So, a couple of weeks ago, in the middle of the night, I sat bolt upright in bed having heard a cat scream the most blood-curdling scream ever. I woke up yelling our outdoor cat’s name, Tito, knowing for sure the scream meant he was in the throes of death. I knew no cat could live through whatever was making it scream like that!

I went flying out of bed yelling for Tito and ran outside in my jammies to see if maybe there was a chance he was just wounded and he would come when I called. I was sure one of the huge owls had gotten him! I called his name outside of every door to the house, but the dark was silent and no Tito came running.

Tito is a vocal cat. Tito once got stuck up in one of the ancient oak trees when we first moved here. It was a rookie mistake, and the last time he climbed up in an oak tree. When I called for him and didn’t know where he was, he howled back at me. Finally, in the rain, in the dark, I realized he was trapped up in a tree. I tracked down which tree he was in, and which branch he was on, in the dark, by following his howls. Then I got a stool from inside the house, climbed up on it, coerced him down to the lowest branch that I could reach, and drug him out of the tree. My point is, he normally answers when I call.

So, back to a couple of weeks ago, as I called and called, he didn’t answer or show up. The Husband came out with a flashlight, in considerably more clothes than me, and proceeded to walk around the interior of the entire yard looking for Tito. 

The horse was staring intently into the dark of her pasture, at rapt attention. We could hear a lot of quiet bickering, which grew louder, until we realized it was raccoons having a domestic squabble in the middle of the horse’s pasture.

We were all staring into the dark and intently listening when Tito darted past my legs into the garage. I yelled for the Husband and went to inspect the cat, which didn’t have a single scratch or puncture wound on him. He was alive!

We thought nothing more of it, and chalked it up to Tito having inadvertently interrupted said raccoon squabble and perhaps got his ears boxed, leading to the blood-curdling scream that drew me out of a deep sleep. 

Well, today while mowing pasture, we found the source of the squabbling. 

An ostrich egg from the ranch next door – they raise ostriches. Stupid raccoons must have found the egg and were fighting over it that night. Tito must have walked into the midst of it. The egg was laying in the exact spot the horse had been staring at. When we called the cat that night and the Husband went down to the yard fence, it must have scared them off and they left the now rotten egg.