Kung-Fu Kitty

Police dogs are motivated, driven and very intense.  They love to work, to do as their handlers bid them, and in the case of my dog, to chase small furry creatures when mom isn’t looking.

Squirrels, cats, rodents – you name it.  If it’s small and furry, my dog is interested. Unless, of course, I see the little critter first.  Then it’s “Yes mom, okay mom, whatever you say mom.  Me?  Noooo, I didn’t even notice the squirrel/cat/rodent!”

We also have a cat at home.  Hondo has learned the old black tom-cat is off limits, but it’s still a balancing act.  We have to ‘clear the house’ when one or the other is coming inside to ensure the two do not meet, as I’ve seen the way my dog looks at the cat when he thinks I’m not paying attention.

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Two summers ago, PD Hondo and I responded to a break and enter.  As we approached the victim residence I noticed two tabby cats sitting on a short cement wall adjacent to the path we were on.  Knowing the cats might be a temporary distraction for my dog, I placed PD Hondo in a ‘down’ and went to shoo the cats away.

But the cats would have none of it.  Instead, they wanted to play. 

First, I tossed a small rock at them thinking the incoming missile would cause them to scatter.  But no.  The two cats batted the rock between them as if they had just been given a new present.

The next rock wasn’t hurled with such a gentle touch, but the end result was the same.  Two cats playing ping-pong.  I didn’t have the heart the really chuck one at them, so instead I advanced, withdrew my ASP baton and flicked it open, thinking the loud ratcheting noise would make them run off.

But again, no.  The two felines sat up and took notice, and when I prodded them with my now extended baton they simply sat back on their haunches and pawed the end of the metal rod.

Great. 

So I found a way around them, and soon PD Hondo and I were off on a track.

What I didn’t realise was that Feline #1 and his buddy, Feline #2, obviously thought we were their new playmates. As we tracked down one side of a thick hedge the cats, unbeknownst to me, kept pace with us on the other side.  When we got to the end, Feline #1 jumped out in “Ta Dah!!” fashion, mere inches from the end of Hondo’s snout.

Hondo went for it.  I yelled and pulled back on his leash, dragging my dog away from the friendly feline while at the same time admonishing my dog for being so foolish.  I thought all was going to be okay as Feline #1 ran away, it’s tail straight upright in indignation.  We were resuming with our track when Feline #2 intervened.

Have you seen the movie Shrek?  You remember the character Puss-in-Boots?  Then you know what we faced.

With an ear splitting yeowl, Feline #2 launched and firmly attached itself to Hondo’s head.  All twenty claws grabbed purchase in my dog’s thick coat and the damn kitty hung on for what equated to an eight second ride.

Hondo went completely crazy, thrashing his head around, snapping his jaws, spit flying everywhere as he tried to get the demon off of his head.  I worked my way up the line, grabbed Hondo’s collar to control his head, and used my boot to pry the cat off.  The cat jumped in the way only cats can, and landed a few feet off to the side.

Instantly, the little bugger puffed itself up, turned sideways, arched its back, and advanced on us in short, stiff-legged bursts of speed.  I retreated backwards down the sidewalk, yanking Hondo with me, knowing that if he got a hold of the cat all nine of its lives with be used up in one fell swoop.  If anything, the cat was a good example of how to use cover, as it darted from the tree on one side of the walkway to the mail box on the other side, while springing forward every few seconds on it’s hind legs to swish it’s front paws around in Kung-Fu Kitty fashion.  I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or pepper spray the little guy – I was a bit worried it was going to bite me on one of its runs at my legs.

I ended up laughing, admiring the cats fearless protection of its partner.  With some degree of respect, I waited for the feline to walk away, which it did quite suddenly as if it had decided we were no longer worth the effort.

As the cat disappeared into the dark with a flick of it’s tail, Hondo and gathered ourselves together. I took a look around to make sure no one had caught the entire episode on film and was relieved to see the caterwauling and dog growls had not awoken anyone.

It’s one thing for me to tell the story but to have actual footage?  How embarrassing!

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