The cat burglar | TSLN.com

The cat burglar

Baxter Black, DVM

The Discovery Channel and Animal Planet have now exposed our suburban children to the dog-eat-dog reality of nature. Despite the stark images, I applaud their philosophy that it is important to show the unbreakable connection of life and death in Earth’s giant panorama.

It allows the biologically innocent a significantly deeper understanding of the world than their daily doses of virtual mass shootings, bombing, zappings and killings that video games, TV and movies provide. Farm kids who are raised with both domestic and wild animals make this profound connection earlier. I think it is more an acceptance of mortality than a numbing of the senses.

Cowdogs and barn cats on farms are often functional as well as pets, but they are prey to the coyote, the lion, the hawk, wolf and the occasional man-made contraption.

A young couple, we’ll call them Lafe and Annika, left their dairy farm in Freeland, SD to do some shopping at America’s biggest mall in the Minneapolis area. They stopped to breakfast and pick up her folks. All loaded and departed. It was a cool, brisk clear-sky day.

Down the road a mile Annika commented on a strong unpleasant odor. Grandpa denied. Maybe some road kill they passed or a cow carcass, they thought. Once on the freeway the smell dissipated some. As they drew closer to their destination the wisps of smell changed from a pungent acid bowel bouquet to the aroma of a burnt hair and Valvoline clambake!

In the mall parking lot Lafe popped the hood. Suffice it to say, the scene was as gruesome as Freddie Kruger’s barbecue! Grandma recognized the remnants of one of the barn cats. From the evidence on the fan she remarked that “at least death was instantaneous… 3000 rpms will do that.”

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They put the scrapeable pieces in a shopping bag and Grandma started for the trash can. From out of nowhere a shady lady in a long coat raced by Granny, grabbed the bag and ran inside! Lafe was right behind the thief and chased her to a public women’s restroom. He stood outside the door banging on it. The mall police arrived just as a spine-tingling scream erupted from inside!

Within 10 minutes the paramedics loaded the unconscious woman on a gurney and strapped her down. “Fainted,” they said to the crowd, “Fell, maybe even a neck injury.”

They were halfway to the exit when a good Samaritan came running after, “Wait a minute!” she hollered, “You forgot her shopping bag!”

“Thanks,” said the EMT, as he set it down on top of the comatose bump-and-run robber, “Smells like she’s been to the pet store.”