I've always loved catching small furry things. Actually, I've loved catching basically anything that moves, which has proved interesting on the occasions I've gone after snakes, spiders, and wild cats. (I'm surprised I still have a face.) I've even caught birds and bats. Today, though, I looked out the window to see a cat stalking a chipmunk, one animal I've never yet managed to get my hands on. (The chipmunk, not the cat.)
"Nemesis!" I yelled for my brother, forgetting that most of the house was asleep. "Wanna catch a chipmunk?"
My brother was game. I snatched up some gloves (I'd been bitten by more things than I care to remember, and I was finally learning to avoid the biting) and barreled out the door, Nemesis in my wake. In our excitement, we both forgot to grab shoes.
It was a little brisk, making me glad I'd worn jeans. Nemesis and I raced around the side of the house towards the garden, pulling up short when we saw the cat and his prey...sitting side by side.
"Okay, that's just embarrassing," I muttered. "I thought he'd have grabbed it, at least."
"I thought it would have been dead," Nemesis muttered back.
"Nah," I returned, making a wide circle and beginning to creep up on the chipmunk. "The cats usually play with them for a while before killing them."
"Still ridiculous," Nemesis snorted.
My hands had almost closed around the chipmunk, who seemed out of breath, when he decided to bolt. I yelped; Nemesis moved to cut him off, and we charged after him. The cat finally decided to get off his lazy kiester and join us as well.
Nemesis chased the chipmunk (whom I privately named Munky) out of the garden. The cat headed him into a bush. The three of us gathered around it, peering through the branches. There were no leaves yet, but it was still a lot to try to see through.
"Where'd he go?" I wondered aloud.
"There." Nemesis pointed. "He's on the branch."
Munky had indeed climbed higher and was peering out at us. I hoped he would come a little higher, thus putting him in reach of me, but the cat chose that moment to try to bat at him. The chipmunk spooked and made a flying leap out of the bushes towards the front of the house. Nemesis almost snagged him, but he ducked into another clump of bushes. We harried him around the front of the house, towards the driveway. He made a hard left at the corner and shot out in front of the garage.
The cat gave up. Nemesis and I were made of sterner stuff. Our fingers brushed him multiple times as we snatched at him and yelled orders at each other, but despite our persistence, he cleared the garage. That's about when I realized what Munky's objective was.
"The woods!" I yelled. "He's going for the woods! We gotta cut him off before he gets there or we're never gonna get him!"
Nemesis chased him around the side of a tree. I charged the border and got between Munky and the woods. He barreled straight towards me; I dropped to my knees and sat on my heels right in front of him. He dodged my hands, barreled straight between my legs, and slammed full-tilt into my feet.
I guess his next thought was Hey, any port in a storm!
"YEEEEEIIIIIIIIIIIIAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!" I screeched, springing up and grabbing at my thigh.
"What?" Nemesis demanded.
"He's IN MY PANTS!!!" I shrieked, dancing around and clutching the limb to prevent the errant beast from climbing any further. "GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT!!!!"
Munky obliged, shooting out of my pant leg and vanishing into the woods. I glared after him.
"He's on the tree there," Nemesis pointed.
"Ahh, to heck with him. He wins," I conceded with poor grace, muttering unkind things about Munky's parentage as we turned to walk back to the house.
"Did he really go up your pants?" Nemesis asked, trying to conceal his grin.
The humor of the event suddenly struck me. I giggled. "Yes," I replied solemnly. "I had a chipmunk in my pants."
We were still laughing about it ten minutes later.