Week One in the Mountains: Fearsome Creatures

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Yes, my mailbox is really in this shed a mile and a half from the house.

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Close up of the warning sign. I don’t check the mail after dark.

Despite the warnings at my mailbox about being in bear country, the most fearsome creatures I’ve had to deal with so far are an army of ants and Hector Cat. Hector Cat has been channeling the skills he acquired during his time as an alley cat on the mean streets of Cambridge, Mass. He has always loved being outdoors and hasn’t been very happy living the last 13 months in a place with no outdoor space. Now he is determined to become lord and master of his 35 acres.

Have you seen this video of the cat and the mountain lion? This took place very close to where I live now. Am I afraid? Absolutely not. Not with Hector Cat on guard.

Unfortunately, he’s started practicing on my adorable, but very wimpy, Trotsky Bear. Well, Trotsky might be a bit of an instigator. But all parents have favorites and since the dog originally belonged to me and the cat to my partner, well…you can guess which animal I’m always going to blame in the event of a kerfuffle. Today, Hector Cat was out practicing being stealthy, testing which plants he could live off if he got trapped outside for a long time, and getting the lay of the land.

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Hector Cat, pretending that he’s the streetwise punk he once was, rather than the 10 pounds overweight brat that he is.

He decided to scope out the crawl space under the front stairs, which may have prompted Trotsky to stalk him and try to tunnel under the stairs to reach him.

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Mapping the attack surface.

Deciding he had had enough of the goofy dog’s shenanigans, Hector bolted out from under the fence, took off after Trotsky, and swatted him in the behind when he caught up.

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Trotsky fleeing the scene of his beat down in shame.

Appropriately chastened, Trotsky came and buried his face in my underarm. He refused to move from that position while Hector Cat continued to strut around.

Fortunately, this house came with a built-in sedative for just such a situation. Catnip. My friend Kate (thanks for the picture, Kate!) discovered that the courtyard garden is full of it. Ergo, is Hector Cat picking on my poor, sweet baby dog? Get him high! This is Colorado after all.

Opium Hector

Arglebargle.

Oh yeah, there was one more fearsome creature – a dead mouse in our trash compactor. Maybe when he comes down from his high, Hector Cat can practice his hunting skills in the garage.

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