Pierre comes across some surprises on Jekyll 102

This year’s stay on Jekyll gave Pierre a few interesting surprises. One morning we decided to do some shopping. Pierre went with us, of course, as he hates to be left out of anything.

After some time at the mall Pierre and I decided to wait in the car with all windows open while Rob finished up at the grocery store. There we sat, enjoying the breeze, glancing idly out the windows.

I noticed three large, black birds landing on top of the car parked beside us. These birds resembled crows but were much larger. Pierre watched them land on the car roof, then put his head out the open back window and began barking and growling at the birds.

“Stop that. You’ll scare the birds,” I told him, knowing full well that was exactly his intent.

One of the birds flew off, but Pierre was in for a surprise from the other two. The two birds hopped to the edge of the car roof closest to our back window. They both extended their necks toward Pierre and gave out loud cawing cries, jabbing their heads back and forth toward the startled dog. Pierre jumped back and huddled in the corner of the back seat, as far from the irate birds as he could get. No more growling or barking. He stared at the birds while I quickly put up both windows on that side of the car.

It was only two days later that Pierre got his second surprise. We were on our morning walk, just the two of us. Across the street from our house is a large open area of grass bordered by bushes. This grassy area leads into palmetto woods and then onto the golf course.

That morning Pierre was sniffing the bushes, hoping to find something interesting hiding there. We walked around a

clump of bushes, Pierre on his leash, and ran into something completely unexpected. There, almost nose to nose with Pierre was a large, beautiful gray cat. Pierre naturally went into cat-chasing mode, straining at the leash, barking in a loud voice, “Let me at her!”

One of his great pleasures at home is coming upon one of our cats in the back yard and giving chase. He usually corners the cat, gets his nose raked with open claws and retreats to sulk a while.

So far there was nothing unusual about this incident. I backed up, pulling Pierre along with me. Then I noticed the cat seemed perfectly calm: No humped back, no fluffed up tail, not even so much as a hiss. Instead the cat stood watching Pierre go through his nutty contortions, growling, barking, straining at the leash.

Then the cat started slowly walking toward us. This was hard to believe, a cat calmly walking toward a large dog who obviously wanted to go after it. I kept a tight hold on Pierre’s leash as the cat walked right in front of my barking dog and sedately strolled across the grass to what had to be her own front porch. There she climbed the few porch steps, sat down and began to wash her face.

Now that she knows where our dog lives, this beautiful cat comes into our yard every once in a while, sits outside the large family room window, while Pierre jumps at the window, growling and howling to get at her. The cat closes her eyes in placid contentment, knowing she is driving a large, strapping dog into furious frenzy.

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