Sunday, July 13, 2008

Barclay's Excellent Adventure

So we were at Sharon's to help my sister avoid the cats at my place.  But there was a hitch: Sharon and Ron actually have a cat, Barclay.  Now, he spends most of his time outside in the garden, sleeping under the honeysuckle.  And he always goes out at night--so what with one thing and another, we thought we could manage.

Mostly, Barclay is Ron's cat--and like two retired old men, they have worked out their routines together.  Ron's lap is the sitting lap.  Ron's beard is what you cuddle up to.  And Ron will come downstairs to the food bowl and watch you eat if he isn't busy sawing things to pieces.  Barclay knows Sharon is a hopeless  substitute, so he doesn't even give her a try.

I told my nephew, Adam, about the food routine.  "Oh, I can do that, " said.  And turning toward the cat, he called, "Come on, Barclay, let's go."

Ten minutes later, they emerged from the basement looking quite pleased with themselves, and Barclay had a new friend.  

Next day when Ken and Judith arrived, Barclay knew he had hit paydirt.  "Follow the ass," he seemed to say as he picked out one likely sucker, then another.  And with his wonderful tail curling over his back and waving like a Flames flag behind him, he managed to cajole Judith to eat with him.  Pam would follow him to the front door to let him out and in, out and in.  And once (or at least, she says only once) she followed him to the living room where he jumped up on the couch and waited for her to join him even though she seemed unable to get all her paws on the cushion at once.

It was a most excellent day for the feline.  But the best was still to come.  Let outside when we all went to bed, Barclay called through the family room door to Adam around midnight.  He of the Smitten Variety got out of bed, padded over to the door and opened it.  And in sauntered Barclay with a very small, very dead mouse hanging out of his face.

"Barclay, take that outside," pleaded Adam, not entirely sure how to get the cat to follow him rather than the other way round.

"No way," said the cat--or words to that effect.  He had done a manly thing, bagging a kill for the family.  It was better than rent. Why would he take the damned thing outside again?

And so Adam, crawling back into bed and I imagine jamming a pillow over his head to muffle the sound, got to hear Barclay chomp down on the poor mouse from top to bottom, crunching all the bones as he went.  

And when Adam sneaked back out to assess the damage, he said that all that was left was one tiny red undigested berry from the very small intestine of the very small rodent.

It was, I am sure, the best day Barclay had had in a very long while.


* Katie said...

hey pat!
Its katie, genevieve's daughter just writing to thank you SO SO MUCH for giving me those books on myth! The only way I could think of kind of somewhat thanking you even just the littlest bit was to send the book that started my passion for mythology along with my mother. She is going to read it to you tomorrow and you are going to LOVE it! ...Hopefully. Its seriously one of my all time favorites, in fact, it may be the FULL favorite... so I'm pretty excited that she gets to share that with you... I wish I could read some of it to you, maybe if she doesn't finish it all tomorrow then I will finish it next time she is out visitng you! Hopefully you love it as much as I do, and I know its not ALOT compared to the wealth of knowldge and passion you have shared with me...but enjoy it! :D lots of love and prayers and happy mythological thoughts sent your way!

PamJam said...

Barclay, from my perspective as the allergic sister, is an excellent cat. Barclay knows how to work a room without demanding physical contact. Unlike most cats that make a beeline for me and insist on crawling up into my lap, Barclay merely commanded my presence. With insistent eye contact, he quickly conveyed that while touching was not necessary, I was expected to take action as required. Perhaps sit on the couch. Perhaps accompany him outside. Most definitely let him into the house in the morning, as I am the first to rise. Barclay is an action cat. And quite insistently the alpha cat in any space he inhabits.