Saturday, July 24, 2010

Nathan Alan Willoughby - Marketability at a cat rescue

"All he does is lay around."

"Maybe he's depressed."

"Wouldn't you be depressed if you were in a cat rescue for five months?"

Nathan Alan Willoughby opened one eye to look at the volunteers. His dream about the anchovy pizza in the bottom of the dumpster had been interrupted by the two women. He knew they were talking about him because they were staring at him.

And it was true.

While it was quite nice to be out of the cold Fall and Winter, now it was Spring and he wanted to get out and stretch. Many of the cats who lived in the Red Room when he was brought in were now gone. He suspected their disappearance had something to do with the nice visitors who made their way into the old Victorian home-turned cat rescue.

Nathan Alan Willoughby ate and slept. He'd lost all interest in the catnip mouse and little ball with the bell in it. He had put on more than a few pounds.

"Let's put him with Marvin for a few days. That'll make his life more interesting. Plus, he can get more exercise."

With that, the woman with the floppy hat picked him up and carried him out of the room. "He must weigh close to twenty pounds," she grunted to the other woman.

Nathan Alan Willoughby purred. He loved to be picked up and held. While his feet dangled precariously as the woman in the floppy descended the stairs, he thought how nice it was to get any attention at all. It had been so long...

"Here you go Marvin!" Nathan Alan Willoughby was dropped unceremoniously into the kitchen. The door shut. He looked around, uncertain where he should hide. Hiding was always the first thing a cat should do upon entering a new environment. It was at this moment that Nathan Alan Willoughby realized that his rescuers, while well intentioned, knew nothing of animal behavior.

The second thing he realized was this thing called "Marvin" was a weird looking dog.

Nathan Alan Willoughby knew a dog when he saw one. They chased him on the streets. Now, five pounds more on his frame and in a strange place, where would he hide? The trash can would work for now, so he dashed behind it. His rear hung out, though he didn't know this.

Marvin did.

The dog approached and sniffed his back in, causing Nathan Alan Willoughby to mew his unexpectedly high pitched mew. This caused Marvin to wag his tail and prick up his ears. He turned to face Marvin, a paw at the ready if he had to fight. He hoped he didn't have to fight. He was very tired. Why oh why had they taken him from the comfort of the Red Room and the chenille bed spread? The kitchen floor was cold and a weird dog was staring at him.

Clearly, Marvin was not one of the aggressive dogs he'd met on the street. Marvin bowed down on his front paws, while his back end was in the air, his tail wagging. Nathan Alan Willoughby looked at the tail. To him, it looked like a white flag waving. He suddenly wanted to swat the white waving flag. Before he could take a swat, Marvin had grabbed him around the neck and started growling.

This is it, Nathan Alan Willoughby thought. All those months here with nothing happening and I'm going to get eaten by a dog. But it was not to be. Marvin was only playing and did not bite down. He only jostled him from side to side, sort of like a rag doll. Nathan Alan jumped on the kitchen counter, turned as quickly as his large frame would allow, and hissed and swatted at the dog, whose white tipped tail continued to wag.

It was going to be a long day. In addition to realizing that the volunteers at the rescue knew little about animal behavior, it occurred to Nathan Alan that their weight loss plan was horribly misguided.

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