I saw Fred Durst fleetingly in the days that followed, just enough so I wasn’t so concerned about him. His obvious and hateful flaws aside, I really was sad that cat experiment #2 hadn’t gone so well, but the food I left out for him disappeared each morning, and so, grudgingly, I thought that ours was a pretty good compromise. We’d just had a savvy, streetwise, barncat, tomcat on our hands, I told myself. (I also considered how Durst might have taken into account my promises to “get him snipped” each time he misbehaved when he began to deliberately stay away but still survive by the will of my good graces.) But the days passed, the house , slowly, began to recover, and we all went on with our lives.
Until the day we saw Durst again.
Jake and I were walking home from campus, through the alleyway, when we heard a great deal of barking. We peered over a neighbor’s back fence and witnessed a scene that was both horrible and hilarious, in terms of revenge. Three dogs, bodies writhing, thrusting up against the sides of a toolshed, Fred Durst, precariously atop aforementioned toolshed, looking nervous.
Jake gallantly climbed the only tree with limbs extending from the alley to the yard, and using some sort of mysterious combination of balance and flexibility, scooped our discarded kitty from danger. He handed Fred Durst down to me, waiting on the ground below, where Durst promptly scratched my hand, drawing blood (I should mention that I still bear this scar). Frustrated, but trying to be cheerful (this represents how we dealt with each of Fred Durst’s outbursts), we returned home, patted the kitty, and gave him some dinner. About five minutes later Fred Durst purposefully peed all over the kitchen radiator. I swear he gave us the finger. Paw. Whatever.
“ALL RIGHT DURST. THAT’S IT.”
And he was out. Again. We’d saved him twice, we’d forgiven him time and time again, we’d paid his vet bill and bought him food (I even buy the natural cat food, COME ON) and gave him a safe place to sleep and he’d shat, literally shat, on everything I loved and even some things I didn’t love so much but I was still really mad. Good riddance.
Two days later we received three feet of snowfall, Juniata had its first set of class-cancellations in about a hundred years, I co-built a snow-cave, and we never saw Fred Durst again.
The mystery pervades.