We have a small menagerie in our home. Four birds, two dogs and five cats. The dogs never bark at the kittens, Sputters and Nikkers; but they do bark at Brian’s cat, Durga. The other two cats just don’t bother and stay upstairs…until recently. My black cat, Smidgen, has been coming downstairs when the dogs go out and planting herself somewhere safe…top of the cat tree, dining room table and now, under the couch. How do I know? Went upstairs tonight, while husband takes knitting out to car to keep it safe from said cats. Barking begins. I count the cats in my room…3. OOPS! Husband returns from garage. Now he is yelling at the dogs: Why are you barking at the couch? The dogs are barking more. I call out and say: look for the black kitty. THIS is when all hell REALLY breaks loose: husband yelling, dogs barking AND cat scream-hissing. If you ever wondered what the definition of “caterwalling” was or about its derivation, then keep this cautionary tale in mind. Such clarity…sigh.

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