By lex, on August 26th, 2007
Well, the Kat, you may say, is already a full week returned from the camp that so many of you graciously sponsored at no trivial expense: Where is the story, eh? With pictures?
She’ll come around to telling the tale in her own good time I think, but suffice it to say that she did indeed have a wonderful time, earned her driver’s license (!) and was advanced to “Junior Buckaroo,” which – as most of you will have concluded, being the more perceptive (and tasteful) sort – is but a little way removed from the desired, full-on Buckaroo status. It somewhat to do with a harsh test and over-loose reins, I gather. I will admit to a certain degree of relief upon hearing this news, in that full-on Buckaroo status enables a child – perhaps even one’s own – to move up from mere Western-style equitation where it’s points on for precision and smile while you’re at it – to “speed work,” otherwise known as barrel racing.
Barrel racing, for the uninitiated, is the equine equivalent of BFM, meaning that everything happens very quickly, with enormous forces and masses operating in strenuous opposition, tending towards a kind of dread finality with the outcome ever in doubt, right up until to the very end. It is not for the weak of heart, nor for parents with an (over) vivid imagination.
So in summary, she was a little let down even while vowing, with MacArthurian gravitas, that “she would return.” I was happy to have her back in once piece. Every golf shot pleases somebody.
She did take pictures and even kept a little notebook, so I’ve every expectation she’ll pen some proper words of thanks in time, but recent events have made it wise for a caring father not to press. You see, we have sacrificed yet another cat to the coyotes out back.
This happens with depressing regularity, considering the fact that we are plumped down in a rather significant suburban bedroom community. Our own back yard butts up against an overgrown creek which feeds the San Dieguito river. It’s wonderful for privacy, and one can almost pretend to be living in the country, but it also provides a fair amount of cover for the kind of fauna who make their living skulking in the brush and leaping out at domestic animals. It doesn’t matter what you tell, them, the cats will go outside in the back yard, and being curious beasts, occasionally venture further afield than those who care for them would prefer. Once out there, and emboldened by their initial success, they will – like teenagers – keep pushing at their boundaries until something checks them short. Sometimes they escape and internalize the lesson. But these coyotes do not subsist on field mice alone, and the terminus to one of their little paths opens quite upon our back yard. This cat – not much more than a kitten, really – was the Kat’s own special creature, rescued from a pitiful abandonment beneath a bush and she’s feeling rather low at present.
For our own part (and despite the fact that we hold no special place in our hearts for cats in general) we decided that we’d had enough and retrieved the scoped, semi-automatic .22 LR from the storage locker, thinking that should Mr. Coyote show his bestial form it would be no great task to loose one carefully aimed round betwixt the eyes to be followed up with a hammered pair to the center of mass in order to get a little of our own back. We flattered ourselves that we could get all that done before the neighbors were quite aware that there had been a violation of the housing association conventions, far less where that violation might have emanated from.
Fate was kinder to the coyotes than to our own machinations in the event, for never did a clear shot present itself before the Hobbit smoked out our plan. You see the rifle itself was hidden behind a living room chair covered by a kind of throw blanket, while the magazine was hidden separately but close at hand. Being a women, she’d somehow noticed something out of place and, having eventually discovered the admittedly unusual presence of a rifle in her living room asked quite casually over the evening news whether it wasn’t time to put it back in the safe, at all? Taking into consideration both the inhumanity of the contemplated act and the time/money potentially spent avoiding imprisonment for discharging a firearm within the city limits?
She was informed – but clearly not reassured – that the thing would be done in good time. In the event her patience lasted a shorter interval than my own malice, for when a fleeting opportunity arose to tally up a reckoning, the implement chosen for the purpose was not to be found at hand and the moment was lost.
The fact that she is probably right is of little recompense. Our blood is up.