Laugh Tracks in the Dust 5-24-10 |

Laugh Tracks in the Dust 5-24-10

Seems that every farmstead has one barn cat or more to help keep the rodents at bay. But, occasionally, a barn cat can become a “problem” cat and must be dealt with. This story wuz told to me as true. Only the name is changed to protect the guilty (or maybe innocent). PETA members, you may not want to read any farther.

Tom Howling, had a male cat that wuz causing problems on his farm. Too many unwanted kittens. Too much loud and sleep-disrupting squalling and meowing in the middle of the night. Tom thought he had a solution for his problem cat. Neutering. 

But, Tom saw no need to send good money after bad to solve his problem with a trip to the friendly local veterinarian. Nope, Tom would just perform the needed operation himself – right there on the farm. After all, he’d castrated hundreds of calves in his lifetime. The same procedure would work on a tom cat, he reasoned. Tom knew they didn’t make squeeze chutes for felines, so he’d just need a different kind of restraint to immobilize his problem cat.

What to use? Hum-m-m, a piece of used canvass should do the trick. Tom figgered to wrap the offending cat in the canvass, tie it tight with some twine to restrain the critter. Then just expose the necessary body part for access with a sharp knife for the quick surgery. What could go wrong?

Well, as it turns out – a lot could and did go wrong. Tom didn’t reckon with the agility and temperament of a restrained barn cat. The first part went well. He successfully threw the canvass over the cat. But then it all went down hill from there.

Tom tried to hold the canvass tight around the cat with one hand while he tried to wrap twine around the “struggling bundle” with the other hand. He soon discovered he needed a third hand to tie the twine. Lacking that third hand, the whole plan began to unravel.

The working end of the cat with the teeth in it soon emerged from one end of the canvass. The cat – seeing an opportunity to afflict damage himself – grabbed Tom’s nearby leg with his claws and promptly sank his teeth into Tom’s leg – deep and with all his might.

Instant pain and blood! Poor Tom dropped his surgery plan entirely and focused solely on extricating himself from the enraged feline. I’ll bet you’ve got a clear mental picture of all this happening. Before Tom got the cat loose from his leg, Tom wuz closer to becoming neutered than the cat wuz.

The end result wuz that Tom had to make an emergency room visit to the local hospital. Plus, he had to dispatch the cat and send it away for rabies testing.

The test came back negative. Tom is healing up well. And, it’s a pretty sure bet Tom will never try to neuter a cat again. Best leave that surgery to a trained veterinarian because anesthesia is the best cat restraint going.


Last week, I mentioned Thelma from LaGrange, Colo. She ended her e-mail to me by saying that recently, while visiting her daughter, she picked up a copy of a Native American cookbook and there wuz a couple of fun recipes that she thinks folks will enjoy. 

Here the recipes are:

Roast Coot

1 Coot   

1 Red building brick    

1 pot of Water

Boil the coot and the brick for 30 minutes in the water. Drain and add more water. Boil again for 30 minutes, and drain again. Repeat as needed, until ready to eat. Throw away the coot, and eat the brick!

Native American Buffalo Stew

1 (2 year old) Buffalo, dead

1 really large pot of Gravy

2 Rabbits (optional)

Cut buffalo into chunks and boil until tender. Pour gravy over and heat. Will serve 1,992 people. If more people come, throw in the rabbits, but remember that most people don’t care for hare in their stew!

Thelma, you have the same first name as a wonderful lady from my youth who was almost a “second Mom” to me.


Guess I’m the only hard-boiled old coot left standing to finish off this column. So, I’ll do it with this funny anonymous quote about cats: “Some people say that cats are sneaky, evil, and cruel. True, and they have many other fine qualities as well.”

Have a good ‘un.

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