And I blame the frog.

As I tip-toed out of my apartment, I left the door ajar, which was my first mistake.

My second mistake has little to do with my leaving the door ajar, or the fact that there was a FROG in my building, hopping randomly amongst the stairs, and I HAD to go see it, but more to do with my raising of a Cat Who Hates The Hand That Feeds Her.

Chicken attempted an escape Saturday night.

Now back to the frog, which was in my BUILDING, and in case you didn't read that - A FROG. IN MY OLD, DECREPIT APARTMENT BUILDING. RIBBIT. Much like that, yes. So anyhow, more on the frog in another blog to come (Oh, I have pictures!) and back to Chicken, Oh, Being of Hatred.

I, of course, had to score proof of Apartment Amphibian, and therefore grabbed my camera, snuck out of my apartment and tip-toed to the stairwell. (Insert lots of "Oh, HI, little froggy," and "You're so cute, why are you here?" and general squealing, here).

Meanwhile, back at the ranch. Chicken is planning her escape.

Door? Is that an open door? Did that evil, stupid, crazy woman who feeds me and loves me and pets me and scoops my waste and names me after an avian farm creature leave the door open? I shall escape. Now. Harley, be strong. Farewell, my apprentice.

Cut back to me, still cooing over Kermit. Satisfied with my collection of Frog Photography, I head back up the stairs to my apartment, leaving Frog Foreigner to hop about in the basement. (Seriously? A frog?) As I push open the slightly-ajar door...

SHE TAKES OFF. Like a bat out of Hell. She looks left. She looks right. FREEDOM!

Her eyes shone bright with the dreams of a feral cat, left to forage through dumpsters, endure abuse by neighborhood kids and dodge traffic. Peeing in the streets. Sleeping in the cold. Oh, the life that lies ahead! As her pea-sized brain contemplates whether to bolt up the stairs, or down the stairs (where she'd find a FROG) or down the hallway, I grasp her around the middle, shocked and appalled.

Her dreams were crushed. She was defeated. Chicken had struck out.

"Mother Chuck, this is no way to behave. I let you live," I scolded. Mother Chuck is one of several pet names I've given her. My pet cat. Whom I've named Chicken. After a barnyard animal. And forced to cohabitate and share a litterbox with a small-ish cat being who wretches at the sight of ranch dressing and tries to climb walls.

Now that I think about this, I'm sorry, Chicken.

Maybe I'll let her go next time.