Thursday, February 22, 2007

Warning: Memory is Almost Full. List to free up space.

Three days ago...at least, I think it was three days ago...I saw a crow with white wings.

I suspect it was a crow because, other than the white wings, it looked exactly like a crow and it was hanging out with a bunch of other crows in my driveway, smoking and shooting dice. Ok, they were pecking through the rubble left by the plow.

I stopped the car and they all flew off. Its wings were white on the bottom as well as on the top.

When I got into the house, I called my friend - the friend that knows a bit about everything and a real lot about some things, like birds and plants - and told him about it. We discussed the possibility of it being a magpie. We also discussed it being just another freak of the farm. Ahem, nature. Freak of nature.

After checking some pictures of magpies on the internet, I am convinced that it is, in fact, a white winged crow.

I am also convinced it was sent to me by God. I'm not exactly quite sure yet but I suppose the prophecy will be revealed in His time.

In the mean time, my hubby has parodied the song Wings of a Dove, changing the words to describe his dear spouse's latest mania.


This little event got me to thinking about all the cool and odd things one gets to see in life.

There are some things you see that you just know you're never going to forget. For instance, the World Trade center falling down or the Challenger exploding.

These, however, are not the type of events that I'm talking about. I am more referring to those things that, at the time, seem so cool that you don't think you will ever forget them but, alas, they slip one by one from your brain as you replace them with things like remembering to drop off the marching band uniforms for the Florida trip or ordering wormer for the goats.

You all know what I mean.

So.

In order to remember some of the cool things I came across in my life, I am going to make a short list here so I can then free up that brain space for other items. Here we go.


1. I once saw some sort of bird of prey dive bomb into a pond, go completely underwater, and then flap out with a fish in its talons. This was a very Mutual of Omaha moment for me. Or, I guess it was a Wild Kingdom moment proudly sponsored by Mutual of Omaha. "Mutual of Omaha is people...you can count on when the going's rough..."

2. Going along that same line, I am going to combine two other Wild Kingdom moments. I once got to see a sleeping baby deer in my yard. So cute! It was only this big. And! I got to be nose to nose with a very large black bear that came to our house. He was strolling around on the patio so hubby and I went out to hang out with him. Then he wanted to get a little bit closer so we went inside and opened the window. Like wide open. I'm talkin' tore open the shutters and threw up the sash kind of open. The bear came over to the window and we were all inches away from each other. I wanted to squeeze his nose but I thought he might freak out.

3. One day during some other winter, I was driving along this road where there are a whole buch of cemeteries. There was snow on the ground. I looked and saw two guys in the cemetery, standing watch over a large, smoldering fire, with a back hoe parked nearby. Then I realized that they were burning the fire because the ground was so frozen that they couldn't dig the grave. It seemed all kinds of old timey. Except for the back hoe.

4. I once saw frogs mating. Eeew is all I am going to say about that.

5. I once saw a house fully engulfed in flames. That was about 30 minutes before I konked my head on a metal climby thing in a playground and practically knocked myself out.

6. One night there was a really heavy rain storm with all the bells and whistles. I was driving home in it. All of a sudden, there was a little hole in the clouds and I could see the full moon through it. The lightening was still going on around it. Crazy.

7. Another meterologial event - thundersnow. Now that one was just plain ol' unnatural. Or so it seemed. But I guess the joke was on me because, hey, it's nature.

8. I once saw someone get hit so hard by a person on a snow tube that the poor, unfortunate victim was knocked clean out of his boots. Do you have any idea how hard you have to hit someone to knock them right out of their boots? If you don't, you can ask my son because that's who it was. Although, he may not want to talk about it.

9. I once saw a bag full of feral cats. Literally, a bag of them. "Bag of cats" is often a phrase used to describe a bad-tempered person. I probably should not be around that person because if they are anything like a real bag of cats, I would laugh so hard I would probably wet my pants.

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STORY TIME
Here is the quick explanation about the bag of cats. Through a rather long and involved story involving my daughter getting rabies shots, our family became the proud owners of a passel of feral cats. Passel = six.
We managed to catch all of the cats and have them spayed or neutered accordingly.
All but one.
This particular cat became wise to the Live Animal Trap that so easily caught the other cats. She could not be lured, tempted, cajoled, persuaded or tricked into the trap. Even when I held off on putting food out, she would not go in the trap. I could catch the other cats numerous times, but not this one.
By the way, her name is Flop. Sister to Flip. Who is no longer with us through no fault of mine, thankyouverymuch.
I was determined. I was driven.
I was desperate.
After trying every plan and failing, I searched way back in my memory. Back to my grade school years. Back to Saturday mornings. Back to my training at...
The Wile E. Coyote School of Wildlife Capture

I assessed the situation. The cats all ate in one spot. The spot they were familiar with. The spot they trusted. This spot was on our patio, under an overhang of the roof. Bolted to the roof was a clothesline type wheel. The Plan began to take shape.

