TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Editorials

May 15, 2014

Animals are funny creatures

CORBIN — I watched this video online yesterday that showed a little girl riding what appears to be a tricycle, and there’s a dog nearby.

Suddenly the dog grabs ahold of the little girl and starts dragging her down the driveway.

Out of nowhere this cat flies into the scene and attacks the dog, then chases it down the street.

The little girl appeared to be scared more than anything else — it ended up being pretty funny.

It reminded me of an incident that happened with a cat I had several years ago.

Her name was Fat Kitty — and it wasn’t out of meanness that she carried that name. She was a tiny little thing when she hopped into my car after a city council meeting. She was pretty bedraggled and nothing more than skin and bones.

Long story short, I ended up keeping her — and a little more than a month later despite my best efforts she gained quite a lot of weight. When I first took her to the vet, she barely weighed 3 pounds.

Six weeks later she weighed in at a hefty 14 pounds.

Despite her obvious chubbiness, she was a strong cat who carried her weight well — and she had no fear.

One of the neighbor’s dogs had a litter of puppies, and that litter grew up into a pack of wild dogs that terrorized the neighborhood — particularly the cats.

The dogs went from a nuisance to a real threat — a sheriff’s deputy responding to a neighbor’s house shot one of the dogs when it attacked and bit him. Other neighbors shot two more — but that still left four or five dogs running amok through the subdivision.

One afternoon I was outside with three dogs I had at the time — a Chesapeake Bay retriever and two Yorkshire terriers.

All of a sudden the dog pack emerged from one side of my car I had at the time.

They all stood in a line and looked like they were going to attack.

I started to make a move for the Yorkies, but a movement in the corner of my eye caught my attention.

Here was Fat Kitty, on the prowl, making a direct beeline for that pack of pups — she even crossed over my feet to get there.

Were my dogs paying any attention to the canine visitors? Nope — they were playing around and had yet to see them.

Two of the dogs started to walk the length of the car — and that did it.

Fat Kitty sprang into action, charging at that dog pack like she would a mouse.

For a second a couple of them cocked their heads to one side as if to say “I’m confused.”

But not for long — all five dogs took off like a shot, barking and howling and carrying on.

She chased them through the neighbor’s lawn, stopping short of running into the street. With the dogs standing together and barking at her, Fat Kitty sat in the middle of the neighbor’s grass, calmly licking her paws.

Shortly thereafter Fat Kitty curled up on the corner of the car from where the dog pack originally emerged, guarding the yard from further intrusion.

But cats aren’t the only animal capable of protecting their owners. Some of you all may remember me mentioning my dog, Annie, who often rides along with me during work hours. (Not in this heat we’ve recently experienced, of course.)

But a couple Thursdays ago, I and the night editor, Brad Hall, were busy getting the next edition ready.

It was late — less than two hours until deadline — and we were both involved in our work.

It had been warmer than usual that day, so instead of parking in the Tribune parking lot I left the car across the street from us in the shade.

Normally Annie simply piles up and sleeps in the car, waiting for my return.

That Thursday night was no different.

So imagine my surprise to hear Annie barking hysterically at 11:30 or so at night.

Brad asked if that was Annie, and of course it was, so I charged downstairs to see what the ruckus was all about.

When I got downstairs I could see outside — and there, wandering across the street in the parking lot, was a man. Annie was half out of the window, barking almost uncontrollably.

He sat down across the street, and began favoring and inspecting one of his hands.

When I unlocked the door and walked outside, the man quickly began walking away.

I decided to go inside and contact the police.

On a side note, I contacted the Corbin Police Department’s dispatch from upstairs in the office — and by the time I got downstairs two officers were on the scene and a third was seen driving in the direction the man had taken.

One of the officers asked whether anything was missing from my car, which elicited a laugh from me.

I told the officer that while I didn’t see anyone take anything from my car, if anyone had tried to, they would’ve been bitten by the dog long before they burglarized the car. Of that I was certain.

I gave a description of the guy that included the likelihood of a dog bite injury, and then went to calm Annie down.

Animals are funny creatures, particularly domesticated ones. You just never know how they’ll touch your lives.

Or someone else’s.

John Ross is a staff writer for the Times-Tribune. He can be reached at jross@thetimestribune.com.

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