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Tough lesson
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Cindi    Posted 09-09-2003 at 18:49:15       [Reply]  [No Email]
Jake came into the house one evening last week, a very determined set to his shoulders.

"Mom, I'm gonna use your .410 to shoot a cat."

"What? What are you talking about?"

"There's a cat out there, and he's been eatin' the chickens."

"How do you know it was him?" I knew it was him, but I wanted to know how he knew. See if he was just making assumptions.

"I just saw him take off into the palmettos with a leghorn. I caught him in the act." Nope, no assumptions there.

By now our conversation had penetrated the television fog that Jenny was in, and she rose like the dead from the couch, a stricken expression on her face.

"Wh...what cat!?"

Jake and Jenny spare very few words to each other. They are at that age where it goes against their religion to pretend that they even like each other, so rather than answer her, he just stared at me. Her reaction to this was to dance a circle around him, trying to make eye contact.

"What cat? What cat, Jake? Moooom!"

"Jake, answer your sister."

Heavy sigh.

"I don't know his NAME or anything.." he paused for dramatic effect.."but he's a big white stray with blue eyes."

"Noooooo! You can't shoot him! I've been feeding him! He's my friend! Mom, tell him he can't shoot the cat." She pinned hopeful eyes on me, sure that I was going to come to the rescue. Oh crap. I guess she could tell by my expression that no such rescue was forthcoming, as her sweet face drooped like icing sliding off a hot cake.

"Jenny, honey..."

Those two words was all it took. She turned and stomped off, out the front door.

I already knew this cat was killing chickens. I had found scattered feathers and carcasses and his was the only new face around. I hoped that if I let Jenny feed him that he would be satisfied with 'Happy Kitty Tender Morsels' and leave the chickens alone, but apparently he likes his vittles moist and juicy.

I leaned over and looked out the window to see Jenny squatted down by the palmettos.

"C'mon kitty, here kitty kitty!"

I guess she figured if she could get her hands on him she could pen him up, or talk to him about his bad behavior, or maybe prove somehow that he wasn't the culprit, but I knew in my heart that he was busy, off somewhere finishing off his meal, and was not going to respond.

"Well?" Jake was ready to go, all business like, matter of fact, chicken champion of Hardee County.

I sighed.

"We're gonna wait a bit."

"For what? He's the one that's doing it, mom."

"I know that son, but first you're going to get your father's permission, and then you're going to pick a time when your sister is out of earshot, and you're going to dispose of the cat immediately. No need to rub it in."

The next evening he came into the house after feeding.

"Where's Jenny?" He asked. I knew what was behind that question.

"What did you father say?" I answered with a question of my own.

"He said do it." I knew he would.

"She's in the shower. Do it now, use a slug, be accurate, get rid of it right away."

"What are you going to tell her?" Could it be that he actually cared...just a little?

"I have no idea."

A half hour later I heard Jenny scooping feed out of the cat food bag.

"Whatcha fixin' to do?"

"I'm gonna go feed that cat."

I almost chickened out and let her go. I almost let her go out there and call and call and find out the hard way that he wasn't going to come. I was incredibly tempted to take the coward's way out. I couldn't though. I knew she would be able to tell the truth with a glance into her brother's eyes or just a look at the grim set of his mouth. I had to do it the right way.

"There's no need for that, honey." I said gently.

She surprised me. I expected tears and wailing. I expected her to cry for hours and blame me and Jake and Fred and anyone else she could think of except for that mangy cat. What I got was anything other than what I expected. She was mad as a hatter. Her brow furrowed and she ranted and she raved and she yelled and she hollered and I cowered by the kitchen sink behind my dish towel out of sheer reflex. The rage that came out of this child was miraculous to behold. Back the food went into the bag, whoosh, slam went the empty bowl onto the table, huff huff puff.

"What...what are you so mad at?"

By then there was just a hint of a tear in her eye.

"That..that stupid CAT! Here I am feeding him and he has to do something so stupid! Why'd he have to kill chickens?"

