. Scooped me up before I knew what hit me. At first I feared I was dinner, for she had nothing to eat but store brand cat food. If it had any tuna in it, it contained the worst part of the fish. I don’t know, what would that be? The feet?

I happily ate what she gave me, but I soon realized that was all she had. I felt bad, but grateful that she fed me. Weird how those emotions got tangled.

She threw a hemp-woven leash and collar on me right away. I got to say, I had no chance to claw my way out of this predicament. She wore layers and layers of rags. No matter what I dug my claws into her, I never reach flesh. So I settled in looking for an opportunity to escape.

The Bag Lady took me on a tour of the sites. Her narrative rambled on. Honestly, I paid little attention to it. She positioned me in her shopping cart and I felt every crack in the sidewalk from 4th Street to the Mall. I did a dental check to be sure I still had all my teeth.

At the Lincoln Memorial she packed me into her coat again and climbed the stairs to the base of the great man’s feet. My, Mr. President what huge feet and hands you have. That’s when I made my escape, nearly tumbling down the stairs tail over whiskers. I veered to my right and found myself standing in the middle of a platoon of soldiers, looking as worn and as bedraggled as me. The Korean War Memorial. I hid among the warriors until I chewed the leash off. It was good to be free again.

My freedom did have a price. I accidentally left my GPS with her. Disoriented, I headed out of town on the wrong road, finding myself headed toward Annapolis. Not being one who likes to back track I pushed on. When I get across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, I’ll turn south once again.

Tonight I discovered it is not crab season in Maryland. More seagull for dinner. Stupid birds are easy to catch as they stand facing the wind ready for take off. Approach from down wind and they never see, hear or smell cat.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cat Overboard

One moment, I’m King of the World, standing on the bow of the MV Cape May and the next moment two hoodlums are chasing me around the deck. Hey, animals are allowed onboard. I wasn’t trying to sneak into the dining areas, which are off limits to pets. The thought crossed my mind, but considering I get slightly sea-sick, I passed on any attempts to sneak into the galley to fill up my belly.

I was a stowaway, but where was I going to get $7.50 to make the voyage from Cape May, NJ to Lewes, Delaware? I hid out behind the rear tire of a late model SUV. I positioned myself after the security guys gave a once “under” the carriage of the vehicle with a mirror on a long pole. I didn’t realize they were trying to keep cats off the ferries.

Once onboard, I went out on the deck to blow the exhaust fumes off me. That’s how I found myself imitating Leonardo on the Titanic. Woo-hoo! I wasn’t expecting to get harassed. The crossing was calm and although the temperatures were reaching an almost balmy 50 degrees, most of the humans hunkered down in the comfy lounges to enjoy a tasty beverage. I should be so lucky.

We were nearing the terminal on the Delaware side when these punk crew members attacked. Like I was stealing fresh air or something. They menacingly called, “Here kitty, kitty.” The younger one of the two, had that evil look in his eye and I knew he meant harm. A real Tyler Hayes Weinman, the punk charged as a cat killer in Florida last summer.

Options were limited. I jumped, clawing at the ropes slung over the side of the ship. I managed to get my claws into the thick twine. I hung on tight but the asshole began flipping the rope until his partner in crime called him off. Fortunately, a few more compassionate shipmates were struck by the horror that this little tabby cat clung to the side of the ship.

Disaster averted, I watched the bow cut through the waters, not far below were I was precariously perched. Salt spray drenched my coat. I closed my eyes and hung on. I felt the ship slow. Maybe I'll make it.

As the MV Cape May slipped into its terminal dock, I took a flying leap for the nearest pylon. Damn thing was covered with seagull crap and I vowed I would eat one before the end of the day.

Back on land this late afternoon. So this is Delaware, state motto: Liberty and Independence. It might be too much for one cat to handle. In the back of my mind, I keeping thinking about crossing the Pacific to Hawaii.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Food Situation

I’m slowly working my south, keeping on the move and staying warm. It burns calories. I’m hungry all the time. Heck, I was hungry all the time at the Old Man’s house. Fed twice a day, a carefully measured ¼ cup at each meal. The Old Man was a Prisoner of War, World War II vet, so you'd think he’d cut me some slack. Throw in extra kibbles. But nooooo. He was under strict rules from you know who.

Geez, look at me. Complaining about what I use to have. Look at me now. Wish I could have a little Science Diet. Instead, I’m gnawing on the bones of what was a skinny rabbit. It got caught in a drainage pipe beneath the highway.

My hunting skills were never as good as Phoenix’s. Once I had that episode where I chased baby five rabbits around the outside of an abandoned dog pen and didn’t catch a one, I quite hunting. When I got close, the rabbits jumped into the pen. Back in the day, I was pretty fat, so I couldn’t slip through the fence like the bunnies. It was too embarrassing to repeat, so I never honed the stalking skills. I get too excited and run too soon. But I’m learning. Learn or starve.

Monday, January 04, 2010


I bid a teary good-bye to Phoenix. After all, we’ve been buds for ten years. Now, I am on the loose. You know, grass is greener on the other side. Except it is January in upstate New York. The only thing green is the hemlocks and even the deer don’t mess with them.

The Old Man went to burn papers this afternoon and left the cellar door ajar. I wedged myself between the door and the jamb and the next thing I knew I was smelling the sweet wafts of winter in the North Country. Yesterday, a fresh snow fell so the landscape sat pretty pristine. Minus all those deer tracks.

Spent my first hours of freedom hunkered down beneath the backyard shrubbery. Two reason for this. There is no snow under there and the birds like landing on the branches after they gather the sunflower seeds from the birdfeeder. They never knew I was there and I nabbed one unsuspecting twitter. What a ball of feathers. These chickadees look fat, but they are so puffed up with air, they are hardly worth all the effort to catch. I had not eaten since breakfast, so I woofed down the whole thing, except for the feet. I didn’t think they would digest very well. My tummy is use to Science Diet DD. From now on the only science about my diet is what I can catch, pillage or beg.

I’ve got miles to go before I find warmer climes, so I got to get on my way. I made it as far as the old school house next door. 200 feet. (Hey, it is a start.) I heard plenty of rodent activity in the foundation, so I expect to find my next meal soon.

Turning left. I'm South Bound.