Walking With Jackie the Ripper

Friday, November 28, 2003

It's a shame to report it but my dog does not suffer cats gladly. I like them and wish she did. I'd get us one. Perhaps having another companion animal might do The Rip some good.

Sometimes I'm concerned about her being an only dog. She is not as well behaved as my brother's dogs who, he vows, will not even approach their feed until given permission. Jackie, on the other hand, would take off your arm all the way to the elbow if you got in her way.

When we were growing up we didn't have many cats. Daddy was not by any stretch of the imagination a lover of the feline species, and we knew better than to drag in any of the strays which came around.

Thinking about cats reminded me of a little happening in our childhood days. My oldest brother, Clark, was influenced by the writings of Mark Twin, (Indeed, I was, too, reading everything he wrote many times) and sometimes along about the fifth or sixth grade he and a friend decided to use one of the methods for removal of warts given in the book Tom Sawyer. Most kids of those days, especially boys, were given of heavy infestations of warts and these two were no exceptions, so they made plans to meet after supper one evening and get rid of the obnoxious growths.

The well thought out plan was for Robert, my brother's partner-in-crime, to skulk in the bushes outside the kitchen window and meow piteously, using the same method of communication which Tom and Huck had employed. Clark was to leave the supper table and meet him outside. They would then journey to the cemetery located just out of town, find a hollowed-out stump containing water, and following the time-honored ritual given in Tom Sawyer, free themselves forever and a day from the curse of offensive warts.

Unhappily, this is not what happened. About the third time Robert gave his miserable mournful meow, Daddy, never overly given to patience and, as I said, not in your wildest dreams a cat person, jumped up from the table, turned his chair over in the process and screamed, "God help me! This is too much to endure. If I had a gun, I'd shoot that blamed cat!" (Only he didn't say "blamed.")

Well, at this point, Clark saw the need for confession, and Daddy, a lover of Twain himself, eventually saw the humor of the situation and told the boys of a much simpler way to get rid of their warts. Something about cutting a potato in half and burying it when the moon was full.