It’s not all about dogs. Tigger was a feral before I knew what a feral was. He lived outside. He was lithe, dangerous, a tabbie with an attitude. He let me hold him sometimes. Just for a second. I loved his little ass.
He used to hang out with Sebastian in the lower yard. They actually sat in chairs at a table. You know. Just hanging out. Sebastian wore a beret, I recall. He was obviously French. You could almost make,out his little absinthe cup.
Then the roaming dogs of Greenwich found Sebastian and killed him to death. The angry old lady next door made me come scrape him off her garage floor. So. Tigger was alone after that. He said, you didn’t help Sebastian. I don’t like people anymore.
Couldn’t blame him. The death of Sebastian was a blow to my heart. I did a thing I’ve done for no dog. Bought a granite tombstone. You didn’t have to scrape him off a cement garage floor.
Anyway. Tigger still wouldn’t come in the house. He was out there, roaming. He could kill anything. He could climb anything, find anything, do anything. He was Tigger. Then he met his match.
I remember seeing the actual crime. He climbed ten feet into a cedar tree in order to attack bird eggs. Didn’t eat them. Just pawed them.
Wrong move times ten. The mother was a mockingbird.
Do you know anything about mockingbirds? The smartest birds in the world, with the possible exception of ravens and crows. Definitely smarter than cats.
So the ultimate predator suddenly became the ultimate victim.
Here’s the picture. The mockingbird mother took up a spot midway on the telephone wire — like a middle linebacker calling the defense — in front of the house where Tigger lived and screamed at him endlessly. When he tried to duck away she flew at him in full blitz mode. He ran, he hid, he skulked. YOU DO NOT ASSAULT MOCKINGBIRD BABIES.
Why Tigger finally abandoned the feral thing and came inside the house.