Life is Simple: And now, even more so

Jerry Crownover

I’m really more of a dog person than I am a cat person, even though I’ve had both for most of my life. The reason is simple. A dog will always act like it loves you whether it does or not, while a cat acts like … well … a cat.

We have both animals here on the farm, and I’d like to say we do so out of necessity, but deep down, I know that’s not true with my current dog. Bernie looks like a cow dog, but all she really does is ride in the truck or UTV and provide companionship to whoever is driving. She does make life miserable for the squirrels in our yard (though she has never caught one in her life) and chases the cows away if they get too close to the fence around our house. But, concerning the companionship trait, I’ve had no dog that was better.

The only cat we have left is a necessity at our place. Rocky is a yellow tomcat who has called our farm home for the past 16 years and is a mouse-eating machine. Since we have three barns within walking distance of the house, I’m convinced the buildings would be overrun with mice who are looking to overtake the garage and house, if not for the old cat. But, given his age, we know his retirement is just around the corner, so my wife spoke up for a couple of replacements offered by one of our good neighbors. They arrived last week.

On Sunday afternoon, Alicia and her daughter Macy delivered two cute, calico kittens confined in a pet carrier. I retrieved an old wire chicken cage from the barn so we could put them in it for a few days, until they became acclimated to the new surroundings. 

Macy, an adorable 5-year old, informed us that the cats’ names were Fatty and Crazy, while her mother warned us that they hadn’t been handled much. Judy assured them that she could “tame them right down.” 

As the neighbors drove away, Judy and I were sitting on the front porch admiring the new cats and hoping they would become skilled mousers, just as Rocky has been for so many years, when my wife blurted out, “I’m going to get one out of the cage and start getting them used to us.”

I advised her against that action and suggested that they needed a little more time to settle in before she removed either from the cage. Both the kittens still seemed nervous, and observation told me that Crazy had been aptly named by the little neighbor girl. As usual, Judy didn’t pay any attention to my advice.

She removed Crazy from the cage, placed the critter in her lap and began to gently caress and talk to the kitten. The cat tolerated the contact but failed to start purring as contented cats are wont to do. After a couple of minutes, my wife decided she was pushing the edge of the envelope and started to return the cat to its cage. A furious tornado of hissing, screeching, scratching and screaming ensued, and I watched as the new cat escaped from Judy’s futile grasp, jumped off the porch and disappeared around the corner of the house, leaving behind a shocked and open-mouthed woman whose arms looked like they had been run through a sausage grinder.

As I helped her clean up the blood, apply antibiotic cream and use an entire box of Band-Aids on her shredded arms, she asked me, “Why didn’t you help me?”

I shrugged. “I’m really more of a dog person.”

Copyright 2017, Jerry Crownover

Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

Phone: (417) 679-4641
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