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Swoosh! ‘Meeeow!’

I’m outside the other day, refilling one of my hummingbird feeders — just right outside the sunroom — and I notice one of our neighborhood stray cats running up and attacking one of my shrubberies.

I like shrubberies. I like stray cats, too.

But a man has to do what a man has to do.

Meanwhile … Buster, who is usually aware of any and all animals not named Buster who happen to come near the house — and such animals are easy to see when you lie on the back of the couch and look out the sunroom windows all day — was not being all Bustery. He was being very quiet. So I decided I would chase away the stray cat who dared attack my shrubbery. I stepped that way, got right next to the shrubbery in question, and my left foot disappeared into something like a sink hole.

“What the … ” I started. Apparently this stray cat — he didn’t look familiar, like any of the other stray cats I have seen in the neighborhood — has nerve. Swoosh … “Meeeeeow!” It ran past me and jumped on the shrubbery, did a little shredding, then swooshed away.

“Meeeeow!” it said as it darted away. Meanwhile … Silence from inside the sunroom. I tried to pry my foot out of whatever it was I had stepped in and almost managed to get my foot out with sneaker in tow …

Swoosh — “Meeeeow!” it came by again, jumped on shrubbery, did some shredding with its little furry claws and, swoosh …

“Meeeeow!” it screamed as it darted away. I think it was laughing at me. By this time I was trying to get my foot unstuck and keep the cat away from my shrubbery and … Well, I looked like a peg-legged pirate stuck in a hole in the deck of the ship. After about the 47th trip in a circle I started to feel a little dizzy. A little helpless. Swoosh — “Meeeeow!” “Leave my shrubbery alone!” I shouted. Meanwhlle … Where was Buster? Why wasn’t he acting like a maniac on some sort of hallucinogenic drug trip chasing purple and orange bunnies on a marshmallow sky?

He was quiet. Swoosh — “Meeeeow!” again.

Well, at this rate there won’t be any shrubbery left, I thought to myself. I concentrated on getting my foot unstuck.

Or at least to stop spinning in circles like a unicycle.

Meanwhile … I felt something wet on my back.

Somewhere along the line a bird, a really big bird, decided it would sit on a hummingbird feeder. Hummingbird feeders aren’t meant to hold big birds. They tend to make them lean and leak all of that sugary sweet hummingbird food out.

In this case, down my … Swoosh — “Meeeeow!”

Meanwhile … Not a peep from Buster inside the sunroom with the big windows that are so easy to look out of when you just lie on the back of the couch and watch outside all day.

So after a couple of more pirate-with-a-peg-leg dance moves, I had to stop because I swear I thought I was going to be sick …

Swoosh! “Meeeeeow!” “You have to be kidding me,” I started to think. But that thought was interrupted by the stinging pain I felt on my back.

I felt the stinging pain on my back because apparently there must be a yellow jacket nest nearby my hummingbird feeder and shrubbery (Swoosh! “Meeeeow!” again) and hole in the ground my foot was stuck in and … DANG! That hurts!

Swoosh! “Meeeeow!” My instinct for survival must have taken over at some point, or I passed out from the pain and humiliation. Or, I don’t know, a superhero came by and saved me.

The next thing I know I’m standing on my patio, water hose in hand giving myself a shower (because I saw on some show or read it in some magazine that yellow jackets don’t like cold showers) and I’m standing there with only one shoe on — and a sock gone as well.

Swoosh! “Meeeeeow!” I heard again. “You can have it,” I shouted, then limped into the house.

And Buster started barking at me, acting like a maniac on some sort of hallucinogenic drug trip chasing purple and orange bunnies on a marshmallow sky. I’m pretty sure he thought I was doing all of that for his entertainment. He had a good view from the sunroom.