"But cats to me are strange, so strange I cannot sleep if one is near." ~ W. H. Davies

Growing up in the country, we always had a barn cat or two. They were not particularly domesticated. They liked to kill things and leave the carcasses by the back door. I wasn't exactly fond of cats, but I did not 'dislike' them either. Until I took a kitten to college with me during my third year. That cat destroyed my plants, tortured my roommate (who later confessed she often pulled the cat's tail) and failed to win over the affections of an erstwhile boyfriend. So the kitten was shipped back home to the country to become, yes, a barn cat. I heard she ran away.

From that point on, I became a dogs only person. My younger sister also disliked cats. This fact became a huge joke between us when my sister entered a veterinary program. She vowed she would never treat cats. We even re-wrote the Eagles hit "Hotel California" - it became "Hotel Catifornia" and the lyrics said something like: 'you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave .....!' We made up false sympathy cards for clients whose beloved cats 'mysteriously grew ill and died' whilst being treated at her 'Hotel Catifornia.'

I know. All you cat lovers are hissing and booing me. That's okay. This tail has a twist.

In need of additional income to open her own veterinary clinic, my sister took a second job working for ...... Yep. A cat clinic. A cat - loving clinic. I don't know what they did to her there, but she changed. Oh yes. My cat-hating sister decided she would treat both dogs AND cats at her newly opened clinic. It's a slippery slope my friends. Stray cats were brought in needing food and care. No one wanted them. My sister bought a farm. The farm has a number of barns. You can see where this is going: barn cats.

When I visited her this past summer, my little cat-hating sis, the veteranarian, had FOUR, yes 4 BIG CATS wandering in and out of her HOUSE ?!! Oh, and one barn cat who stays at the barn. Sigh. Okay, maybe I petted one of her cats just to prove that I could be the bigger (dogs only) person.

But I still think cats and their people are strange !



soubriquet said...

When I was about 5 or 6 years old, we were visiting one of the many sets of farming relatives, and of course there was the usual heap of kittens cluttering up the place. house/barn cat, by the name of "Not Now", had reaped the benefits of her regular orgiastic exercises with barn tom, "Aly Khan". Uncle George was threatening to dispose of the kittens in the way farmers dispose of nuisances. So, my father, following whiny begging from my sister, agreed to take a ginger tom kitten.
George told his wife that 'something had to be done' about the plethora of cats and the regular harvest of kittens. Aly Khan's fate was sealed. After a visit to the vet, and the unkindest cut of all, Aly Khan became Aly Khan't.
Our ginger cat, whose name never evolved further than 'Ginger', did not get the same treatment, so he became a roamer, an absent father to myriads of kittens, night time lover of ladycats far and wide. Many families thought they owned him, because he would slip into houses, partake of meals, sleep on sofas, and generally freeload wherever he could. And then of course, after a while, he'd slip out into the night, and be gone, leaving your Kitty pregnant.
He came 'home' to us for rest and recuperation, and to have his wounds washed and dressed after an unsuccessful fight, but then, after a week or too, the call of the wild would lure him away, swashbuckling into another tabby's life.
For miles around, ginger kittens were born.
Then he went, and never returned. We always assumed he'd misjudged a road crossing, but we'll never know. Perhaps he settled down somewhere, with a Tabitha, or a Kitty, hanging up his wild years.
Or perhaps an angry farmer with a shotgun, and too many kittens ended his career as a lover.

Whatever. I'm not a cat person.

Maybe that damn freeloader's the reason why.

red dirt girl said...

Soubry ~ that's a great cat story! I think 'Ginger Tom' probably describes a great number of human male tom cats as well: How can you trust an animal that continually appears and disappears from your life? ...

Love the line: Aly Khan became Aly Khan't.

I suspect this won't be a popular blog post. I bet it's already in circulation as seditious cat propaganda by the We Love Our Cats foundation. Guess I better get ready for a preponderance of dead carcasses left at my front door - or being pelted with kitty litter when I go out in public!


Adullamite said...

I love your sister! Cats are good! The best pet anyone could ever have!

red dirt girl said...

Hi Adullamite ~ I'll make sure to let my sis know she has a new fan !


goatman said...

Cats'll teach you patience. Waiting by the door, she wants to go out, or does she, carefully scoping out the dangers -- maybe, will she . . . no maybe later.
And if you ever abuse, the cat will never forget and will eat you after you die alone.
And they are moody little suckers so you never know.
But they are a trip in the end!

red dirt girl said...

Hi goatman ~ It's that line, right there:

And if you ever abuse, the cat will never forget and will eat you after you die alone.

that makes me very wary of felines. How can you stand being sized up as lunch or dinner by an animal you trust as a pet?? Let's just say I'll respect your space and you, cat, you respect mine!