Simon, our cat, has terribly crossed eyes. He was a "house-warming" gift to Jeremy when he bought this house. Meaning: I really wanted a cat. Jeremy laid the ground rules for choosing the right kitten. He planned to stick his arm into the cage at the animal shelter, and the first kitten to crawl into his hand would win a ticket to our place. I figured it was only fair that we both get to stick our arms in there. A tiny tabby crawled into the palm of Jer's hand and her brother, a cross-eyed tabby/siamese kitten, batted my finger with his paw. Sold. The one-kitten house warming gift turned into two. The rest is history. We lost Cecilia, Jer's cat, years ago. But her brother Simon remains a fixture, nay - a menace, around this place. The thing is, Simon's got territory issues.
So really, I should have known better than to spray paint various items in the backyard and then leave them unattended for hours. Anything that enters Simon's front or backyard stomping grounds must immediately be entered into his complex filing system. Items arrive in his territory (car in the driveway, stray flip flop on the sidewalk, empty cooler draining in the front year - you get the picture) and Simon emerges from the neighbors bushes in order to quickly mark the object and add it to his coffers. Regardless of those severely crossed-eyes, the cat's got dead-on aim when it comes to marking his territory. He backs right up to the thing, tail straight in the air, intense focus in the eyes, and out squirts a stream of pee bulls-eye onto the object: "Mine!" The light fixtures and oven hood that I'd painted in the yard were no better protected from Simon's filing system than any of the car tires or shoes that he's claimed over the years. I know this, but in my idiocy, I still left them out there, inviting him to stake his claim. OH, and stake he did. In 10pm darkness I finally remembered to retrieve the oven hood, bent over to grab it and felt warm liquid pour off the bottom rim, over my fingers and down my elbow. "GRRDDAAMMITTTSIMMMMONNN!" I shouted, as our stealthy antagonist slunk by my leg and trotted under the porch.