Asthma attacks almost always left Brett weak and sweaty, so he liked to turn on his stand-up fan and put it as close to his face as possible. No matter how many times I warned him to pull the fan further back, I would go into his room early in the morning to find it blowing only inches from his face. One morning about 3:00 a.m., Chaz jumped on my bed and began crying and gently biting my chin. I tried to turn over and push him off the bed, but he was relentless in his attempts to get my attention. I finally opened my eyes wide to give him that ?get out? glare, and that?s when I noticed him squinting his eyes and blinking repeatedly. Then he threw himself from the bed and ran to the doorway and down the hall, beckoning me with that weird cry.
At this point, I was more interested than irritated, so I got up to follow Chaz down the hall and into Brett?s room. Before I saw the imminent danger, I smelled it?billows of smoke being emitted from the fan. Chaz stopped at Brett?s door, calling for me to do something quick. I rushed to unplug the fan and grabbed a glass of water that had miraculously been left on his dresser to pour the melting motor. Water splattered everywhere, but Chaz never gave up his post. He was pulling at Brett?s pajamas trying to get him to awaken.
Only after it was over and Brett was safe did I notice Chaz had a blistered paw. During the uproar he must have stepped on the hot fan and burned himself. He was a trooper, though. He never once chewed off the tape holding the makeshift bandage I used to doctor his hurt paw. I don?t know, perhaps it was the juicy chicken reward he got for warning me of the danger that temporarily distracted him and encouraged him to leave the bandage alone. Or maybe it was the extra love he got from all Brett?s friends when they saw the pitiful little guy and his bandaged foot. Cats know the more pathetic they act, the more likely they are to get exactly what they want. IF YOU?RE A CAT YOU CAN?get away with very bizarre behavior
Let me share my ?back at the ranch? story with you. So, back at the ranch one evening we had just come in from a group ride, and were sitting around a small campfire exchanging funny stories when out of the corner of my eye I spied Blackie. Blackie was a stray cat that hung around the barn chasing bugs in the stalls, sneaking into the highly piled bales of hay for a cat nap, and making love rounds to welcome us all back to the ranch after an afternoon?s ride. She was the strangest little cat, so we decided to give her a strange name; hence, we named the totally white, female cat none other than Blackie.
Unlike most stray cats, Blackie was not the best at catching mice. She was a great acrobat, but all her antics never ended up with a catch. Once she trapped a mouse in the corner of the barn, and held him there for a full five minutes until he got so scared he passed out. As the mouse laid there limp as a cucumber, Blackie looked back at us as if to ask what she should do now. We all busted out laughing, which woke the sleeping mouse. We tried to reassure Blackie that we were laughing with her not at her, but she got her feelings hurt and refused to even acknowledge the frightened mouse. She did paw the paralyzed thing a few times and then simply walked away, leaving her prey to live another day.
Blackie made herself scarce around the barn for a few days, probably pouting from what she imagined was our ridicule of her. However, one evening she?d had enough alone time and decided to wander out from beneath the barn to pay us all a ?I forgive you? visit. She was just approaching our circle when out of the corner of her eye she caught a quick movement. It was the mouse?the mouse that got away. Fearing that she would experience the hurt all over again, this time she was bound and determined to catch the evil rodent. Blackie made a good showing, but the mouse barely cleared a small hole carved into a 4 x 4 piece of wood jutting out from the edge of the barn. Oh, Blackie dug and sniffed, but came back empty pawed. There was no mouse to be seen.