The Chronicles of Mingo

Please Don’t Eat The Chihuahua

Mingo’s had an interesting week.

One of my neighbors brought over his chihuahua. This dog has been raised with cats, but he only weighs about 6 lbs. and he wasn’t thrilled to meet this huge, furry, aggressive monster. Add to this his heartless, cruel, sadistic** owner dropping his leash and you have the situation below. Poor Pepe kept making little whimpering sounds.

**Adjectives can be altered after proper payment is received.

My stress level, and the stress level of my other cats, has been greatly reduced since Ming started going outside. He’s attacking them less, so they are able to catch up on their nap schedules and he’s bugging me less so I can catch up on MY nap schedule. My friend Kay, a superior cat person, gifted Mingo with a tracking device on a collar. I turn it on, it beeps and points at him. He’s astonishingly hard to locate without this especially since he likes to lurk under the deck.

However, I’m not letting him go out after dark because our neighborhood hosts a local mountain lion, or several mountain lions depending on whom you talk to, and they are more active at night. We’ve also seen coyotes, ditto, and even with a fenced yard pets have been known to vanish.

Unfortunately, (and why do I frequently begin sentences with that word? I can’t imagine) Ming is very fast. I rarely go to bed before 1 am and I opened the door to go to the garage and WHAM he was past me and out into the yard. So I cursed and turned on all the outside lights and gave him some time. But at 2 am I really wanted to go to sleep, so I armed myself with the tracker, a flashlight, and a bit of chicken to entice the damned beast back into the house.

The tracker found him, no problem. But I couldn’t get within grabbing distance, even with the chicken, and he had a fine time letting me get close and FLIT he was off down the yard, under the deck, around and around. Please visualize: it is 2 am, I’m wearing my nightie, my bathrobe, and my fuzzy slippers, stumbling up and down the yard stairs, and waving chicken. Not to mention calling “Ming! Ming!” and probably waking up the neighborhood. Thank god I didn’t name him ‘Karma’ or ‘Horny’.

I gave up, went inside, and shut all the lights off. Then I went to bed.

Pre-dawn, roughly 5:30 am, I got up. I stumbled to the door and turned on the outside lights.

Mingo trotted up the yard stairs, along the sidewalk, and into the house. He wasn’t running — he made that perfectly clear — but he certainly wasn’t sauntering either. He looked a bit…subdued. I ignored suggestions from the other cats that I serve early breakfast, locked the bedroom door, and went back to sleep.

The following night Ming showed absolutely no interest in nocturnal travel. You’d have thought the doors were solid bits of wall.

Of course, this didn’t last. He made a serious escape effort last night, but I thwarted him. ‘Thwarting’ is done by grabbing his scruff with two hands and pulling hard backwards. And it’s going to get harder as he gets bigger.

Bad News: His feet are growing again.


Mary Holland

Mary Holland writes alternative-world fantasy for grown-ups. Her books include Matcher Rules, The Bone Road, and The Dog of Pel. She lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains with three cats and an ever-changing assortment of wildlife.