I am worried about my sweet, sweet Juno since the sudden disappearance of her four-legged frenemy, poor dumb Ann.
Sure, my sweet, sweet Juno was crotchety with Ann when they both crowded around the side porch for pats and cat kibble. That was just her stomach talkin'. From her meager beginnings as a dumped puppy that my mom starved for two days hoping she would go away. Even as a tiny scrap of caninity, my sweet, sweet Juno growled and showed her teeth when scarfing down her half a can of puppy chicken from the paper plate set on the back porch by the kitchen door. Ann and our other dogs Grizzly and Tank the beagle crowded around, eager to lick what was left. Which was NOTHING.
Now my sweet, sweet Juno is timid. Sure, she still yaps and frolics when Farmer H starts up the Gator. But she has no one to shoulder out of the way to run closest to the green machine. She does not bark her fool head off every morning. I fear that the neighbor's demon poodle may have his way with her. I imagine that Juno runs into her house and growls when dogs enter the yard now.
Just this afternoon, when I tossed some leftover Stovetop stuffing and corn muffins to the yard chickens, Juno stayed on the porch at my heels. She did not jump off and try to eat those snacks before the chickens. I took her around to her food pan on the back porch and poured out the remains of the beans and ham. She was excited at first, as I scraped all the meaty goodness off the sides. Until the cat came to her pan.
That tan-striped cat is a demon, I swear. I have never liked him much. Now that he has the fighting eye injury, he looks like a 1950s New York tough with a chip on his shoulder. He got up under my feet before I was even done scraping, lapping at those beans, dangerously close to a large hunk of ham and sinew that had fallen off the bone I gave Juno earlier in the week. Juno took a step toward the pan, a low growl rumbling from her chest area. That darn cat HISSED at her! At Juno's own food pan! I wanted to thump him on the head with the scraping spoon, but I didn't know what disease I might pick up from his gouged eye. Which is open now, by the way. But the fur is gone all around it. Instead, I said, sternly, in teacher mode, "Here now! None of that!" And my sweet, sweet Juno turned tail and ran! She thought I was scolding HER.
It took a lot of coaxing to draw her back. She lowered herself onto her stretched-out front legs, in a submissive pose, and crept forward a tiny bit, whining anxiously. I had to scoop that cat away with my foot. He jumped up on the porch rail with his crony, the female gray calico with a crumpled ear. They are a band of toughs, I tell you, those mailbox cats. So...after much making-over, my sweet, sweet Juno came to lick at the beans that had spilled on the porch boards. I kept pointing to the lump of ham in the pan. I'll be ding dang donged if those cats were going to get the meat!
While I was standing guard over my sweet, sweet Juno, that darn tan cat leaned off the rail, reaching for me with his right paw, claws extended! I know what he was up to. In years past, I used to walk around and around the Mansion porch for exercise. I would reach out and pet the cats sitting in various locations along the rail. Our best cat, Genius, now deceased of old age, was the best. He would arch his back and walk under my hand. So as I passed, I could smooth him from head to the tip of his yellow-striped tail. But this one would reach out, grab my hand, and try to BITE me! I do not think it was a love bite. Judging from the look in his eye. So now, I leaned over as far away as I could get, hoping he would fall off the rail onto the porch and scamper away in embarrassment. But no. He almost overbalanced, and drew back. Those two watched Juno eating at her own pan. Then she grabbed the hunk of ham and took off for her house.
I am worried about my sweet, sweet Juno. Spring needs to spring, so we can commence with the puppy-gettin'.