"Because he was wild, kiddo, and that's what he's always done to get along, and if we could spare them I wouldn't hold it against him, but we can't afford to feed him chickens and that's just all there is to it. You know that, don't you?"

"YES! But I'm still mad."

She went off by herself then for awhile to reconcile herself to what had happened. She's not the type to want to be petted and coddled and pampered. She's got a heart the size of the atlantic but she's also a sensible girl. I knew that in time she would get over it and maybe even not hold any grudge against her brother for his part in the whole deal. Well. Maybe that's asking for a bit much.

Gary, Mt. Hermon, LA    Posted 09-10-2003 at 05:33:06       [Reply]  [No Email]
Preface with IMHO.....You should have had your husband shoot it. She may have hated him for a while, but gotten over it. Anyway sooner or later she's gonna hate him for something elses anyway and get over that too. Girls don't ever hate their fathers forever, brothers are dispensable.

Cindi    Posted 09-10-2003 at 08:15:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
Ahh...they'll get over it. Every day I see what passes for a glimpse of humanity between them. One day Jenny will have her own kids and maybe her own chickens and she'll understand. I suspect she already does.

man, well said...    Posted 09-10-2003 at 07:09:00       [Reply]  [No Email]
I like that response. Mike D.

Donna from Mo    Posted 09-10-2003 at 03:02:34       [Reply]  [No Email]
Cindy, you inspired my poem for the day! Thanks. You also caused me to thank the good Lord that my days of child-rearing are behind me, but the grief never QUITE ends.


I cannot help but wonder why
A sister and a brother
Can never see quite eye to eye,
And so resent each other.

The daughter tries; the son will not;
I do not comprehend:
Can't old resentments be forgot?
Why can they not be friends?

Nobody knows what caused this gap;
Old fusses? Jealousy?
There's been no real fight or flap;
It always puzzles me.

They're growing older; it takes two
To span a widening breach.
And I know nothing I can do
Except to pray for each.

They'll talk when they're together here,
But you can feel the mood.
The daughter tries to persevere
And break old attitudes.

I've learned I cannot do a thing
To change somebody's feelings.
I just pray time will finally bring
A blessed, God-sent healing.

Cindi    Posted 09-10-2003 at 05:01:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
Donna this is going on my fridge TO-DAY! If nothing else maybe it will make thme think. Once again you put the situation in it's true light. Jenny does try, Jake does not.

Maggie/Tx    Posted 09-09-2003 at 22:33:06       [Reply]  [No Email]
Good one Cindi! Reminds me of my kids the way they would interact and talk/argue with each other, especially the "Moooom!" part. Vic and Marie fought like cats and dogs from the time Marie was old enough to talk until she went to college and he moved out. I heard, "Mooom!" so often that I would automatically answer,
"Mom left town and changed her name."
They are two years, four months apart.
One day a miracle happened. They started wanting to visit with each other and calling each other on the phone. He would call her and ask her to come visit him and she would drive all the way from college to where he was living to do so - a 2 1/2 hour drive. When we have a family get together, they will even hug good-bye, although usually she has to make him do it if anybody else is watching. Jake and Jenny won't belive it now, but brothers and sisters CAN become just might take a few years. :)

Cindi    Posted 09-10-2003 at 05:04:21       [Reply]  [No Email]
Maggie, if I think back far enough I can remember being terrified of my brother. I don't remember him ever actually hitting me or anything but I was scared to death of him and I hated him. Now I love him and the tide has turned. He's scared of me and won't talk to me. Guilty conscience maybe.

He knows also that verbally I can rip him to shreds. But we do love and care about each other now.

Ayuh...    Posted 09-10-2003 at 03:35:30       [Reply]  [No Email]
My Father scrapped all his youth with his Brothers and one Sister...A closer bunch of siblings I have never seen...They hunt and fish together, and Aunt Arline is the 'mama' of the bunch...Just like you describe...THey all sorta woke up one day and became friends...

I have one Sister that is one of my closest friends...The other is our 'city mouse' relation and is hard for us to sit at dinner with...

