Last night I went outside to feed the cats in the machine shed/garage when I got home from work.
Phoenix went with me. If just the gray kitty is there, he can go see her. Why she puts up with him is beyond me. If the yellow cat is there, Phoenix has to stay inside the kennel while I feed the cats. He would probably kill the yellow cat. Actually, I share his dislike of the yellow cat but don't condone random bloodshed.
I am actually impressed at Phoenix's relationship with the gray cat. She purrs and arches and rub and he pokes her and sniffs her butt and tries to squash her with a paw and occasionally nibbles on various parts. This is not affection on his part but a thinly veiled attempt to make her RUN! She refuses to run so she is the perfect cat for Phoenix.
The yellow cat is a total peckerhead.
He is an un-neutered tom cat and he is just plain mean. All attempts at taming him and being friendly have failed. He hates me. He hates the dogs. And he hates the gray cat. He beats on her every chance he gets, usually for no apparent reason. The gray cat is old. She doesn't fight back, just curls up and takes it.
So I always put down two bowls of food to prevent squabbles.
Last night, yellow cat wasn't there. Phoenix was happily molesting the gray cat, who was happily munching her food, purring and being senile. (That's the ONLY reason I can come up with for her tolerance of Phoenix.)
Then Phoenix stopped. He sniffed. He stood up on his hind legs. He got very stiff. He was sniffing the cat box that sits up on a shelf. (There are two winterized cat boxes in the garage with thick old crate pads in the bottoms and heavy blankets draped over them. Believe me, if gray cat and yellow cat can't eat out of the same bowl they aren't about to sleep in the same box.)
I figured yellow cat was hiding in the box. I grabbed Phoenix and shoved him back through the kennel door. He was now pitching a fit.
Then I grabbed the blanket over the box and yanked it back, expecting to find yellow cat.
Instead, I found an opossum (possum? opossum?).
Should have run back in the house for my camera. But I didn't. I just stared.
Opossums are not attractive.
They are pretty damn scary ugly.
And this was one angry opossum.
Phoenix tried climbing the chain link.
I dropped the blanket, snatched up yellow cat's bowl of food (sorry, you crabby ol' thing, but if you're not here when supper is served I am NOT leaving your food bowl out for opossum chow) and bolted from the garage.
Gray cat was still eating her supper in total bliss, happily free of malinois and tom cats.
The opossum was gone this morning.
Now Phoenix has a new mission in life. FIND THE CRITTER IN THE GARAGE!
I suspect it will be back. The lure of free cat food is pretty strong and it looked pretty darn cozy curled up in the cat box.
At least it probably won't fall out of the rafters and knock the outside mirror off 3PO like the raccoon did.