HURRICANE CATS Copyright 2005, Michael LaRocca
You like cats, don't you?
Some people don't like cats.
Daddy doesn't like cats. Daddy's best friend, Bill Ball, loves his cats. Their names are Clipper and Keebles.
Clipper and Keebles are large cats, longhaired blurs of gray, ginger, white, brown, and maybe something else. Whenever Daddy visits Bill Ball, they sit on porch and drink beer. (The humans, not cats.) A cat always sits on Daddy's lap, purring, and Daddy rubs him.
But remember, Daddy doesn't like cats.
Daddy is 6'4" and around 280 pounds. Bill Ball is 5'9" and 180 pounds, I'd guess. He's about ten years younger than Daddy, and his beard is maybe a foot long. He raises cows. If you saw Daddy and Bill Ball together, you'd never guess you were looking at two millionaires. They like it that way.
When they went to their first Wild Turkey Federation Auction, together of course, Daddy wondered about dress code. Suit and tie? He sure didn't want to wear a suit and tie.
"I tell ya, Jim," said Bill. "The last time I wore a tie was in 1964. It was about a foot wide, and it said George Wallace For President."
They wore jeans and T-shirts. They were correct to do so.
But remember, Bill loves his cats.
These cats are rather large, slug-like creatures. But one of them, probably Clipper, is quicker than he looks. The cat (Clipper?) once caught a hummingbird in his mouth. Bill yelled and ran over to Clipper and slapped him on back. Clipper coughed up a single feather, just like in an old cartoon.
One evening, Daddy was patrolling his property. He saw two Mexicans on foot, trespassing. He grabbed his gun and fired at them, then chased them around in his truck shooting and cussing like only he can. They finally escaped through woods where a truck can't follow.
The next day, Daddy was visiting Bill Ball. One of cats purred peacefully on Daddy's lap.
"Jim," Bill drawled, "A funny thing happened last night. I was settin' out here on porch, and these two Mexicans come runnin' outta woods. They were scared to death, I tell ya, like they'd seen a ghost. I asked ‘em what was wrong, and they slowed down just long enough to yell at me, ‘El Diablo is after us. El Diablo is comin' to get us.'"
El Diablo is Spanish for "the devil."