Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ginger and Sage -- The cat attack

            The weather here in San Jacinto has been getting hotter, and we're in the midst of phasing out our trips to the river and resuming our late-night walks.  It is a bit ironic that in all the time we've been going to the river where there have been feral dogs, coyotes and other predators, my girls have never been attacked.  But last Monday evening they were -- right here in our neighborhood. 

            Insofar as our late-night walks go, I prefer farm roads, but that isn't true of the girls.  They prefer to sniff the places where other dogs have been.  One of their favorite walks is on Ramona Blvd.  It isn't much of a Boulevard.  It has very little traffic and the speed limit is 35 mph, but it is wide and has a decent sidewalk on the North side of the Blvd.  We see people walking their dogs along this Blvd. during day time; and the girls find it entertaining to sniff all the bushes planted alongside the sidewalk.

            We were well into our walk.  I planned on turning north when we got to Chase Street, but we never made it.  One of the bushes my girls stuck their noses into contained a cat; which went after them in a fury.  Things happened too fast for me to be sure which girl did what, but one of them flipped the cat end over end out into the street -- a toss of about ten feet.  The cat was neither injured nor deterred because she rushed back and tore into the girls again.  My thought was that perhaps it was diseased or demented and I considered kicking it, but after getting back to its bush it stood its ground and gave up her attack -- but she hissed furiously at the girls; so I pulled the them away and we went back the way we'd come.

            When I got home I had Susan help me inspect the girls.  I expected to find deep gash marks and puncture wounds, but found nothing at all.  There was no evidence that they had been wounded in even minor ways -- and no evidence later of their licking anything that might have been beneath their fur and invisible to me.

            In retrospect I suspect this was a mother cat and beneath the bush she was guarding was her litter.  If she had no vested interest in that bush I would think she would have taken off running once she was flipped out into the street.  But she returned and essentially chased us away.

            I know there are people who walk their dogs along this Boulevard during the day.  Does she go after all the dogs the way she did mine?  Or did she just have her litter, and were Ginger and Sage the very first dogs that approached her kittens?  Whatever the case, we won't be going back that way for a while.  I'm sure the girls would like to revisit the spot, but I wouldn't.

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