We've got trouble, friends. Right here in Outer Hillmomba. Trouble. That starts with T which rhymes with C which stands for CAT.
We are down to three cats, you know. The three we don't really like. Mainly because they don't like us. One is the big fat tuxedo cat, the one Farmer H took to get spayed and was told that it couldn't be done. The vet could, however, castrate it. That tuxedo cat named Stockings has never forgiven us for the mistaken identity, and has proceeded, over the past 12 years, to eat his feelings.
It wasn't our fault, methinks. It was easy to mistake his identity. Tank the beagle used to hump Stockings mercilessly, and Stockings appeared a willing participant. Now Stockings looks to be normal size. He may have cat diabetes, or he may just be getting old, or the other two cats may have held an intervention concerning the communal food pan. But the trouble in Outer Hillmomba is not due to Stockings.
Another of the three mailbox cats is Dusty. She is a mostly-gray calico with crumpled ears and breathtaking green eyes. Of the three remaining cats, she is the most people-friendly. We know, because she runs to the food pan and tries to keep me from giving my sweet, sweet Juno a handful of cat kibble, and waits for the garage door to open so she can run inside and jump clawingly onto T-Hoe's hood. Dusty is not the main source of trouble in Outer Hillmomba.
No, my friends. The trouble in Outer Hillmomba is due to Simba. He's a tan tiger stripe with an attitude. It all started when he was the runt of this mailbox litter that the #1 son made us take in. We made the other cats stop picking on him. Petted him more. And then he started to eat. And eat. He never stopped eating. But rather than grow fat like Stockings, Simba grew up big and strong, and was soon soundly thumping the other cats. Bullying. The only one who could put him in his place was #1 son's cat, Genius, a big orange tiger fellow who was the sweetest feline ever. Sadly, now that Genius is gone, Simba has taken over. He's like the leader of a cat planet of the apes.
Anyhoo...Simba seems to have recovered. He's a regular pill. A couple days ago, he ran into the house when I opened the kitchen door. Let the record show that our cats are not indoor animals. We have never taken Simba in the house, and all at once he decided that it was part of his kingdom. It was right when we got home from school, too. No cooking smells to entice him. It was like he went loco. I hollered and tried to scoop him with my foot. I was almost successful. Then not. Then struck fear into him with my yelling, I suppose, because he ran out. The Pony came galloping up the basement steps, having just gone down to his cheap couch.
"Did a cat get in? It sounded like a cat got in!"
"Yes. But I got him out. I don't want that runny-eyed bully roaming around my kitchen!" Even though his eye is fine now.
But here's the kicker. The icing on the cake. The piece de restistance. Tonight, I opened the kitchen door (from the inside) to give my sweet, sweet Juno some grease bread that had absorbed hamburger juice from a pizza I was making for The Pony. Juno's house is a mere two feet from the door.
"Here, Juno! Here's a treat!" I saw her in her house. But Simba jumped off the rail and ran to the door. "You get out of here! Go on! Get on out of here!" I tried to persuade him by thumping on the head with that styrofoam hamburger tray. No luck. I pushed him in the face with the styrofoam hamburger tray. Still no luck. I saw Juno coming out. She'd set the record straight. There's a kerfuffle every morning on the back porch by her food pan. But no. Juno turned tail and slunk back into her house. "GET! GET!" I thumped some more with my weapon. "Juno! You need to come get your treat! He's going to eat it!" Juno saw Simba pick up a piece of grease bread and came running out to feast. She did not pick up a piece and take it into her house as she prefers. She stood her ground. I closed the door. And heard a satisfying growl and bark.
That's my sweet, sweet Juno!