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Playing tree

When the cats want to come in, they jump up on the windowsill outside the livingroom and importune. When it’s the big cat, there’s an extra step: you open the door and go out and he runs up this elder tree here and puts on a little show. When he’s ready, he steps off this fence post into your arms.

We call this ‘playing tree’.

I’m convinced he’s reliving that awful 18 hours he was stuck high up in a tree as a kitten. I sat under the tree most of the night with him. If I stepped away for a moment, the horrible local brute of a farm cat came and circled the tree trying to get up to him.

It wasn’t the only time that cat came after my boy. He clearly had some kind of grudge. We think maybe they both came out of the same feral cat colony.

Anyway, early the next morning, a plumber turned up at the neighbors and, in the face of great personal danger, managed to crawl up high enough to grab kitty by the scruff and hand him down to me. And I think that’s the origin of playing tree.

Sorry for blurry. This is the only known image of a game of tree.

Good weekend, everyone!


Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: July 16, 2021, 8:13 pm

Cats love ritual.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: July 17, 2021, 2:10 am


I didn’t see a single cat flattening the curve for 2 weeks over the last year and a half by wearing a ritual mask!

Now humans, well, still walking around with their ineffective ritual masks on, flattening the curve, saving the world, making us safer more stupid every day.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: July 17, 2021, 2:52 am

There’s a trillion dollar payday (x 1,000,000) waiting on the person who can figure out what pets are thinking. I’ve had house guests since June 15. Three groups. Heavens—I wish I knew what theses animals were thinking.

Group 1 had an old dog—a 15 y.o. Havanese, who raised a leg and peed on everything vertical. I swear he marked an acre of land. He was mostly indifferent to my young female Chihuahua, although he wanted to play with her toys.

My second house guest—my older sister—arrived straight from the hospital without her four dogs (thank you, God). There are actually nine dogs in her “pack” but only four are “house” dogs. Sister lives way out in the country, where people love to dump dogs. I swear those dogs can smell my sister’s marshmallow heart. There is a special place in Hell for people who dump dogs and I believe there will be a terrible day of reckoning, though we may not see it this side of the veil.

Group Three arrived with an elderly Boxer and a frisky male Chihuahua. It’s been a three-ring circus, but oh—so much fun. The two Chihuahuas are almost identical, and you’d think they came from the same litter, except they were found nearly 600 miles apart. The Boxer and two Chihuahuas are all three white, which provide for some charming photos. I named them The Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know. I love these dogs like I love my first-born.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: July 17, 2021, 1:13 pm

@Deborah – if you’re needing someone to man the pitchforks and flames of retribution department, I’d be happy to run it.

Comment from Pupster
Time: July 17, 2021, 5:51 pm

importune – To make an earnest request of (someone), especially insistently or repeatedly.

Hunh. I did not know that. I thought it was a personal version of bad timing, inopportune.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 19, 2021, 6:46 pm

My mother lived way, way out in the country. She accumulated a big pack of dogs, too, and for the same reason.

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