Salmoneye, Who Hopes To Befriend His Littlest Sister Some Day

Willy-N    Posted 09-09-2003 at 22:29:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
Had a neibor who was raising rabbits and chickens once. Talking to him one day he told me he shot 3-Red Tailed Hawks and a Big Great Horned Owl. I asked him why he shot them because there are not many of them around here. He told me they were getting his rabbits and chickens! So I asked him how could they get them and he answerd they fly right into the cage and grab them. I had a questionable look on my face and asked are you going to fix your cage or kill all the Hawks and Owls that are protected that eat the mice and rodents around here. He said he would shoot them all. He also said they were worthless to have around?? Now the next year he was complaining about all the mice and such getting into stuff. He said he was going to set out poison all over the place to kill them. I reminded him that was what the Hawks and Owls used to hunt befor you killed most of them. He told me that was what the poison was for?? The balance of nature has been upset by him. Mark H.

Cindi    Posted 09-10-2003 at 05:08:33       [Reply]  [No Email]
We don't kill hawks or owls. I've seen only one owl out here and it was way down the road hunting a pasture for mice. We have no shortage of mice here that's for sure. However, cats, we are covered up with. My neighbor down the road, I love her, but she's not very responsible. She has on an average of twenty cats hanging around her house at any given time. I reckon this was one started out as one of hers, and when I tell her about it she'll say, 'well he shoulda stayed home'. It doesn't happen often, but maybe once or twice a year we have to take out a cat that's killing chickens.

Willy-N    Posted 09-10-2003 at 07:00:48       [Reply]  [No Email]
I had a few Farrow Cats that were getting into the bird houses on the fence posts I put up. They were putting there paw in the opening ang draging out the new babys. One got it by the electric fence wire and the other one recived a .22 cal message that ended it rain of terror. Cats can do a lot of damage running loose. Mark H.

Cindi    Posted 09-10-2003 at 08:16:34       [Reply]  [No Email]
Not to mention what they will do to the paint job on a vehicle. Not that I care about that anymore, I drive a clunker, but there was a time.

Sarah    Posted 09-09-2003 at 19:37:26       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hi Cindi!
How are you doing? Fine I hope! This is a GREAT story! Some of it is pretty funny:), sounds just like brother and sister!!! Poor Cat:) Of course though it also sounds like Poor Chickens!:) We have wild cats that run around here, but we also have a fence up, so that our dogs won't get out in to the road,etc. The thing is though when a cat comes through and our dogs see them, the cat might be a dead cat if the dogs catch them lol:). They just dont like the cats!:) Well I have to be running along now, but just thought I would say another great story by you! Keep them coming!:)ok? Thanks, Talk Later,Sarah

Cindi    Posted 09-10-2003 at 05:10:38       [Reply]  [No Email]
We have two cats of our own, but the dogs know who they are and don't mess with them. A stray cat that gets in with them tho is a goner.

Thanks Sarah (with an upper case S.....grin)

Dave Smith,    Posted 09-09-2003 at 19:30:46       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Cindi, You do post some interesting reading. You should write a book of short stories.
The Trials and Tribulations of Cindi
Think First Before You Become A Mom

Dave <*)))><

Cindi    Posted 09-09-2003 at 19:39:53       [Reply]  [No Email]
Oh, no, no, no....too much thinkin' no offspringin'.

No, what I should have done is spend a week with families with kids of different ages from all walks of life. I remember saying to my sister (who had two little girls four and six at the time) that she was a saint straight out of heaven.

"What keeps you from banging their little heads together?" I asked innocently.

"You'll see, you'll see."

I did.

Sarah    Posted 09-09-2003 at 19:44:12       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Cindi you are something else! :) You can sure be funny! Banging there heads together?LOL So you saw it huh?:) Again you really keep this board alive!:)Gotta Run!Take Care,Sarah from NC (Non Judging)LOL

Sarah    Posted 09-09-2003 at 19:39:12       [Reply]  [Send Email]
That is a GREAT idea Dave!! Cindi maybe you should consider that!:) I might would have to buy it! LOL!! You keep this board enjoyable and interesting!:) Always waiting for another story from Cindi! LOL!!!:) Talk Later,Sarah

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