barking up the wrong tree
Because it felt like the right tree at the time. But then, one day, you find out that it wasn’t, that you were supposed to be barking up an entirely different tree, the one with the cat really stuck high up there in the branches.
And that changes everything.
So you look around, find another tree. A tree that definitely has a cat in it. And you bark and you bark and you bark, and still, nothing happens.
You change your strategy.
First you stop barking and just stare. Then you pretend to look away, at other things. Later, you sit, glancing up every so often to make certain the cat is still there. Later still, you lie down, fall asleep, forget to watch for the cat at all.
Or maybe you don’t forget, but instead, you multi-task. You keep one eye open, just a crack, in case the cat makes a break for it. But then you don’t get any good sleep and that makes you cranky.
Plus, you’re getting hungry. Really hungry.
And that makes you stand up and start barking all over again.
It’s an endless, vicious cycle.
The cat, of course,