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.

"The scene of our cat-times... the kitchen and dining room of my grandparents farm-like house."

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.


About bearicaquinn

Smallish, smushy in the sad parts, certainly destined for cat-lady-dom. Enjoys boats, bikes, black coffee, pug faces, sourdough bread, the morning when you have slept long enough, beards, mountainsides, art, rooftops, etc. Will continue to live in things that are interestingly shaped. So octopus.
This entry was posted in Charming Anecdote, The Cats of Others and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Dos

  1. Colleen/Techno says:

    Want to know something worse? I first viewed reading the cat blog as an indirect way of finding out what exactly you are up to in NZ. BUT I really think it has infiltrated my brain. I mean, I do enjoy the fact that you didn’t really edit out most of the useless rambling in the email that I sent you, and maybe those endorphins have caused me to make some sort of attachment to the behaviors of your own you’ve described in previous cat-blog entries. So, for example, I live on this little one-block adorably street in the weird part of Philadelphia where University City meets West Philly (aka, pretty houses meet the ghetto) but my block is really quaint. And part of what makes it so great is that all of the neighbors let their pet cats run free during the day. There’s one I see all the time, his name is Charlie, he roams down to the campus courtyard and sits on people’s laps while they are studying for exams. Then there’s this other lustrous-looking cat with long locks. What I beauty. But I see her rarely. And yesterday and was rolling around in a bunch of beer cans (because there was a strange strange storm that blew over everyone’s recycling bins) and I thought “I MUST capture this image to show Beaker!!” Then I thought, “Colleen, stop it, YOU are not obsessed with cats, just because your friend is.” Yup. That’s it. Oh, and someday when I go home, I’ll find these really great cat pictures and show you because they are pretty awesome.

  2. Eliphalet Chubson says:


  3. ccJaspers says:

    The box trap reminds me of a little thing that our friend mustache dad used to observe. He said on his walk down to his apartment, he would alway come by the student rental house on the corner of the street across from the museum. That time it was inhabited by your typical Juniata football thugs, who really aren’t as big and tough as they think of themselves. One day walking past the yard of the house, he saw one of them sitting in a lawn chair, presumably drinking keystone, while working on his computer and eating chips. But he also had a string tied to one of his wrists that led to a stick propping a box. underneath a tree. As fodder there was a Muddy Run sub. Mustache dad saw this situation unmoved for a week period every day I believe. He said that he felt that this man was dead serious about catching something, maybe a squirrel, but the scene was always the same. and he always used a sub, and was was always intently focused on his computer, yet ready at any moments notice take action. I had a pretty good laugh hearing this.

  4. Pingback: Cats & Families, pt. III | welltailoredsuit

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