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Columns

Tales From the Motherhood: Spring fever leads to a string of feline breakouts

Posey the cat wants to be free

Spring fever has commenced once again. (I use that term loosely because, well, snow. But I digress.)

Posey, our aging kitty, has it bad. He wants out. He began his annual campaign a few weeks ago, loitering by the backdoor, and, sensing any opportunity to escape into the out-of-doors, capitalized on it. I can’t blame him, really, as I’m quite the same. But, you know, coyotes and cars, coyotes and cars. So it’s a struggle. On warm days he’ll get to lounge in the sun on the porch, and when it gets really balmy, I’ll happily indulge his desire to enjoy the breeze through an open porch window. But for now, pining for freedom, he waits, confused about why the window isn’t open. (For that matter, I wait. You wait. He, she, it waits. We, you, they wait! Gah! I’m not bitter.) 

A particularly ripe opportunity for fleeing presented itself recently and Posey pounced. No matter that it was before dawn, but the Big Red Dog had business in the backyard to attend to. Of an urgent nature. Sure he did. In cahoots they are! But I, none the wiser, stumbled downstairs to let Jake out. Weary as I was and with spring fever in full bloom (even if nothing else was), I didn’t notice Posey slipping out until I spotted his little backside sashaying down the back steps and into the dark. No WAY! I sighed. I ran after him. I use that term loosely, of course, because bad things happen when I run, but yeah, I hurried after him, sciatic nerve pain be damned. Barefoot on the icy sidewalk, stray tears cold on my cheeks, I laughed, too. I cry-laughed. I think the clinical term for this is cray-cray, to quote my teenager.

“Mom, close the door,” she said the next day when he snuck past me again as I let the dog back in from his business. But I DID close the backdoor. I swear! He’s Houdini. Catdini. Posey paws pried the door open. 

“Hey, it could happen,” I said. Sure thing, Mom. Another time, he foiled even her. Ha.

Finally I got smart and began picking Posey up before letting the dog back in. And so he twisted in my arms until upside down, one paw on the door jamb, and another against my teeth, gaining purchase. Yeah, ’twas was a good look for us both.

You’d think I’d have a better game plan by now. I mean, I actually titled the draft of this column “Spring Fever, 2018,” because I knew when I hunted for it later I’d find several ‘Spring fever’ columns: The year he turned up on Jackson’s stoop, the year when we worried he’d turn up in Viktor’s den (Viktor, the cat-ssasin across the street), and, my personal favorite, the one when Posey scooted into another neighbor’s hedge, me scrambling to dig him out. You get the picture, each one prettier than the last. Yeah, I should have this down by now. What’s up with that? Maybe I'm ambivalent. I mean, who am I to interfere? Not a fan of caging animals or inhibiting one’s quest or calling, I struggle with this question every spring. Posey does too.

Jennifer DuBose lives in Batavia with her family. Her column runs regularly in the Kane Weekend section of the Kane County Chronicle. Contact her at editorial@kcchronicle.com.

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