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Sunday, March 8, 2015

That Barn Cat! And Other Enigmas

Sunday Sermon:
Received card above in yesterday's post from Dept. of Animal Care & Regulation --formerly known as the Branch Pound-- and was genuinely glad to see our animal control facility abandoning euthanizing gas in favor of finding employment for intransigent cats.  Like all men, I have always been in favor of expelling gas and it's good to see a dream come true. Gas is far more appropriate in vehicles than animal control, as the following conversation attests:

 "I have to go buy plywood. We need to be anywhere?"

"I'm not sure. How long will you be gone?"

"The whole time, I guess."

These are enigmas settled without special effort, encountered by chance in the course of everyday life, but they are important and instructive. They reflect no disturbance --what does that mean? To disbelieve the misconception that opposing sides of an issue are incapable of workable compromise, that's what. I do not approve of humans (or cats) settling for mutual exclusivism. I mean, people and cats both aspire to look their bests, but what if everybody looked better than everybody else including themselves, hah? What would we have then?
                                        ["Aerial Hollywood Sign" by Jelson25 - Licensed under
                                         Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons ]

You see how these things can get out of hand? Lot of plywood went into that sign. Message is, if your local animal shelter has a surfeit of unemployed Barn Cats, help them with their load. Mice will return to the field and remain there if you keep the cats working. I pity the cute little mice, surely, but do not want them coveting our pantry unopposed. That's in the Ten Commandments about coveting your neighbor's cheese, I think. Your regular pastor will return after ski-season in Hell, which froze over this winter. I will be substituting elsewhere next Sunday or until the police arrive, but until then...er...now and forever shall be, go thou and do likewise.

26 comments:

  1. I recall the commandment about coveting cheese, but I can't remember anything about hiring felines to snuff out mice. My cats killed two mice this past month and show no sense of guilt. (it's true - I'm not making that up).
    I'm still laughing at your comment about expelling gas.

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    1. Jon, one of the few methods scientists have found to induce laughter in cats is by saying the word "guilt" to them.

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  2. Loud applause.
    Our cats have been rescue cats for a very long time now. At one stage there was a mouse in the house. Himself complained, and made some bitter comments about the uselessness of felines. The next morning as he was getting dressed for work a mouse-head rolled from his shoe. Eeeuw.

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    1. Thanks EC. Sometimes it takes an object-lesson to demonstrate feline value to men. Mouse-head in the shoe proves cats have a sense of humor.

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    2. It also proves they understand English, even though they choose not to listen 99% of the time :)

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  3. Living in rural France I have a certain antipathy towards cats catching mice. (They also indulge in trying to catch the birds we feed throughout the winter months.) My antipathy has nothing to do with reducing the mice population, it has more to do with two aspects of feline life. One is that cats quickly go feral here, and that leaves them vulnerable to that morally degenerate species called hunters. The other is that more often than not, the mice have come into contact with poison, and that is not good news for the cat.....as we unhappily found out some years ago before we gave a home to our Molly-dog. In general, if mice invade the house, they are dealt with as humanely as possible by me. Outside in the barn, so long as they behave themselves, I will tolerate a few. My prime objection to poison is that too many other animals, besides cats, are affected ..... and it is too indiscriminate.

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    1. Unfortunately, poisons are much overused in this state. I don't like them --or need them. With increased housing development in the area, we get more and healthier-looking neighbor-cats visiting the property and asking for hunting rights, which I freely grant. They have their own homes and are content to commute.

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    2. I'll say one thing about mice, which doesn't apply to cats, and that is that mice do not leave offensive pee smells everywhere to mark their territory.

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  4. The cats that live in the barn across the road from me prefer the gourmet food I serve. What can I do when they stare into my windows looking sad and hungry? After two years of this, I have probably saved countless mice.

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    1. I've heard snatches of rumor among both cats and mice about the nice lady in Pennsylvania. Many are heading east already.

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  5. Farmers can't manage without cats in their barns. It's a sad life for a cat though. Most farmers don't vaccinate their cats and every so often disease wipes out their cat populations. Also most farmers don't feed their barn cats so the poor things are underdeveloped size wise. They are not Hollywood cats....too busy trying to stay alive to spend time on their appearance.

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    1. For similar reasons, I'm glad our Dept. of Animal Care is neutering their guests. Makes felines less contentious. Not so when I was a kid --believe it was 1960 before I saw a cat with two ears.

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  6. We have so many feral cats here that I would have a guilty conscience if I were to add more cats to our population. The odd thing is that a stray mouse shows up under the sink every now and then. Somebody is not doing their job.

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    1. Same here, Emma. You think it could be the same mouse?

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  7. You delightful smart ass you.

    The whole time, he says. Why I oughta...

    Pearl

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    1. A privilege to furnish some cheer, especially now. Wait a minute..."smart ass"? Why you little...

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  8. So I read this over coffee, and when I'd quit grinding my teeth I printed it and sent to to school with the kid across the street, told him to give it to his teacher, they could use in the next lesson in 'reading comprehension'.
    The kid said they finally took her out, whimpering on a guerney, an hour after he'd given it to her, the paramedics told them it was an allergic reaction to something she'd read, a first if I'm not incorrect.
    Congratulations!!

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    1. Thanks Mike! Now I feel I'm definitely making progress.

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  9. I appreciate your concern for the soul of a mice, and I liked the line about being gone the whole time, but I'm smart enough not to use it the next time I head out less I come back and find the key no longer works.

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    1. Surely no one would change the locks on you, Sage. We know cats haven't the opposable thumbs nor partners the the unforgiving nature to do so.

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  10. The rare times we've had a mouse in the house, we knew immediately by the furry bottoms lined up in a row, while the other ends sniffed under the fridge/china cabinet/electric organ. They may be indoor cats, but they still have the instincts of a hungry feral.

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    1. I concur. Whether indoors or outdoors, the fundamental arrangement of cat brains is the same. Like Geo. F. Will, I believe the term "domestic cat" is an oxymoron..

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  11. Replies
    1. I bet your cat told you that, Keith.

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  12. I agree with Delores. Mice are a pest and in a barn, cats keep their population down. My mother always set out food for the cats.
    On a lighter note, in the farm house, mice were a real annoyance the first year we lived there. We found nests of baby mice everywhere--in the linen drawers, in a kitchen drawer, everywhere.

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    1. Poor little things are so opportunistic. Our crazy old farmhouse is probably half spackle, patches and caulk now but every once in a while a mouse manages to get in.

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