Sunday, July 29, 2012

I Do Not Hate Cats

Ok, some people may have gotten the idea that I don't like cats, from my post the other day.

The truth is, with a few exceptions, they are probably my favorite animals out of the bunch. 
There's just never enough meat on them to share.

Really though, I am probably the most pro-... feline (that's the word I was gonna use) person you will ever find. The bigger the better! I wish I had the money and facilities to run a big cat rescue (for BIG cats not lots of little ones).

I don't remember ever not having a cat at least nearby. They have all had very interesting and unique personalities. And I thought I'd tell you about a few of them.

First, there was Tom. He was my grandmother's mouser when I was a baby. Tom weighed about 15 pounds and to say he was ill tempered is like saying Charles Mansion has a few socialization issues.
Tom also had a hole in his throat where something had attacked him as a kitten (a opossum we think) the hole never healed and because of it he couldn't meow properly. Instead he made a funny chirping noise. We also had to keep newspaper down around his bowl because whenever he ate or drank, it would drip from the hole. I saw Tom leave everyone who ever tried to pet him bloody. Except me. For some reason he liked me. I could even pet him while he ate. He'd growl... or at least try to, but he'd put up with it. I guess because even back then I was adorable. Tom was one of those cats of legend, he never really died. He just wasn't there any more after a while. I think he's still stalking those woods somewhere.

Later on, we got a cat from a friend named Ezra. We called her Easy B, maybe that's a Southern thing. 
But she wasn't quite right. Maybe it was because the previous owner thought it was funny to blow shotguns in her ear (it was the 70's.) Now if you don't know what that is, please don't go looking it up! I get blamed for corrupting too many people as it is. But whatever the reason, Easy was a little "off," but still a good cat. She just laid around a lot. and one day, after her first batch of kittens were grown, she climbed up the big oak tree by the front porch and never came down. I think she much have come down at night for water. Mom always left a bowl at the base of the tree for her. But I never saw her on the ground for, I know, two years.

Now, those kittens she had... I made a mistake with them, but I learned a valuable lesson.
If you ever want a real, honest to God, rodent eradication machine I can tell you how to do it. I mean the kind of barn cat that will take down anything smaller than a mule, and can back a St. Bernard on a corner and make it wet itself and walk away grinning!
You see, it was a matter of timing. Those cats were just getting weened about deer season. So the first solid food they ate was scraps from processing a deer. And that was all they ate for the first month or so. And some say it ruined them. Personally I thought it perfected them! You couldn't touch them and they wouldn't eat "store bought food" but they stayed close by. Of course after a while I'd look up in the sky and see song birds fly in a wide arc to avoid even flying over our property. But I'm telling you those cats were better than Ninja Guard Dogs.

After that came Garfield I and Garfield II

Garfield I wasn't particularly remarkable. But I think he was gay. and he use to try to catch the little ship that ran across the top of the screen when we played Space Invaders.

Garfield II was a bit more remarkable.
He grew up with my wolf pup, Harley(more on him later, I'm sure). and they acted like typical brothers, which was entertaining enough. But then it got better. For a while we had a problem with dead Opossums in the yard. like every week. This confused me, because I knew harley couldn't climb trees and Garfield wasn't big enough to kill one and drag if the 200 yards or so from the edge of the woods to the yard.
Finally one night I was up watching TV and heard Harley tearing ass down the hill. So I got up to see what was going on.
I saw Harley circling a tree like a coon dog, and G2 jogging down the hill toward him.
When he got there G2 went straight up the tree and after a good bit of commotion and limb rattling I saw a opossum hit the ground running. Well, lumbering, maybe even limping... doesn't matter, he wasn't going to outrun a dog that weighed 85 pounds and was mostly leg. He was done for. In fact, he was done before G2 was even back on the ground. Then they high-fived one another and Harley brought the nasty critter back to the yard and they batted it around like a soccer ball for about 30 minutes before deciding to go find a new game.

But probably my all-time favorite cat wasn't even one of mine. 
LeShot was not only the baddest cat, but the baddest animal I have ever known. We called him Shots for short and he belonged to the Thayer family who lived next door to my grandparents. Shots was all boy cat. Hell he was the He-Man of cats. A proverbial feline Chuck Norris! By the time he was an adult his ears had been bitten and clawed down to about 3/8" from the top of his head, and at point he came home with an eye pulled out of socket and dangling on his cheek. I think that was the day he kicked the Honey Badger's ass.

Shots also killed one of these!

At the end of the road, one of the other neighbors had a Grand Torino, it looked just like the Starsky and Hutch Car and he drove it like he was auditioning to be a driver for the show. Shots didn't like that, cause there were kids around. So he would regularly head up the hill about 5 minutes before Mr. Kozart would come power-sliding the turn onto our road and wait in the middle of the road. And with 3,500 pounds of growling, angry, dust throwing red and white furry barreling down on him, he'd sit calmly licking one paw, claws out and gleaning in the afternoon sun, and his one eye glaring at the grill of that car... about the third time this happened, the Torino wound up in the ditch and Mr. Kozart bought a big old Ford Bronco that he drove a lot slower.
But by far the most amazing thing I ever saw Shots do, and thank God there was a witness, was one day when and friend and I were squirrel hunting. Now, I've had a few cats who would follow me hunting or walking through the woods, and Shots was one of them. But this day I shot a squirrel on the run and winged it. It jumped into a gully full of kudzu and vanished.
Now it was mid September and the kudzu was still going full-tilt-boogey. Dave and I looked at each other and decided that neither of us was wading off in that snake and spider infested weed pile to get that squirrel and started walking a bit further down the trail. Several yards later we stopped again looking for movement in the trees and I felt something hit my foot. I looked down to see Shots holding that squirrel, still barely alive, by the neck at my feet.
Man I miss that cat.

And while we're on the subject I came home the other night to four new kittens courtesy of Jo-Jo and Momma cat. Who wants one? 

Who wants one? They make great doggie snax, targets, fish bait.
Hell, they're even good in stews and casseroles.


  1. *OFG ceremoniously enters the cats mentioned above as honorary members of The Insane Cat Posse*

    thats the way to get 'er done, brother, thats the way.

  2. Right now I'm working on turning not-the-momma-cat into a herding cat. She follows me when I walk the goats.