Whitesburg KY

Will it be the cat or the rat?

I heard a fellow one time on a TV show telling tales. He said he had an old hound dog that had to be the laziest critter that ever lived. It would stand and lean against a tree to bark or simply lie down and bark.

We had a cat one time when our children were small that was about as lazy. It just had a stub where its tail should have been. He was so lazy all he wanted to do was play with the kids. When he wasn’t playing with the kids, he was stretched out somewhere doing his favorite thing, sleeping. His favorite spot was on top of the furnace duct work.

The kids also had a little dog not as big as the cat. They had raised it from a pup. They had a pet raccoon, took, called Raskus. We didn’t have a permit to keep it so when it was grown we just allowed it to come and go as it pleased. It would go out exploring at night and be back in its bed by daylight to sleep it off, so to speak.

Every morning before the kids went to school they would check to make sure Raskus was back safely in its bed. But one morning Raskus wasn’t there. They never saw it again so it had met foul play during the night.

We had some chickens at the time and I always fed them each morning before I went to work. One morning when I went to get the feed, which I kept in a barrel in the basement, there was a huge rat in the barrel. I didn’t know how it had gotten into the barrel, but it couldn’t get out. I was ready to take a club to it when I had a brainstorm. I would find out if the cat was as lazy as it acted, or pretended to be. So I rounded up the cat and put it in the barrel with the rat.

It was in no hurry to get in with the rat, either. It acted as if it was terrified of the rat, but I got it in with the rat and covered the barrel so neither the cat or rat could escape. I decided the chickens could wait till I got home from work to eat.

All day I wondered what – if anything – would transpire while I was gone. It seemed like a simple solution to me. Would the cat kill the rat and if it did, would it eat it? Or would the rat kill the cat? I guess I expected too much out of the cat, but I always believed that was what a cat was for no matter if it was a little rat or a big one.

I was a nervous wreck by the time I got home from work wondering what was happening in the feed barrel. When I got home I made a bee line for the basement. I slowly raised the lid covering the barrel and cautiously peeked inside. And guess what had happened during my absence – not a thing. Absolutely nothing.

The cat was stretched out on its belly just watching the rat. The rat was on its belly watching the cat. I got rid of the rat and felt like dispatching the cat as well, but I knew the kids would be hurt if I did.

The kids ended up getting hurt anyway because some thoughtless individual tossed some poison over the fence into the yard and killed the cat and the little dog. I had no answers for them when they asked why anyone would kill their pets. So I just told them it was someone showing their ignorance. Ain’t it nice to have such good neighbors?

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