Monday, January 24, 2011

A man, two cats, a trio of raccoons, and the possibility of violence

Think of a relationship, one of your relationships, that befits the label "symbiotic". Spend a moment thinking about how it works... please.

Look away, you're thinking about a symbiotic relationship.

Okay, now (as you continue to generously indulge my ramblings) imagine a specific threat — hell, a specific grave threat — to that symbiotic relationship. And, maybe take a moment to think about how you might respond to that threat. Thanks.

Dispiritingly, I have violent tendencies. Last night, my two cats were part of a six animal showdown (please note who is labeling this encounter a "showdown", like we were in a John Wayne movie). It was about 4 o'clock in the morning, I'm awkwardly grasping a 3 wood, the cats are tense but controlled, and the three raccoons are foraging through the front yard — we all would have fit into a soccer goal... close quarters, indeed.

It was, I'm sure, a hilarious scene. I'm fucking talking...right, of all things to do, I'm out there — ostensibly trying to keep my cats from getting maimed — and I'm fucking talking, the guy with the golf club is negotiating for a peaceful resolution: "it's oohhkayy... it's oohhkayy... ignore the golf club, I'm your friend." The raccoons backtracked a step or two — no more — and I was able to scoop up one cat while the other ran away to safety (which is to say, away from me).

You see, for years the cats have coexisted with the raccoons. And for years I have interpreted that fact as a fluke. In daylight, I give it no thought. I'm not calling the parks department, or whatever. I'm not setting traps. I'm not planning to fix the raccoon problem. Because, well... there isn't a raccoon problem... at least not then. Not through a reasonable scope. No, it is fear, an intense fear of losing the emotionally enriching bounty of a symbiotic relationship — that induces the problem.

I may be able to think in a fashion that suits me, something I like when I look in the mirror. But my behavior — how I go when I'm not thinking — is a mess... brutish. Everything I don't like, I embody.