A brush with certain death

Never fond of the “slippery slope” argument for preventative forewarnings, I’m forced to acknowledge its relevance. In this case, my cat of all creatures is proving the belabored point of age-old conservatism. Well, I take that back. Ebenezer has melded together, to great effect, the notions of the slippery slope and a “false sense of security.” Combined, they spell disaster.

It all started on the infamous night before Sarah and me were to fly to Texas, the hour the Feline Grim Reaper(s) came to visit my household. I must have forgotten to smear the sheep’s blood on my doorway; the messengers of death in question were none other than two small coyotes.


There I was, working in the garage quite late on yet another project. My back was facing the open garage door. I let Ebb out into the garage to play with me. He prefers sitting at the foot of the garage, peering out into the suburban wilderness.

The fool that I am, Ebb wandered out into the vicious jungle, the call of the wild too great while his domesticity too crippling. In short, he was utterly unprepared and outnumbered by two predatory coyotes.

I heard a near silent scuffling followed by a deep growl and hiss. Ebb’s deep growl and hiss.

In a flash I bolted toward the courtyard and saw the most horrifying site I’ve ever seen. My cat, my cute little snuggly innocent cat, caught between two lean killing machines. He was terrified, I could tell by his immobilized stance. Plus one of the blood suckers had him by the throat. The second had him pinned from behind, clutching Ebb’s tail.

This all happened within the span of maybe 5-10 seconds. Without thinking, I ran straight toward them, clapping loudly and shouting. They scurried immediately. Amazingly, Ebb remained there, frozen and hissing at me. I managed to carry him inside to inspect his wounds.

Even more incredibly, he was not gushing blood anywhere. I tossed him into the pet carrier and dashed off to the pet ER. The time was 12am.

Would you believe that all of Ebb’s wounds were superficial? Neither did I. Turns out that Ebb survived with only two bad scrapes on the back of his throat and a small cut on his tail.


He also had a couple puncture holes on his stomach and side, neither of which penetrated the lower dermis.

What stroke of luck? I thanked his legion of kitty guardian angels profusely. We put Ebb on fluids, antibiotics, pain killer, and lots of snuggling.


And yet only two weeks later, Ebb and I were again in the garage (together this time, with my undivided attention), peering outside into that vast violent great outdoors. And amazingly, he remembered not his run-in with death.

I know what you’re thinking. The danger of giving him a taste of life outside of a cramped apartment will leave him wanting more. And you’re right. Naturally, he assumes that he’s as safe outside as he is inside. Together, those two temptations nearly did him in.






10 responses to “A brush with certain death”

  1. Lynda Avatar

    Hearing your story when you and Sarah were here in Texas was bad enough, but reading it slowly and with such description made it horrifying. Poor baby… and I mean Ebb!!
    Oh, by the by, we all simply ADORE Sarah. She has been unanimously accepted by all! You two are so sweet together, make a cute couple. I loved how comfortable the two of you were together. And thanks so much for letting us get to know her just a bit.

  2. Sarah Avatar

    Aw, in the last photo, little Ebby looks like he’s recovered from the traumatizing experience. In August it will be six-foot fences to keep those mean nasty coyotes away from him.

  3. Kim Avatar

    Poor Ebenezer! I’m so glad he made it through the trauma. He does look a little rough around the edges though.

  4. Mary Avatar

    Poor Ebb! It’s a good thing he has such a quick thinking owner. Geez, good thing it was coyotes who are a little scared of humans and not wolves or wildcats. Had you seen coyotes around before? I am so glad Ebb is okay.

  5. mel Avatar

    you forgot to mention how it actually paid off for eb to be … ahem, big-boned!

  6. Rob Avatar

    Ahh, yes that’s right. Ebb’s weight (15 pounds!) helped deter his abduction. The just couldn’t drag him away!

  7. Jules Avatar

    That’s funny that they have pet ER’s. I wouldn’t have thought to rush him to the doctor!

    Coyotes are very dangerous to pets. We had a little dog get chased by one and nearly killed before our eyes. I grew up with a little dachsund that was killed by a coyote when he was 12 years old. It was horrifying. Keep the garage door down.

  8. Karen Avatar

    Poor Ebb! There’s nothing worse than a pitiful cat that has been beaten up by some other animal. We had a cat that was mercilessly pecked on the head by a blue jay and we had to take him in.

    Glad he made it okay!!

  9. Ciera Avatar

    Cats must have 9 lives after all…

  10. Patti Avatar

    God, in His goodness, recues us from so many disasters. He must have had many angels around Eb, keeping him from using up another one of his 9 lives! Whew! Indoor cats live a lot longer than outdoor ones…..

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