Our House / the cat

We lived in a two story house with a big front porch in the middle of the block. Countless “last stands” and “valiant defenses” took place on that porch, whether my hand was a western six gun, a Police automatic, or the occasional two handed Tommy Gun Machine gun blazing away… sometimes we were manning the decks of a Pirate ship – doing our best Errol Flynn impersonations…

In the basement was the big coal fired furnace. It was a newer model – with the “self loading” attachment. There was a small metal bin located next to the furnace with an auger at the bottom that fed coal into the furnace at a steady rate. Once a day we had to shovel coal from the house’s coal bin into the feeding bin. I recall that being one of our chores.

Yes, I DID play in the coal bin – but it’s not as much fun as it sounds. Coal merely had to touch you to leave a mark – so you got real dirty – real fast. Coal also has sharp edges so it really isn’t comfortable to sit or lay on. It WAS cool to be able to enter the house through the coal chute – but it WAS obvious when you did…lol

My bedroom was on the first floor – a side room. The room is memorable only because of the shadows on the wall. There must have been a street light because I loved to watch the shadows. I found the patterns of light and darkness on my walls to be quite fascinating. I later found it interesting that Simon and Garfunkel also watched the shadows on the wall, then later, The Moody Blues.

It was at this house that I learned you cannot tie a cat up like you can a dog. You tie a rope around a dog’s neck and he will test his limits – soon he will know exactly how far he can go and how strong the rope is – but then he accepts it. A cat, on the other hand, quickly discovers he can’t move freely and he freaks out – big time!

For example, when I tied our cat to the lilac bush with several feet of yarn I did not expect the cat to start convulsing, flailing around, and quickly wrap the entire length of yarn around itself and the lilac bush. It was yeowling and screaming and it scared the crap out of me! I ran for the kitchen to get a knife to cut it loose before it strangled itself…

As I burst out the front door with butcher knife in hand I ran right into my father coming up the walk. The knife quickly disappeared behind me and I tried to act all casual – automatic kid reaction. My father decided he wanted to talk with me for a while. I was frantic to get on with my rescue, but he was more interested in why I was hiding a butcher knife behind my back.

Finally I had to come clean and told him about the cat. He took the knife and ran to the back yard and cut the cat loose. Then I got the “Don’t be afraid to tell me the truth” speech.

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.