Tuesday, February 19, 2008



Just as I was drifting off to sleep last night, Wilbur the cat, shown here protecting the remote control lest someone decide to surf away from Animal Planet, let out a blood-curdling yowl that seemed to indicate the end of all things or at least the intrusion of a wolf. The wife jumped out of bed to investigate while I, not entirely sure this was real as opposed to some kind of narcoleptic mental theater, shuffled through my bedside weapons -- baseball bat, mace, broadsword, throwing stars, 12-gauge, smallpox-infested blankets, fountain pen, pepper spray, trebuchet, brass knuckles, slingshots -- wondering what would best serve to fight off a wolfpack, plague of locusts, or wolf-locust team attack.

It turned out it was nothing more than a new neighborhood cat skittering around the back yard, which Wilbur considers to be "his" territory but which the county taxes me for. With its black and white fur, the cat vaguely resembled Thelma, whom Wilbur drove into the grave around a year ago, so maybe he was especially freaked out that his old adversary had somehow returned.

It ended happily enough. There were no wolves and no locusts, and Wilbur just had a few cat-months taken off his projected life span from the panic.

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