Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ruffles, Meet Murray-- Take 2

Saturday, March 13
Ruffles' first encounter with his equine brother and sister didn't go so well . But the hissing and spitting seemingly left Dave undaunted.

Ruffles has only been to the barn once, but he does have a chance to observe the horses on a daily basis. That's because the big pasture where they spend most of their day can be seen perfectly from our living room picture-window. And of course, since the living room window offers the best view in the house, that's where Dave put Ruffles' functional, but less-than-beautiful, cat tree *sigh*.

Ruffles loves his cat tree. He lays on it, rolls around on it, bats his paws at passers-by from it, but mostly, it's his platform from which to observe his royal kingdom, and its lowly serfs.
Ruffles had been surveying his lands for a full week before the horses arrived, so he was thoroughly shocked when one day, he jumped upon his precious tree, only to see two hoofed invaders merely metres (at least 20 metres) from his sacred perch.

There he was, crouched, with his fur on end, his back arched, and a bone-chilling growling sound coming from his throat. He didn't seem to realize that the intruders (completely oblivious to his presence in the window) were separated from him by a pane of glass. No, he seemed to think he was in mortal danger. Suddenly, he leaped from the tree, a streak of black fur, skidding and sliding across the ceramic tiles on the floor, no doubt en-route to his basement sanctuary.

Somewhere along the way, I managed to scoop him up in an effort to comfort him. I scratched his chin and spoke softly to him as I walked slowly back toward the window. The closer we got, the more he started flailing and growling. Deciding I didn't want my arms and face shredded, I opted to let him come to terms with the horses in his own way.

It took more than a week, but Ruffles' finally re-claimed his throne, in spite of the large creatures wandering within view. Dave interpreted this as a sign that Ruffles was ready to once again try and meet with his loyal subjects.

On Saturday, we called to the horses from the deck, and to our surprise, they came trotting right up to the fence. I went over to scratch their necks and reward them with a few apples. Unbenounced to me, Dave went inside to get the cat. I had my back to the house, but turned abruptly when I heard vehment hissing, spitting and growling sounds. Dave was standing just a few feet from the fence. In his arms was Ruffles, clearly terrified, but also defiant. His ears were flat back, his mouth wide-open, exposing his long, snake-like fangs, and his legs were flailing in all directions in an effort to get away.

Dave: I thought he might be more comfortable coming to see them in the open, instead of in the barn.
Me: You are the cruelest person I know. Take the cat back inside!

Dave did return Ruffles to his natural environment (indoors), probably because the cat had managed to get some traction on his arm, and was preparing to leap away over his shoulder. He had no harness or leash on, and I think even Dave knew that once freed, the cat might find an impossible-to-locate hiding spot.

Thankfully, Ruffles doesn't seem to traumatized. He still sits on his cat-tree watching the horses from a safe distance, though the closer they get, the more his tail starts to twitch.

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