Before we got rid of the futon, Simon squished the back down and made it his bed. And he saw no reason to move out of his spot.
Simon is a great cat. He's soft, friendly and huge (18 lbs?-but he's not fat, he's just big-boned). In many ways he thinks he's a dog, but not in a bad yappy, smelly, sniff your crotch or lick you sort of way (sorry if I am offending you dog lovers out there, but in my defense I've had numerous horrifying experiences with dogs in my life including one the size of a horse viciously taking a chunk out of my leg on my mission. Truthfully, I'm a little scared of them; hence I prefer cats). No, he's people friendly, not skittish or aloof like a normal cat, and he likes to take walks with us around the block, like a dog; not on a leash, he just walks along the sidewalk with us. Endearing, really. Sure, Simon's not perfect. He throws up almost daily and he's caught his share of innocent animals and dragged them into the house (i.e. the oversized rat in the family room today)... which leads me to what happened next.
Almost a month ago on one of the said walks with Simon, we noticed that at the end of the block this flock of crazy birds started circling him, tweeting furiously, and then dive-bombing him. At first it was just a weird display of nature, almost comical. Huh, shouldn't the cat go after the bird? But every time we walked by that spot those lunatic birds got more and more brazen, getting closer and closer to Simon as he took cover in the nearest bush or under a car pathetically meowing for help. Up to this point the birds had never actually hit him. I couldn't deny that those birds had every right to be mad, considering the likely fact that Simon had captured, played with and killed one or more of their family members. But still, I felt bad for the poor kitty.
Then about a week ago I noticed a scab on the top of his head. It wasn't so bad; he'd gotten in fights before (I did say he wasn't perfect, right?). A few days later I noticed that his eye was a little swollen and a closer examination revealed a worse head injury, longer and deeper. I began to worry, and became more suspicious of the hooligan birds. But it wasn't till the next day that I really knew. A trail of blood on the tile, couch, and table led me to a big open gash on the side of Simon's face. Those psychopaths were out to kill our cat! Or at least peck his eyes/brain out.
Not only that but they have gathered more forces and moved to our tree and roof. Come on now, this is his territory; he can't even poop in peace anymore. What am I saying? This is my territory and truth be told, I'm somewhat freaked out by them sitting there staring at me. And what's more, I was mowing the lawn last week when one of them dive-bombed me and hit me in the arm! He and the rest of them just sat on the fence with those evil conspiring eyes and I’ll tell you, I was pretty creeped out by it all. The fact that I was pushing a loud killing machine had no weight with them. Instead, scenes from Hitchock's "The Birds" began flashing through my head each time I nervously passed one of them. I know how Simon feels. We have been made prisoners in our own home.
Erin was extremely concerned as well. At one point she said, “Mommy, I think we should say a prayer for Simon.” Good idea, it didn’t even cross my mind. She later asked, “Do you think Jesus can make the fur grow back on Simon’s face?” After the prayer she looked out at him and declared that he was looking a lot better and it was because of the prayer. Honestly, her childlike faith brought a tear to my eye.
But here's the thing. What are we supposed to do about Simon now? We can't keep him inside or he'd go crazy, yet every time he goes outside he gets terrorized or injured. Our other cat doesn't have this problem, but then again, he also knows he's a cat and stealthily makes his way through the bushes as he should instead of sprawling out on the front lawn like an 18 pound target. Will Simon eventually just learn? Will he live in fear the rest of his life? Will he just keep getting injured? One last question, just how bad/illegal would it be for Jared and his friends to do some paintball target practice in you-know-who's general direction? Just exploring my options.