Next to the Woodpile

A Story, Farm Life, Ugly-Beauty

I don’t like cats. Period.

Why? Glad you asked. 1. They poop feline almond roca turdlets.  2. They cannot flush the pot.  3. They cannot let themselves out to poop.  4. They make me sneeze.  5. They cannot flush the pot. (worth repeating)


I am a dogPerson. WOOF! WOOF!


When my husband brought home some crackers, grapes, and two wiry kitten siblings late this summer – a hairy pair to tame the exploding hay bale mouse populous – I growled, like a dog-lover should. Often. Under my breath. And when appropriate, right out loud.


The he of the sibling kitten pair ignored me. And I, him. Together we danced this ignore-you shindig; but, the more we did, the more intrigue trailed us like some kinda hot, furry fury. Our individual states of independence flew sky high as we, eye-to-eye, stared each other down, walked away, and gave nary a backward glance. Then… then, much to my dismay, one day the he turned on his chainsaw purr machine. For a moment-gone-wild, I neglected my dogPerson oath as I plucked the little smooth-haired feline from atop the woodpile. Outta the view of my kin, I held him in the crook of my arm, nestled between my armpit and neck.


Both of us stared, squirmed, and breathed shallow-n-fast.  Our uncertain tenseness melted into my long-sleeved flannel shirt and we became fast friends right there next to the woodpile.


This little feline squirt became my outdoors shadow. Everywhere I went, there he was… twisting his flexible felineness between my boots as I walked; standing on the rifle case during target practice; drinking outta the dog’s water bucket; pawing the air near where I loaded my arms with firewood; sitting and purring next to me on the sunset bench.


[fast-forward a few months]


I hardly ever leave this ranchola (after all, I am a country girl) but I had to take a trip to the bigCity, with one of mine, and two other children, in-tow. After appointments, we settled in at my momma’s place and they laughed at Winnie the Pooh on the television whilst I bawled like a baby for a really long time, locked in the bathroom. I sat in a deep tub puddle of hot water, Epsom salt, and tears. 


Two hours prior, husband called as the kiddos pressed, “play” – stifling sobs, he was.


I steeled myself, but whom did I fool? For I am human, complete with wobbly knees and a pumping heart. He said it’s not a person, but something else. Our ranchola critter litany raced through my head. And then when he said Triscuit, the grocery store kitten, I went mad.


Mad, I say.


“But I liked him. He was my favorite of the kitten duo,” said I.


“I know,” said my marriage man.


“How? How? How?” I whispered through snotty tears.


“The delivery driver. The one that goes way too fast up our dirt road. The one behind the wheel of the brown truck. The man that scares you,” said my husband.


Five minutes after I hung up the phone, still bawling and swiping at tears, I picked it up again and called the staging warehouse for the truck drivers. From miles upon miles away and through teeth gritted hard against the thought of telling the kiddos, I told the man who answered, “Don’t you ever, and I mean ever, allow any of your drivers up my road again. Very soon there will be a gate; but until it’s in place, if you dare ignore, or neglect to pass this message onward, your driver shall be met by a woman who has gone stark raving mad.”


 I bawled like a baby for a really long time, locked in the bathroom. I sat in a deep tub puddle of hot water, Epsom salt, and tears.


Because as it turns out, this country girl is a dogPerson who was beguiled by a skinny little barnyard cat. And love him – she did..





8 thoughts on “Next to the Woodpile”

  1. Great tale, Darlene. It is never easy to say goodbye, ever. Hold those memories close as you did your little feline friend, and may God bless.

  2. S. Etole says:

    This makes my heart ache. I love those little furry critters so much and you have described how they embrace one’s heart so well.

  3. Oh, this post made me sad. It’s hard when we get attached to something – even a pet – and then it gets taken away. I guess I am kind of opposite of you, Darlene. I grew up in a cat household and have never owned a dog my entire life. But that could change. 😉 Praying God brings you His comfort. Sending a hug, friend!

    • Thank you for the prayers, hugs, and kind words miss Ruthie. Next time you come to the states you must stay with us for a couple of days… you’ll be a dog-lover by the time you go.


If you have somethin' to say, I reckon this is where you should do it. (If you're a newbie hereabouts, your first comment will be held for approval - cuts down on spam.) Thank ye for chatting!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s