Added joys of country life

Letter from Marianne Katte

Rural Life – September 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

Added joys of country life

Editor:

Other humans seem convinced that we who live in the countryside need cats and more cats for the barn, or dogs and more dogs to help us with our chores. So they open their car doors, and out go kitty and Fido to fend for themselves.

Sooner or later they show up on our doorstep. The first one was found on a bitterly cold evening, curled up on the woodpile with a porcupine. We took her in, named her Colorado Kitty, and found a good home for her.

Next my daughter got out of her car to take a picture of a beautiful sunset and heard this pitiful meow. She could not believe it, there was not a house in sight, and here was this little starveling crying her heart out. So “Harley Davidson” moved right in. No matter what we feed her, she is as skinny as a rail.

Next was a crying polydactyl, so she moved in, too. We called her Daeumling. Then another tom moved over here from where he used to live and his name was Buster. We had World War III.

Yet they provide entertainment all day long with their different personalities and quirks. Harley catches birds on the wing and brings them in. Sometimes I can save them, other times it is too late.

Daeumling’s specialty is chipmunks. The first time I had one in here I was much surprised. He went among my carefully filed papers in the office and on the floor they went. I haven’t been the same since.

Next he munched on my Luebecker Marzipan and with that he wore out his welcome. A live trap was set (yes, with Marzipan as a bait) and lo and behold I had him. Out he went. Since that time I have had at least 10 live ones in here and have perfected the art of catching these flickertails with aplomb.

One corners the “beast,” mashes a towel over it from top and bottom simultaneously, holds on like a vise, and out he goes. I used to do the left-side and right-side grip with the result that the “beast” would pop out on top like greased lightning.

Sometimes, when I am gone for some time, I find dessicated carcasses of chipmunks behind the sofa, sometimes only tails. Anybody squeamish out there?

Bob Cat, the oldest, takes care of the rest, rabbits, picketpins, and other toms. Yet Buster would take care of him until he was neutered and then Bob would take care of him and he was cowed in the end.

Buster also found a new home and is happy there, he needed to be an only and the aim of his days was lapsitting. He had perfected that art to the nth degree!

So now we are back to three coddled entertainers, but the end of the rafting season will certainly bring more, as does the end of the ski season.

Life in the country is wonderful, especially with throw-away pets!

Marianne Katte Rural Salida