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.
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
9 months ago