Joseph V Higbee.com

Kalico Kate the Kat

2013


The other day, a friend of 40 some years stopped by to visit and to drop off some bird seed he got with a motorcycle he bought at a garage sale. (My friend and his wife spend a lot of time at garage sales. Saves them money, I guess.) Now I know that when you relate stories like this you shouldn't use real names so as to protect the innocent so I'll just call my friend Verne for this one.
   When Verne came in he sat in the chair he usually sits in when he stops by which is located right next to the table my cat, whose real name is MaQat and doesn't need to be protected, spends a large part of her day. Being somewhat of a timid thing she got up and went into the hallway and I mentioned that she was pretty smart and would let me know if she wanted out, even though there is an animal door she can let herself out if she was so inclined. As one would expect, that reminded Verne of a cat he once had and this is the story he told of Kate the Kalico Kat.
   Now he didn't tell me the cat's name, probably to protect her innocence, but he did say she was a calico, which should be spelled kalico, and so for the sake of this story I'll call her Kate. The first time Verne saw Kate he was standing under a tree in the yard when he heard a sound, kinda like brrrtt, over and over. He looked up and there was this cat making this sound and looking up into the branches above. Suddenly, in less time than it takes to tell it, she shot straight up limb over limb, about ten feet and came down the same way and deposited a dead chipmunk at my friend's feet. Well, being aware of the significance of this time honored tradition between cat and human, Verne skinned the chipmunk and he and the cat shared it for dinner, which meant, of course, that they agreed to serve and be served for as long as the cat felt like it. And that is how Kate came to live at Verne's house.
   Now, I thought that was the end of the story and was about to start one of my own when Verne took a deep breath and continued; Some time later he got a small dog. The dog, whom I think he called pup or puppy, tried to make up to Kate but she pretty much rebuffed him in the snotty way cats do. This would make any small dog feel the need to show his bravery and so one day, while Kate, Pup and Verne were relaxing on the porch (I've never known Verne to smoke anything but he may have been sipping a bourbon and coke), two large dogs came passing by, a lab and a police dog, and Pup ran out and challenged them. The lab, as labs do, just looked at him and was going to keep going but the police dog, true to it's kind, stopped and took issue with Pup, turning back and baring his teeth and growling menacingly. As Verne was thinking about how that pup was going to come out of this, a ball of calico fur came flying by him and landed square on, claws out, on the face of the police dog and then as the dog turned she transferred, quick as a wink, to it's back and dug in. The lab had turned away but in no time at all the police dog caught and passed him with Kate just pulling out tuffs of hair and spurring him on. Pretty soon Kate just nonchalantly stepped off and started back to the porch with the pup wiggling and bouncing right behind as if to say 'boy, we sure showed them didn't we, huh?!'.
   I was about to tell Verne what a swell story that was when he took another deep breath and continued; When he got ready to move (Verne moved a lot), he was loading the truck and Kate was sitting on the step supervising. As he was finishing up, Kate started yowling and looking at him. Well, Verne's no dummy and he goes over and opens the door to the cab of the truck and Kate jumps up and settles herself in the middle seat and begins to nap. When they got to the new place she jumped out and took up her position on the step and supervised the move in.
   My friend, whom I am calling Verne, stayed a while longer and told a couple more shorter stories before saying 'so long' and heading for home. After he left, my cat, whose real name is MaQat, came back into the room and resumed her place on the table by the window where she lay shaking all over, like she was having convulsions, for quite a while. Being concerned, I went over to check on her and you know...I'd swear she was laughing!