Friday, August 10, 2007

Alright, Busted, I Lied.

In the post where I promised, one time and one time only, Lisa from rangeragainstwar posted this:

Never have liked Siamese much. Too thin, nasty mewl, bit standoffish, even by feline standards.

Give me a hearty barn cat any day of the week. For him, I'll give a can of jack mackerel and all my love, 'til he turns tail and walks off.

That's pretty much how I feel about cats too. I admire my passel of barn cats and am proud of the symbiosis we have reached. Sometimes though, boundries get crossed.

Meet Mom's other cat.

This is Stormy. She is three years old. She started her life in my barn. My mom came to visit and while she was there we had a huge monsoon storm. This little grey kitten came dragging up on the back porch. I scooped her up and brought her inside to dry her off and as soon as she was done she jumped up on my Mom's lap and they have been together since.

She and China are buddies, they race around the house playing "I'll chase you, then, you chase me, this is the bestest game ever!" for hours. Every now and then when China cops a pedigreed aristocratic 'tude Stormy shows her the moves that she learned in the barn and the 'tude disappears. Stormy has never shown any desire to return to the rough and tumble world of the barn. She prefers her life of ease and comfort being spoiled by a little old lady.


Blogger pissed off patricia said...

I'm not picky about cats, I adopt whatever shows up at my back door.

That little cat in the pic has a sweet little face. I think it knew what it was doing, even as a kitten, when it hopped on your mom's lap. Smart little kitty.

Have a great weekend!

9:07 AM  
Blogger seventh sister said...

OK, so while you're showing critter pictures, how 'bout oneof that golden pup? IF you show yours, I'll show mine.

10:48 AM  
Blogger Sherry said...

i got bob first, as a kitten a few months old, layla we got at a shelter. she has 1 eye and broken teeth but a wonderful sweet attitude tho she rules over bob in the "you chase me, i'll chase you" game.

3:05 PM  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Alright, Stormy is a cat I can abide. She's got one of those right proper apple/pumpkin-shaped cat heads that your readers on the other post spoke of. That's a skull that can take a gentle two-handed grab, and not go shrieking in terror.

When it comes to animals, I like sturdy, as playing is the name of the game. No prissiness, which is why Siamese and those poor little pug-nosed angoras with the frightful hair that threatens to mat in a day leave me cold.

An animal has to be all-weather, and ready to tussle with me. The prissy cats are the runway models of the feline world, and not being a man, I derive no pleasure from staring at a pretty thing that snubs me.

The jack mackerel is not an enticement, but rather a reward.


3:12 PM  
Blogger BadTux said...

Both of my cats are shelter cats. One of them was found digging in a dumpster in Phoenix. His poor paw pads were pretty much burned to a crisp by the summer heat. The other one lived a rough-and-tumble existence with a family with a ton of kids and other pets. Both know where their bread is buttered and have no desire to go elsewhere -- I always have a cat on my lap (despite the fact that neither one really fits anymore, they're *big* cats!) and when I wake up in the morning one cat or the other is sleeping beside me (sometimes both, actually). I can open the front door wide open, and they just look at it curiously, maybe peer over the threshold, but that's as far as they go. Like I said, they know they got it good, and ain't goin' anywhere else.

Given the number of shelter cats out there, most of whom are big sturdy mongrel brutes like my guys who are perfectly capable of becoming the most loving kitties anywhere, to me it seems that anybody buying a purebred is throwing good money away. The barn cats of the world are the true thoroughbreds.

9:03 PM  
Blogger Sherry said...

oh i wanted bob, my siamese because i had emma, a siamese before and i loved her to pieces. she was my shadow. when she passed i was so lonely for a cat that would follow me around that i got bob. he is the same way. layla came from the shelter. i agree about shelter animals but bob is my baby. layla? she is the queen of all she surveys.

4:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

badtux, that's true of mongrels generally. Purebreds usually equals what a biologist calls "inbreeding depression". You end up with an animal that looks and behaves a particular way pleasing to the owner, but that has other deficiencies brought on by the animal's inbreeding.

The same thing happens to plants, but it often takes longer because plants often have larger, more complicated genomes. While we (& I believe many other mammals) have two copies of every gene it's not unheard of for a plant to have four, six, or more copies of every gene.

- oddjob

6:55 AM  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I couldn't agree more with your readers--every animal my family has gotten from the shelter is fantastic; almost all from breeders have glitches. Sadly many are brute puppy mills, and the poor animals suffer inbreeding, as anon. pointed out.

It seems a bit vain to go for a purebred, when there are so many fine animals who will surely meet their deaths otherwise at the pound. So many beautiful, grateful animals who will give give you a hearty dose of hybrid vigor and devotion for life.

I just saw a pair of what looked to be perfectly paired brindly hybrid boxers yesterday at a home I visited, and the fellow said they were actually pound pups, two years apart. Sweeter, more obedient dogs you've never seen.

I'd advise anyone to go to their local shelter if looking for a pet. You will find any "breed" you are looking for, if you must.

Oh, and I know why the purebred thing has the "ick" factore for me: do these folks go about mate-choosing in the same purebred fashion -- must have certain colors, features, and sizes? Ick.

9:33 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

as a self-proclaimed "pound puppy" myself i have lots of respect for the mongrels of the world. i do, they function in a chaotic and vibrant system that warms my heart. i also resprect certain aspects of guided evolution. you can breed for certain traits without degrading the species.

a case in point are my arab horses. they are perfect desert steeds. strong, tough, fast, with endurance that is truly phenominal. before my third knee surgery took me out of that game i had ridden arabs in the tevis cup (100 miles, 1 horse, 1 rider, 1 day). there, and in all the other endurance events the arabs dominate.

with the horses (and the same goes for dogs) you see a totally different breed when you get to the show rings. once they start breeding for looks, or size, or colour, or any non-functional trait, the breed begins to change. my arab stallion can trot 100 miles, eat some hay, munch some grain, take a drink of water and then give you a look that shouts "i'm cool. you got anything left punk?"

but, when it comes to hauling people or supplies, when it comes for loyalty, smarts, and absolute courage. there's my mustang sally. she's the bomb. just like the shelter kitties she is totally committed to her new herd. she requires minimal supervision on a ride because she is not going to let us out of her sight. i saw her face down a whole pack of coyotes one night. she not only wasn't scared, she was pissed off and dealing out extreme punishment with hooves and teeth. poor trickters didn't have a chance.

10:05 AM  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I am impressed with your endurance-riding feats.

Yes, it is one thing to guide the breeding of work animals for certain useful traits, but entirely another when done strictly for show.

I find it abominable to see the too-large bulldog heads, which means they cannot be born w/o cesarean, hip displasia in Shepherds, or any of the other anatomical anomalies in the name of breed appearance.

And yes, I fancy you would like a Mustang Sally ;)


3:42 PM  

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