No cat takes a back seat to our big, long-haired orange cat Fancy Pants when it comes to being in line to get grub. So when we realized about 10 AM this morning that she hadn't shown up for breakfast, we got concerned. [SPOILER ALERT: This has a happy ending.]
I walked around outside, calling to her, with no result. My wife suggested she might have come in to eat while we'd been out for a 30 minute walk earlier. I clung to that hope.
About an hour later, I again went outside, heading toward where I know she often hunkers down in the bushes.
"Fancy! Fancy Girl?"
KA-LUMP, KA-LUMP, KA-LUMP
When Fancy runs, the earth moves. She's a big girl. A delivery man, pulling up our driveway once, got out of his truck exclaiming, "What a huge cat!" Like I said, she doesn't miss a meal, but she gets plenty of daily exercise too.
So I scooped her up, kissed her head, exuding relief. It was ME that was relieved, not her; she hasn't a care in the world, a very small Utah part of which is her oyster. Also her mouse, her lizard, her chipmunk, her bird, and her whatever else she can catch.
The only predators Fancy needs to avoid are the occasional loose dog and the prospect of some deviant little boy with a hand weapon. [People around here start 'em young. Last Xmas a local fool gave his 4-year old boy a .22 rifle and the kid proceeded to accidentally put a slug in his older brother.]
We have a close-in perimeter fence and all she has to do is bound up a post and over to safety. I've seen her do that at high speed with nothing chasing her. I'm sure she's just practicing.