Sunday, March 07, 2010


This past week I had a strange distraction - a stray cat came to live on my property without my permission, and it took almost full-time efforts of both myself and the local animal control department to stop it.

I couldn't let my dogs in the back yard - I had to walk them on a leash - because they would go wild at the cat, which just stayed out of their reach. The cat wouldn't go into any traps, no matter what they were baited with (including raw fish).

I would find the cat at night and in the morning nose to nose with my dogs at the front picture window, the dogs trying to bust out the window. It wouldn't come when called; nothing the animal control dept. and I did would either catch it or drive it away.

The problem actually began two weeks ago, but it reached critical mass last weekend because it rained all weekend. I had to walk the dogs in the rain while I had bronchitis, and it made me sicker. Because the dogs were agitated by the cat, they wouldn't even do their business outside - I had to drag them inside and then when they relaxed, they'd do what they were supposed to do. My house was filling up with crap and mud.

Last Monday I basically went off on the city and started screaming at everyone - city manager, police chief, code inspector (one of the problems was the cat was hiding in a vacant structure nearby). During the week they laid out at least seven traps, and got one property owner to board up a structure, but the cat remained at large.

I had bought an animal trap of my own, as well as a BB gun. The efforts of us all were certainly driving the cat from pillar to post, and finally on Friday night it slipped up. It was in front of the house taunting the dogs when I ran to get the BB gun. The car ran around the house and headed through the back yard. I loosed the dogs out the back door, and they treed the cat in a small tree. I shot it with the BB gun until it dropped out of the tree - right between the dogs. They took their revenge for two weeks of harassment.

I left the cat in a plastic bag on top of a trap animal control had on my front porch. They hauled the cat and all the traps off Saturday.

I hate that the cat had to die, but it left us no choice. My dogs can finally romp in their own back yard, and now that I don't have to go out in the cold my bronchitis is getting better. I've been on antibiotics since Feb. 18. (Patricia has bronchitis, too).

After all this, I forgot that last weekend a headlamp on Patricia's car was burned out, and when I went to go to Greenville to sign "Fantastic Texas", I remembered that. There was no way to get the light fixed on a Saturday afternoon, and there is no way I'd drive 50 miles down I-30 with a light out, so I called the Hastings and begged out. We rescheduled for next Saturday the 14th.

My car is an antique, 27 years old, and I don't drive it out of the county.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Latest reviews

"It’s possible that you haven’t run into the stories of Lou Antonelli. Since 2003, he’s been publishing delightful short tales of alternate history all over the nooks and crannies of the SF world. Thanks to Fantastic Books, we now have 28 of these little gems in one place. "Many of Antonelli’s stories have an unexpected twist ending. And many of them are what he calls “secret history” stories, which aren’t exactly alternate history—they’re set in our familiar history, but there’s always some element that contemporary observers missed. " -

- Don Sakers, The Reference Library, Analog July-Aug. 2014

A better path develops for a distraught man in “Double Exposure” by Lou Antonelli (debut 6/11 and reviewed by Frank D). Jake is about to end it all. He has been trying to keep his high maintenance wife happy for decades and has needed to embezzle to satisfy her spending habits. Now, on the verge of indictment and abandoned by his spouse, he buys a gun. Before he pulls the trigger, he spies a Kodak one-day photo hut. Curious, he pulls up to the window. They are holding pictures of him and his last girlfriend from 30 years before. The package is a lot thicker than it should be. Double Exposure” is listed as an Alternative History story but I would classify it as a Magical Realism tale. It is set as a second chance tale, a look into a life that should have been. The author is inspired by his memories of the old photo huts (I remember them) and of their disappearance. A cool idea (photos of another life), one that I could imagine would make for a great anthology.

- Frank Dutkiewicz, Diabolical Plots

“Great White Ship”: A traveler stuck waiting for a flight strikes up a conversation with an old airline employee. The Old Timer tells him a story of a Great White Airship that arrives from a most unusual destination. The story of a craft from an alternate reality and how it got there is only the precursor to the final act. This is one of my favorite stories from this site. I have a great passion for lighter-than-air craft and their potential as a future means of transport, which opens the story. The author uses this speculation to launch into an engaging tale. As fascinating as the main story line is, the alternate history premise that accompanies it is just as worthwhile. This story was well written and very well thought out. It is well worth the read. Recommended.

- James Hanzelka, Diabolical Plots

Blog Archive


The content of this web site is subject to the following creative commons license: Click here for the fine print