So there I was, pitted against a wily beast.
A creature of such cunning, such prowess I knew the odds were heavily against me.
But I refused to give up.
First, I tried sneaking up on the beast from behind, but my ninja-like skills have been slowed by old age, well middle age anyway, and the furred critter made good its escape.
Perhaps enticing the beast with food would bring it close enough for me to get my hands it.
And then again, perhaps not.
Said beast remained just out of arms reach, foiling an otherwise brilliant plan.
A few other attempts were made to grab the wayward animal, but in the end I had to admit defeat.
I had been outsmarted and outmaneuvered by a one-year-old cat.
Young Daughter wanted a pet of her own, so a year ago we picked up a kitten.
Her name is Lisa, a.k.a. Little Cat, and she is your typical cat that does typical cat things.
We decided she would be an outside cat, so we let her explore the backyard in short stints and she seemed fine with that because every little sound scared the snot out of her.
A bug farted and she sprinted for the backdoor like a pack of wolves were after her. Sure it was pretty big bug, but she is not exactly coming across as a fierce creature.
And I am OK with that as it should improve her survival odds in the great outdoors.
And it's not like we live in the deep forest or harsh jungle. We live in your typical suburban neighbourhood mostly devoid of vicious predators.
There are, however, coyotes in the surrounding hills and we occasionally hear them howling and yipping at night.
And that is why I ended up spending a good portion of my evening trying to herd a cat into the house.
It was near dark and Lisa bolted out the back door as fast a cat can bolt, which all cat owners know is pretty fast.
In a flash she was out the door and down the stairs.
She jumped the fence and settled in our neighbour's yard as my wife muttered some words under her breath while watching Little Cat take off.
Not wanting Lisa to spend the night outside, my wife made numerous attempts to corral the kitty back into the house, but to no avail.
You know what they say about herding cats?
Well, it's true. It is an impossible task.
So with my wife stressed out and Young Daughter having a slight meltdown at the prospect of her beloved kitty surviving on her own through the night, I was asked to assist. (Like I am some sort of cat-herding expert or something.)
I spent the next while trying to get Little Cat into the house where there was no risk of coyotes, eagles, cougars, polar bears or any other nasty chompers that might want to have a snack before bedtime.
I tried to explain to everyone that this is what outside cats do: they go outside. She will not have been the first feline in history to spend the night outdoors and I had all the confidence in the world there was a pretty good chance Lisa could do it.
But to appease the Missus and Young Daughter, I did my best to get Little Cat into the house.
However, as darkness enveloped the land, I knew it was a lost cause and finally convinced everyone there was nothing more we could do.
Reluctantly, everyone headed into the house, leaving Lisa to her fate and all hoping she would return in the morning – which she did.
As soon as the Missus got up, she checked for Little Cat who was sitting at the back door with a very proud look on hear face.
She had done it, she survived her first night in the wilds of suburbia with out so much as a scratch.
The Missus was relieved, Young Daughter, oh, hell, we were all relieved.
I learned a couple things that day: Little Cat can make it on her own and it really is impossible to herd a cat.
Copyright 2016, Darren Handschuh