Angus got in a knock-down drag-out fight with a strange cat today.
Fortunately, it took place through the sliding glass door, so it was a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing, but if one were going by the sound effects, it was World War III, Normandy, and the last half of Alien rolled into one.
The cat in question is a tidy grey shorthair. He's come around before, and I THINK he's just an outdoor cat, not an actual stray--he's lean but not emaciated, and if I offer him food, he ignores it in favor of petting. He's well-groomed with no obvious ailments, quite friendly, and two or three times a week, he comes and stares through the glass, and Angus loses his mind.
Ben watches this all from his vantage point atop one of the end tables with an expression of mild boredom--he is secure in his power. He fears no neighbor cat. Angus is an idiot to get so worked up. There is nothing at all to be concerned with.
Last week, Angus got so worked up by the obstinate not-dying-ness of the cat on the other side of the glass that he lunged up onto the end table, all claws shot, and smacked Ben across the face twice in rapid succession, then fell off the table with a maniacal whoop.
Ben sat there in the purest of pure shock, not even reacting, and slowly turned his head to look at me, an expression of Did that really just happen? writ large across his whiskers. This sort of the thing does not go down. Ben beats Angus up. Angus takes it and purrs. The order of the cosmos was upset. I patted Ben comfortingly and promised I'd never tell.* Angus did a few victory laps around the living room, saw the Enemy Cat, who was watching with intense fascination--this was better than cable, he might never go home again--and charged the glass, with the predictable thudding results.
Today, the cat returned, and Angus charged the glass a few times again. Ben, conscious of his dignity, resumed his post on the end table--he couldn't let Enemy Cat or Angus know how nonplussed he'd been. I quit the field of battle and took a nice hot bath, punctuated by the sounds of the vertical blinds shaking and Angus's chimp-like screams of rage.
Another quiet evening at home...
*I may have lied.