I found an old sheet and sat down at my ACME sewing machine to stich a large hem around the sheet, leaving a hole in one spot. Taking the sheet outside, I spread it out under the pan from which the cats were given their daily bread. Kibble. Whatever.

After a few days, when the cats were used to the idea of the sheet under the pan, I proceeded with The Plan.

I took a lightweight yet sturdy rope and fed it into the hole and through the hem of the sheet. When the end of the rope was all the way through, I made a loop in one end and fed the other end of the rope through the loop and the hole. Then I took the rope and fed it up through the clothes line type wheel and out the other side.

For the piece de resistance, I emptied two cans of tuna into the food pan and set it in the middle of the sheet. Then, I took the free end of the rope and stealthily crept into the pantry, leaving the the door open just a crack.

And then I waited.

And waited.

Aaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnddd waited.

One cat. Not the right cat.

Two cats. Not the right cat.

Three, four and five.

Still not the right cat.


Finally, I could see her peek her little head around the corner of the house, eyes perpetually wide as saucers. She approached the pan.

She ran away.

She approached the pan.

She ran away.

10 x (She approached the pan; she ran away) = Very frustrated me



And then.


She stepped onto the sheet.



She ran off.


She stepped on.


She ran off.


She stepped on and took a bite of tuna.


She ran off.



I figured this was pretty much going to be a now or never kind of thing so I waited, with an itchy finger and a hair clothesline wheel.


She stepped onto the sheet and lowered her head to the pan.


With all my might, I yanked the rope as hard as I could.


Now, with a plan such as this, there is always the nagging voice at the back of your head telling you that it is really a hairbrained scheme and it isn't going to work at all. Then there is the voice, the voice of a Happy Days character telling you "It's a crazy idea but it just might work."


As it turns out, they are both rigth in a way.



The rope spun over the clothesline wheel. The ends of the sheet gathered. The "bag" - cats, pan and tuna - rose into the air.

I stood gaping at the bag hanging from the the wheel.

It was slowly twirling around with very pronounced lumps projecting and protruding from it at all kinds of odd angles, going in and out and in and out.


And then my knees buckled because the silliness of the whole situation finally smacked me upside the head.


So there I was, hanging for dear life onto this rope, suspending a bag of cats, pan and tuna in midair, laughing myself to tears.

And while I was in my state of incapacitation, Flop clawed her way to the top of the bag, slipped out through the hole, and scampered off to mate. Or hide.

I don't know. I didn't care. I couldn't stop laughing.

All I could do was hang onto my bag of cats and cry.



You will be happy to know that, eventually, I did manage to catch the little minx and get her spayed. Using, oddly enough, another technique of The Wile E. Coyote School of Wildlife Capture but one that wasn't nearly as preposterous or entertaining.


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So then. There we are. Now that I've freed up some space, I can defrag my brain tonight and then condense files. And maybe, just maybe, I'll remember to pick up the Girl Scout Cookies tonight.

And I think, through the course of telling the bag o' cats story, I have now coined a new phrase. If you ever need to describe something in toto, instead of that plain ol' "soup to nuts" or "the whole kit and kaboodle", please feel free to say "cats, pan and tuna".

9 comments:

Jozet said...

I have no idea what to say.

I'm sitting here crying on my keyboard.

One, because that was just about the funniest damn story I've heard in a long time.

And two, because we share the same gene pool and now I am afraid.

You slay me.

Anonymous said...

i have to agree with joset,except for the sharing of the gene "puddle" part. you are too much woman. is it any wonder we all love you so very much? sparky

tony c said...

Best. Post. Ever.

Crikey! So, how did you finally catch the little bugger? Snake lasso? Harpoon?

I hear the Animal Planet network is looking for a replacement for the late Steve Erwin. Think of the opportunity: you can make our coal region accent as popoular as Aussie. Perhaps start a chain of Up The Back Steakhouse restaurants. Ain't.

stephanie said...

i love that post! I love that list of memories because it is just so true -- you see so many amazing things and they are just a moment in time -- and they pass by.

I just love that. I have to rmember to do my own list...though these days I am forgetting everything!

Ernie said...

Finaly the bag o cats post. I have been waiting for that since you opened up this joint. Now you have to tell the story of Son and the baby powder.

lemony said...

My response to the black bear strolling along my property was to say "Holy shit is that a BEAR!?" as I scampered back into the house and then having a near stroke while trying to get the garage door down.

You are so much cooler than I am.

D.B. Echo said...

"Heyna" can become the new "Crikey"!

wordgirl said...

I ALWAYS have the need to explain thing totally. Perhaps...too much. That said, I loved your post.

nadzent said...

OK. I heard the cat-in-a-bag-with-a-can-o-tuna story in person - and I still cried my eyes out laughing reading this post. How do you do it? So. Funny.

And the bear thing? You are just insane. You and that one you're married to. You all know how I feel about the BEARS....