20 The pigs

HuntingTigger and I had a rather exciting day today. Early in the day we had visitors in the back yard. Two pigs wandered into the yard and spent quite some time eating and doing other things pigs are prone to do. Tigger was the first to spot them and got my attention by his level of excitement.

Later in the day I wanted to take him out in the yard but can no longer get a harness on him. The one I made for him is now way too small and the one I bought is difficult to get on him. He fights it tooth and nail (literally). Yet, I still wanted to get him out.

Playing or hunting?It occurred to me that I really am supposed to be the smarter of the two of us, though he will not agree. If I am smarter then I should be able to manage it if I put my mind to it. I let him go out without a leash. It worked out beautifully by me not trying to keep too close a reign on him. The results were great!

Once outside he began exploring at a frantic pace. I tried getting his attention with a short piece of small rope to no avail. Then I thought of just walking away from him to see what he would do. He let me get a little distance away and then came after me and ran past me. Now, whenever he is getting into something I would rather he not get into I simply turn my back and walk away from him. He doesn't let me get too far away. He is keeping me on a tight leash!

He loves climbing on the little climbing post I made for him to use in the house. When we got to the front yard he spied the dogwood tree and raced to it and was near the top in a flash. Then he started down like he does with his little post only he was now about 15 feet up. He got part way down and fell the last 8 feet, however, it didn't seem to bother him at all.

I loved watching him run. He ran full out, flexing to the max. It seemed he was just enjoying the act of running as fast as he could with no walls or furniture to cause him to slow down or change direction. I could relate to the feeling as I recalled my days of soccer practice and games where it felt so good to just run as fast as I could to the point of almost losing control.

He seemed to be feeling the same with radical changes of direction caused only by his desire to push the limits. He is so strong and fast and loves to use both strength and speed to the maximum.

The story:

He was lying at the dining room screen watching the back yard.... as usual.

Pigs"Quick! Come see what is in the yard!" he yelled as he danced back and forth at the sliding door in the dining room.

I got there as fast as I could and lo and behold, there were two pigs in the yard! "Whoa! Will you look at that! The sow is really big and she has a youngster with her. I wonder if the younger one is hers or a different breed."

More pigs"Can we keep them? Can we keep them?" he asked as he continued to dance back and forth on his toes, never taking his eyes off them.

"No. I'm sure they belong to someone else. I wonder who they belong to."

"Please... please... I want to keep them." he insisted.

Still more pigs

"Look at what the sow is doing in our yard! You want to keep them and have them making messes in our yard?"

"You could get them a big litter box. Then you wouldn't have to be bothered with it at all."

"How do you figure that?"

"Well, you fixed me a litter box and that takes care of everything for you doesn't it?"

"I don't think so. How does your litter box get cleaned?"

"Uh... Oh yeah. I guess you do that don't you."

"As a matter of fact, I do. I don't mind though. But I don't think I would like taking care of a big litter box for a couple of hogs though."

"Hogs? I thought they are pigs."

At his screen ovservation post"They are. Pigs are sometimes called hogs too."

"Do they mind?"

"Why should they?"

"'Hog' sounds.... I don't know.... not very smart or something. I think 'pig' sounds much better. Of course neither one sounds as smart as a cat."

"Does anything sound as smart as a cat?"

"No.. of course not. Cats are the smartest things around." he said as he pranced around and fluffed the hair on his cheeks.

"Mm-hmm... So you say. Now, why would you have wanted to keep them in the first place?"

"Oh, I just thought... you know... they look so... " he stammered as he crouched and switched his tail back and forth.

"You were thinking they looked like a good meal... weren't you?"

"Of course."

"What makes you think you could take down that great big pig. She's probably about 100 times as big as you."

"But I'm a cat."

"Right. That says it all."

We watched the pigs in the yard until they wandered into the next yard and out of sight. I wanted to get Tigger outside but without a harness that would fit him thought he might get in trouble. Finally I decided to just go for it and see what happened.

"Lets go for a walk outside." I called.

He was at the door like a shot! He danced around, his tail up like a flagpole. I opened the door and he shot out of the house. He stopped and looked around in surprise at being outside and not on a leash.

He looked back over his shoulder. "You forgot to put my harness on me." he said.

"No. I didn't forget. I thought we would try it without the harness this time."

"Thanks. Does that mean I can run as far and fast as I want and go anywhere I want?"

"Sort of." I said, not wanting him to get too carried away with his freedom.

What a runnerHe shot off into the yard and went straight for a clump of dead stalks of flowers. He dove right into them and began pouncing on things, real or imagined. I let him have fun in the clump for some time and then started walking away into the middle of the yard. I hadn't gone far when he shot past me.

"Didn't want me to get too far away did you?" I asked.

"No. I have to keep a close eye on you." he replied.

"Oh. OK. I will try not to get too far away from you then." I said, willing to let him think I didn't know he was afraid to be too far from me. It is a big yard and could have anything in it... and does. He dashed back and forth around the yard, running at top speed and spinning and turning on a dime. He seemed to be delirious with the freedom to just run.

"Are you having fun running?" I asked.

"Boy, I sure am. This is great! I can run as fast as I want and not run into things. I bump into things in the house you know."

"Oh I know... boy do I know. Sometimes the something you bump into is me."

In the tree"Yeah... sorry. I just like going fast. Sometimes I just feel a need for speed. Hey! Look at that big climbing post." he said as he dashed to the dogwood tree and shot up it. "This is great! I can see the whole world from up here."

"It must seem that way from that high up. Now, how are you going to get down?"

"Don't worry. I do this all the time with my climbing post in the house you know." he said as he began a head first descent. That worked for a short distance and then he fell the last 8 feet.

He loves trees"Are you OK? That was quite a fall." I asked.

"Sure. I meant to do that. It was easy." he answered as he groomed himself partly to be able to check himself out without letting me know he was doing it. Just then the big dog next door began to bark. He was back at the house and around the corner before I could even look around to see how he would react. I followed and found him sitting just around the corner as if nothing had happened.

"You ready to go back in now?" I asked.

"Sure... I think you've been out long enough...." he said as he glanced back in the direction of the barking dog....

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