Saturday, August 25, 2012

Putting the Freeloaders Back to Work

Hick is displeases with our felines. Or, as he calls, them, "YOUR cats."

It's not like these cats are my sole pleasure in life. Like I sought them out for companionship. Lay around stroking their soft, soft fur while they caress me with their sandpapery tongues. No. I accepted one for each son from a teacher with two litters to disperse, and rescued three from the woods by the mailbox. They were duly wormed and vaccinated, and each received that very special operation to prevent proliferation. Now they roam about the grounds, drape themselves bonelessly over the porch furniture, and totally ignore us. Run from us, even. Except for Genius's cat, also named Genius, an orange tabby.

During the cooler months, our herd of cats takes up residence in the rafters of the garage. Hick has put down plywood across the trusses. Not for the cats' pleasure. For storing the yard Santa, the fake Christmas tree, tubs of who-knows-what, and pet carriers. When not tightropewalking along the two-by-fours, dangling tails off the plywood platforms, or sharpening their claws on a piece of carpet remnant, these thankless freeloaders pace back and forth across the hood of my black Tahoe. At least that's what I deduce from the footprints. When I pull into the garage, my heart is often stopped by the PLUNK of a cat onto the roof. I'm a stepping-stone, you see. From plywood to beam to open garage door to Tahoe roof to Tahoe hood to floor. It's a choreographed critter ballet.

The cats don't drop onto Hick's roof. His Pacifica has a lower profile. Last week, Hick took exception to our less-than-loving felines. "I'm gonna kill me a couple of cats." Knowing Hick, I did not take this literally. First, he would have to catch them. Then get them away from the house to fill them with lead. Then bury the carcasses. So I figured what he was really trying to say was, "I am totally pissed to the max at these darn cats!"

When further questioned about the issue, Hick revealed the catalyst for his comment. "I pulled into the garage and sat in my car for a minute. I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I waited. There is was again. A mouse running up and down the wall! Those lazy cats need to start killing the mice! What's the use of a cat if it won't kill mice?"

My cats used to kill mice. Really. They would play with it a while before one of them ate it. And they always left the liver on the porch. Maybe if Hick would stop feeding them so much, then griping about how much it costs to feed them, they would snack on mice again.

I haven't noticed the goats killing any mice.


  1. We have classes for our cats here in the big city. They cannot be adopted from the Humane Society until they have graduated with flying colors.

    The coursework includes:

    Roach Rodeo--The felines learn to ride 'em, play with 'em and then crunch 'em up. (Here in BigCityLand, we have roaches big enough to saddle.)

    Pitbull Palooza--The kitties practice defending themselves against loose dogs, including pitbulls.

    Rat Eradication--Here in BCL, we don't mess with anything as trivial as mice. We have rats that would make Michael Jackson's "Ben" look like a steroid-deprived bully-magnet. Our cats learn to kill rats, slice off their fur, and make them into muffs and fur hats for Barbie dolls.

    Send those lazy lunks to us. We'll whip them into shape.

  2. Lousy mousers, huh? Maybe they'd eaten their fill. Be careful, be very careful in the barn.

  3. Sioux,
    Pretty stringent regulations for something you could get for free from a box out front of Walmart. You wacky city denizens!

    My cats prefer moths to roaches. I think it's that powdered coating. Like little white donuts.

    Don't know if my felines could pass the pit bull test. But scrappy little Juno had so many gouges on her face she looked like she had freckles. That's before she learned that cats don't like their extremities used as chew toys.

    Country cats don't go after rats. They jump from mice to rabbits. It's a real workout for them to drag their kill around the yard. They're so exhausted that the dogs take it away. Barbie's wardrobe suffers. The makings of her muffs and hats blow willy-nilly across the yard.

    Funny you should mention the barn. A story reared its head over there this morning...