Before I get to my hero, here’s the back-story:
I have three cats, but this is about “the boys,” my two male felines, Fred Astaire and Laptop.
Fred was a feral that I domesticated. Intentionally, I didn’t use the word “tamed” because his first year in captivity he eat through my screened-in porch, four times! I decided it was cruel (and expensive) trying to make him an indoor cat. Weather permitting, I let him out once-a-week.
Two years later, I saved Laptop from getting euthanized. By three-years-of-age, he weighed a hefty eighteen-and-a-half- pounds. I decided he needed more exercise than he was getting indoors. So, he and Fred get an hour romp outdoors weekly. (As of this posting, Laptop has lost 3 pounds.)
I let them out into the wild through my kitchen door. Thus, my kitchen door has become the stimulus–the association for escape, like food was to Pavlov’s dogs’ salivation responce. Even when I casually pass by the kitchen door, the boys rush me. And, as guests say their good-byes at the door, Fred sprawls in front of it or circles their legs meowing. Laptop doesn’t waste energy until the door is opened; then, he springs for it. My disability prevents me from running after them. Unless they’re napping, it’s a zoo trying to get out without a prison-break!
In spite of being stealthy and giving directions to friends not to give the boys a heads-up–a polite knock on the door–the sound of the UPS truck belied my best-laid plans.
I heard the brakes as the truck stopped in front of my house then, the sliding of its merchandise door. I went to the kitchen to meet him. Immediately, eight paws with two expectant tails pointing north joined me.
Through a barely cracked door I coaxed the man in brown: “When you come in, stomp your feet to deter my two cats from escaping. They will try to run out.”
He affirmed by nodding his head.
With a scanner in his left hand and two large stacked boxes in his right, he side-stomped through the half-open door. As he walked toward the kitchen table, Laptop saw the opportunity and made a break for the wide-open. I shrieked.
In mid-stride, the man in brown side-pressed Laptop, now in mid-air, against the door with his left calf then, swiped him like a credit card back into the kitchen…never losing his balance or a box. I slammed the door behind him with, “Thank you! You must have pets.”
He slid the boxes onto the table, quickly scanned them with, “Oh, yes.” and was back out the door.
It was a bird…a plane…the UPS man. My hero!