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Flat cat in a sack

I’ve always believed that cats are an acquired taste. No, no, PETA people, don’t get me wrong, when I say “taste” I am not talking about eating the poor things, as they do in some protein-deficient places. I am only saying that some people grow to love felines, while other people put them in the same category as the vermin they chase. Mark Twain and my Grandmother, two of my idols, grew to love cats, while Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte and Benito Mussolini are said to have hated the furry creatures. Which I think speaks well of them. The cats I mean, not the dictators.

In Tudor times cats were burned as symbols of heresy, they are said to bring bad luck, and those who’ve read the entire book say that cats are not mentioned once in the Bible. As for me, I can take or leave them, but I get really irritated at cat lovers who insist that cats are smarter than dogs. When was the last time you saw a Siamese herd a flock of sheep or sniff out a victim trapped underneath rubble?

The attitude of Mister Flickenfloss was more in tune with Benito and Julius when it came to cats, although in some ways he was exactly like the felines he detested. For example, he could not be made to like someone or something he never cared for. If you know cats, you know how stubborn they are and how they are not open to a lot of new ideas. Mrs. Flickenfloss however, otherwise known as “Cat Woman” behind her back, cared deeply for cats and in many ways loved her cats more than her husband.



The cats of Mrs. Flickenfloss were composed of two regiments, the inside and the outside cats. Loafer was an outside cat. Don’t let his lack of access mislead you, Loafer was loved as much as any inside cat by Cat Woman, he just refused to go indoors. Loafer was what some people call a “feral” cat, although Mister Flickenfloss had other, less complimentary, names for the cat who was always underfoot.

On a monthly trip to the Flickenfloss ranch the liquid supplement salesman had just finished filling up the tubs for the cattle and was on his way out the gate when he saw a cat zip across the road. The thump told him that Loafer had finally used up the last of its nine lives. The driver, not being the kind of person to hit and run, knew that he could lose a good account over the incident. So he called Mister Flickenfloss on his cell phone, explained what had happened and asked him what he should do.



“The Cat Woman isn’t going to be very happy,” the rancher said, referring to his wife. “You know how she loves the worthless creatures. I don’t want her to come home and find the cat laying there in the road so take Loafer’s carcass into the barn and put it in an empty feed sack and I’ll take care of it when I get home.”

Usually the rancher was as emotional as a fence post but even he felt a slight sense of loss over Loafer’s demise.

You know how it is around a ranch, with more work to do that you can possibly get done? A person is apt to forget certain trivial, nonpaying tasks that might require his attention. Mister Flickenfloss had a lot on his mind and he quite naturally forgot about the flat cat in the sack. (A Dr. Seussian title if there ever was one!)

Now, Loafer was only forgotten in the sense that a Limburger sandwich left in the sofa cushions can be forgotten. Sooner or later someone is bound to notice! Two days after Loafer’s death rancher Flickenfloss heard the most bloodcurdling scream coming from the barn. It was then he remembered about the flat cat in the sack.

On the sack holding Loafer’s remains was a note bearing the logo of a feed supplement. It read, “Here’s the cat. I took care of it like you told me to do. I never liked cats much either. Good luck with the Cat Woman.”

I am told that Loafer was not the only one sacked as a result of the incident.

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