Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Fearless Warrior Story

I saw Clyde last Friday.  He was stretching full length up a tree, sharpening his claws and enjoying life.  That night, he didn't show up for dinner and hasn't shown up since.  Him not showing up for dinner is nothing new, but him not showing up for almost a week afterward is very much completely new.  Clyde is a loyal, neutered cat that doesn't pass up a meal and a good chin scratch if he can help it.

And you might have heard: there's been a bit of snow in these parts.  Some are calling it a blizzard.  There have been some really low temperatures, too.

Our pond froze with very thin ice.  Clyde likes to walk on ice. 

The coyotes had a crazy party the two nights before the snow storm.  Clyde is soft and, perhaps, a tad chewy...

Okay, I'll stop now.

Anyway...I've been thinking a lot about Clyde today and one story keeps popping up in my memory.  I thought I'd share it.

It was last spring.  I was still pregnant with Brandt.  Charissa and I were out at the pond.  I had been shooting some pictures of her playing in the sunlight and just taken a break to review them on my camera.  Clyde had joined us at the pond as usual, and Charissa was playing with him.  I noticed she was hitting him with what appeared to be a stick.  "Bad Cwyde.  Bad, bad!"

"Charissa," I called, "don't hit kitty Clyde.  It's time to go back inside for lunch, sweetie, so let's head in."

She dropped the stick and announced, "It's owie, Mama." 

"What's owie, baby?"  I walked over to investigate.

And my baby girl had blood sprayed all. over. her. body.  Her back, her front, her face, her hair, even her stuffed puppy dog she'd brought out to play with her.  Blood.  "Owie, Mama.  Owie," she said again calmly.

My first thought was that Clyde had scratched her.  But that had happened before and she had certainly let everyone know about it.

Then I noticed Clyde playing with the "stick".  

It was a snake, about three feet long, still alive and writhing, with its head bitten up.  

Then I REALLY freaked out!  

"WHERE IS YOUR OWIE?!?!?!"  I frantically searched every exposed part of her body.  Finding nothing, I picked her up in one arm, grabbed the snake by its tail in the other and ran to the house.  I threw the snake on our front patio and smashed its head with a rock.  Then I brought Charissa into the house, stripped her down and searched her everywhere for some kind of injury.  

What I couldn't figure out was how calm she was.  Surely if she had been bitten by a snake or scratched by Clyde she would indicate in some way where she was hurting?  

I finally gave up, washed off the blood, made her a PB&J, put her clothes in cold water, then went and stared at that stupid snake.  Clyde had moseyed up from the pond and had started playing with it again. After some internet research and phone calls, I came to the conclusion that it was only a Gardner snake so even if she had been bitten it wasn't poisonous.  And...she hadn't been bitten anyway.  I just had to know what kind it was. 

All I could figure was that Clyde, the fearless hunter-cat, had grabbed that 'ol snake by the head and then decided to share it with Charissa.  She hadn't approved of the "owie" Clyde had inflicted and decided to chastise him using his own prey for punishment, flinging blood all over her pink fleece, jeans and face.  

I went outside again.  Clyde was dinking around with that snake having a grand 'ol time.  I picked him up and cupped his fluffy face in my hands.  He was feeling pretty awesome about himself.

"Clyde," I began calmly, "If you EVER give my baby a maimed snake again, I will THROW YOU IN THE POND!!!  Do you understand???"

I put him down.  He arched against my leg, walked back to the snake, lay down and started rolling around on the ground next to it.  

"Yeah, you're pretty proud of yourself, aren't you?  Well, congratulations on killing a snake, you weirdo."

As I turned to go, he looked up at me with all four of his paws in the air.  

He was smiling.

Clyde, if you're reading this, please come home.  I'll let you walk on the dining room table.

Maybe just a little bit.
Love, Your Distraught Two-Legger


Erika said...


Anonymous said...

I hope he comes home Hannah. HUGS

moonduster said...

I hope your Clyde came home. He's a beautiful cat and those are wonderful photos of him.

Is he microchipped? Once, our beloved cat Caspian went missing for two months. We got him back because he was microchipped. He was injured and cost us quite a bit to give him the surgery that saved his leg, but he was home again and we were ever-so happy to have him back.

Hannah said...

I'm glad I have those photos to remember him! He hasn't come home, yet :-( He isn't microchipped, but he does have a collar.

That's wonderful your Caspian was found and returned! It is amazing what pets do to you heart.

Kristine said...

Oh no...
did Clyde come home?

Hannah said...

No, I'm afraid he never did Kristine. Thank you for asking. I really hope he just found some nicer people that appreciate his snake chomping abilities more than me :-) We miss him a lot.