Fortunately, I was sent a savior, in the form of a neighborhood kitty who has recently taken a shine to me. I'd set the cat loose a couple times after being cornered by Tanner, so now we have some sort of bond, and in the last week or so, she's often looking for me when I get home. And after I'd been sitting outside the front door for about twenty minutes, my feline friend came by, giving me the perfect cover: I was sitting outside the door so that I could pet the kitty. I think Mom thought the scene didn't quite seem right, but I was not conclusively shown to be a fool, so I was happy.
I was also thinking that kitty needs a name. I think she's a girl (although the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence, she doesn't seem to have male genitalia), so I decided on the name Sable. I actually came up with a good name while attending a Dave Alvin concert last night, but couldn't remember it in the morning (yes, I stand around thinking up names for kitties while attending concerts by rock 'n' roll combos--yet another window into my soul, courtesy of Blogger). But whatever name slipped into the ether, I do think the name Sable suits her, even if does sound a bit like a stripper.