“A coward dies a thousand deaths; a brave man dies but once.” Our cat Der Doc proved that this applies to cats as well.
Caution was watchword in Der Doc’s life. He was a grey cat, striped like a tiger but decidedly without tiger’s courage. Daddy said, “He’s original scaredy-cat.”
Der Doc had run of our farm in Bitterroot Valley of Montana, and farm had multitudes of opportunities for a diligent cat. The chief opportunities lay with barn mice during winter and field mice in summer. Der Doc regularly partook of these opportunities. Cautiously, of course.
How ironic it was that his most searing experience took place when he was cautiously minding his own business. His business being a field mouse in our hayfield, as Daddy drove John Deere tractor into field and began mowing alfalfa.
We children were never allowed in field when Daddy was mowing hay, because sickle on mower extended out eight feet from tractor. You couldn’t see that sickle coming, as uncut alfalfa in front of it hid it. “Cut your little feeties right off, and you’d never know what hit you!” said Daddy. He would have given Der Doc same warning if Der Doc had understood English. For on that sad day uncut alfalfa hid Der Doc as well as sickle.