Jim-Bob (the two-year-old kitty who's missing his left hind foot because of a birth accident) is going through a rebellious phase. About a week ago, for instance, he got his ear pierced.
Lately, he wants to forego his house cat status and become a barn cat like his half-siblings, Sherman and Spotz. With their mama Twiggy, Sherman and Spotz hang out on farm equipment and do other fun stuff.
Jim-Bob has been watching from the edge of the pasture as they inspect the flatbed trailer.
He's been watching them in action as they do field work.
He even sat on a hay bale to get a different perspective.
He contemplated a bale from another angle while half-brother Sherman inspected the pasture.
Jim-Bob envies the barn cats their freedom to come and go. He hates that he has a curfew and has to be inside before dark.
Lately, he's been picking fights with another cat—Ab from next door. Ab often invites himself to breakfast and supper with the barn cats. Sherman has challenged him, and so has Jim-Bob. That's probably how Jim-Bob got his ear pierced.
Saturday, Jim-Bob came in with a swollen paw, and he was limping more than usual. He spent most of Sunday confined to the house. Since he doesn't have a paw to spare, he went to the vet's on Monday. The vet said the puncture on his paw was probably from fighting. He received an injection of antibiotics and wasn't happy about it.
As soon has he was back home, he rolled joyously in the grass. Then he disappeared.
Monday evening, Jim-Bob missed his curfew. His mama Olivia waited up for him, but he didn't come in.
HIs sister Chloe was so worried that she was a basket case.
Way after dark, he still hadn't shown up. Across the cow pasture, coyotes howled. Everyone assumed the worst.
Morning came and still no Jim-Bob. Chloe and Dylan had slept by the door to let him in if he returned. From the state of Chloe's quilt, she apparently tossed and turned all night.
Jim-Bob wasn't waiting on the deck to get in. He didn't show up when the procession of house cats went out for their morning constitutional. He wasn't with the barn cats when they were served their breakfast. There was no trace of him anywhere. His humans left for Kroger's and assumed he'd be back when they returned. He wasn't.
Finally, a little after 2:00 PM, a "meow
-meow-MEOW" sound was heard on the deck. Soon a tired Jim-Bob appeared at the door. He didn't mention where he'd been or what he'd been doing. But he ate a hearty late lunch. (Note: When the prodigal cat returned, we didn't slay a fatted calf. But we did open a can of Friskies cat food.
) Then he took a long nap.
We don't know how to handle Jim,-Bob's rebellious phase. What will he do next? Get a tattoo? Get a stud or ring for his pierced paw? Roll catnip joints?
Take to strong drink?
Should we get him a cellphone so he could call in periodically if he violates curfew again? Or would he just text other cats and ignore us if we called?