Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Big Fight

It was the best kind of a fight, a lot of posturing and big talk, not a lot of blows landed, and no fancy knifework.

One of the combatants was crouched next to the alley as I drove in, his back to traffic, swearing. As I pulled up about even, he took a wild swing, leaped and closed with his foe, a brief, whirling, spherical tangle of limbs that resolved into the big black cat attacker with his back to wall and the slightly smaller black-and-white patterned cat all puffed up and full of vinegar.
B&W leaned in, ears back, on tiptoe so he'd look taller:

B&W: "Yer mom -- yer mom! -- wears dog collars!"

BBC: "No she don't no she don't no she don't! Your mom!"

B&W: "No huh! Yer mom. Yer mom wears a hundred dog collars! From pit bulls!"

BBC: "Yeah-hunh, your mom. Sissy. Mouse-lover lover loverboy!"

B&W: "Am not! Bite me!"

BBC: "By damn I will!" He leaned in, started to swing. The black & white leaned back, crouched, raising a front paw higher.

B&W: "You lowdown lilylivered lapsitting lackwit litter-missing suckup son-of-a-gun. You, you miserable no-good ratfink!"

On that last yowl, B&W delivered himself of a clean-miss roundhouse paw-swipe. The big black cat took a side jump and lit out through the hole in the fence you see in the photo, with black-and white hard on his heels. There was a commotion shortly after and the cussing continued, fainter and fading. It put me a bit in mind of this famous feline.

I pulled on up and parked, put my stuff in the house, stowed groceries and went out on the front porch. Said hi to Tam just as the black and white cat strolled proudly through the front yard, nose in the air, not a mark on him and as full of himself as a high school senior with his very own car.

Somebody just promoted himself up a step.


Jim said...


Robert Ardrey would have enjoyed your tale. He wrote a good deal about combat among many lower vertebrates -- fighting which usually takes place on terrtitorial borders, is largely hissing and chest thumping, a few tentative blows, ending when each warrior has bled off enough excess testosterone.

Blackwing1 said...

Our guy is about 18-pounds-worth of red/orange tabby. Looks kind of like Huck, only (much) bigger. He used to have an old nemesis, which was "Ricky", a much smaller but long-haired fluffy guy that lived across the alley. Ricky used to hide in the raspberries and lilies, and pop out just to get things going. They only really went at it once, and age/superior weight won out (I had to pull a bunch of fur out from between his teeth).

Ricky died a while back (his servant told us he simply went face-down into his food bowl one morning...died right there), and a new nemesis took over. It was a very small red-orange tabby clone of our guy (about 1/2-scale). They now do the mutual face-off thing, consisting of much hissing, growling, and minor yowling, but they haven't quite decided who's #1, and who's #2.

He's already got another rival from down the block ("Tarzan"), a much younger, svelte little black guy who simply loves tormenting him through brief territorial challenges, but invariably backs off at least 10 yards before contact is made. Tarzan once treed a raccoon, which shows you what youth and stupidity can do.

I'm hoping that these decisions don't involve too much bloodshed or a trip to the vet to patch him up. Our big guy, despite his posturing, is a complete cream-puff.

Dave H said...

My two cats get along famously, but when I first brought George home Nicky was understandably annoyed. It only took a day or two for them to get to know each other and make friends, but not before Nicky expressed his annoyance with me by biting my hand. Normally my immune system works well but that one needed antibiotics.

Well deserved, I hear you saying. Yes. I agree.

When it's my time to go, I want to go like Ricky.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Re: Ricky. What a way to go.