More from the archives of the Bechtel family….story-section, part TWO!
Like most wild cats, my grandparents cat-family was wrought with inbreeding and disease and therefore they were pretty much constantly sick, but my Gpop would have to trap them to take them to the vet. So he constructed a cat-trap on his deck. If my mother and I are remembering correctly, it had a wooden shelf-like bottom and a box propped up on a stick or beam that was connected to a string that ran from the deck to the inside of the house. Gpop would put food on the wooden floor to this contraption and wait for the cat that he wanted (either to take to the vet because it was sick or to take to the vet to be spayed) to approach the food and then he would pull the string and trap the cat and whisk(er) it away to the doctor. It was quite clever, but also pretty funny. But my grandparents would put food on their kitchen window sill so we could watch the cats eat during dinner and it was a grand old time.. especially when they all had eye and nose infections and were snotty and sneezed a lot and had eye boogers constantly. They were gorgeous gorgeous cats. (I guess my grandparents farm was more of a cat hospital than a farm.. haha.)For a couple of months there was an evil giant gray cat terrorizing the lady-cat brothel my grandparents had set up on their property. One of the realest moments of fear I can remember in my childhood was when that evil cat showed up to eat our friend-cats’ food and my grandfather went out to scare it away. It was the first time I’d ever seen a be-be gun too. He didn’t shoot the cat, but he effectively scared it away. My grandfather, cat-protector (you really should meet him, I think the two of you would get along… when you move back to Amurrrica you could interview him as a cat-enthusiast haha)What was funny about the cats was that even though he laid traps for them, they knew and loved my Gpop.. even though he pretended to hate them all… until recently when he’s admitted that he misses his pals since he doesn’t have any cats at all anymore. But he would depart the house to go on walks with his walking stick and the cats would follow him like a cat parade. I’m sure someone must have pictures of this somewhere, but I unfortunately do not. But it was like the pied piper, except instead of rats he had cats and instead of a flute he had a GIGANTIC walking stick.
I think one of the best part of this set of stories, which we are 2/3 through, currently, is that the mere mention of cats can bring together a whole network of people. Just look at this clever little cross-section of one family’s legend and lore! Everyone has a cat story, whether they think they do or not. It does not matter if they care for cats or if they are my Aunt JoAnn. Felines really are the way to unite the world. Gives the common man some commonalities.
I’m realizing, day by day, toast crumb by toast crumb, that I’m getting crazier.