The other afternoon I noticed my cats, Bee specifically, acting a little weird.
Our front storm door is all glass, and I like to keep the front wood door open to let in light and let the cats have something to look at.
And, boy, is there stuff to look at.
Because the neighborhood was developed in the sixties all the trees are mature, and there is also a small lake across the road and a lot of wildlife in the area because of it.
There are so many birds that some mornings it's like living in a freaking aviary. The cats, understandably, have regular spazzes. At least Bee does. Junebug is too old now to care very much. Last week I watched her sit in the backyard and a squirrel ran right up to her before realizing what he'd done. Junebug didn't even move. But the squirrel sure did.
So yesterday I heard a big bang and thought Bee was having a spazz about a bird or squirrel she saw, and I went to go look.
It turns out it was another cat.
Peanut Butter and Jelly.
That is actually the cat's name. And he looks just like someone smashed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on him. If you can picture that. White and tan and blobs of peanut-orange and a dark maroon splotch on the side.
So I said, "Hi, Peanut Butter and Jelly!"
PBJ hissed and ran off. I didn't say he was a friendly cat.
So later at dusk I'm standing at the kitchen sink and see this very large ball of fur come hurtling up the hill of our front yard. At first I thought PBJ had returned.
But it was way too big to be a cat.
I knew what it was and got really excited and turned off the lights so I could see better.
It waddled past the fence on the side of the house and before I really even thought of what I was doing, I opened up the side patio door and ran out barefoot.
Because there is a large privacy fence I couldn't see the raccoon. He was on the other side. I took two steps before my brain started working.
"What the hell are you doing?"
"It's a raccoon!"
"You know, an animal that has rabies!"
"You don't even have shoes on, moron!"
"Or any kind of weapon."
Then I saw the yellow wiffle ball bat lying there and picked it up like I was wielding a samurai sword.
"Oh good idea, dummy. A shitty plastic bat. You should see if MENSA is looking for new members."
I crept around the side of the fence and stopped. What would I do if I turned the corner and came face to face with a snarling and rabid coon?
Instead of going back inside like a normal person, I held the wiffle bat out in front of me like I was some sort of Olympic fencer.
Olympic fencing and rabid raccoons. New sport!
I peeked around the fence.
Nothing. It was gone.
I was so disappointed.
I looked up in the tree. Nothing.
Matt comes out to the patio. "What are you doing?"
"I saw a big raccoon run into the yard!"
"Yeah, I think he might have climbed a tree."
"Raccoons can climb trees?"
"Yes, don't you know that?"
I look at him like he's super dumb. "Yeah, and they usually have rabies too, so you don't ever want to get bit by one."
"So why did you run out here after it? What were you going to do? Ask him to play wiffle ball with you?"
Now who's super dumb.
"No, it's for protection."
"Or you could just stay inside away from rabid raccoons."
"You don't know me at all."