Cat Tales

The Adventures of Bootstrap Bill

(photo - Bootstrap Bill at his post)

We seem to have acquired this cat.

Dani found him in our garage one morning last fall. She started sneaking food out to him; little plastic bowls of milk, scraps from Quizno’s. I’d park the car in the garage after an afternoon of running people hither and yon, and there would be the cat, perched on the roof of our old Cutlass on the other side, waiting for his next meal (that would be the Cutlass that doesn’t work.... another tale of woe).

This went on for a month or more, until one day in early December, Marcela decided to bring him in the house. Did I really WANT a cat in the house? I wasn’t so sure. But it was getting awfully cold out there in the garage.  Besides, he is just so dang cute...

(photo Marcela with the new cat)

He has these big white paws - I wanted to name him Boots - a face full of long white whiskers, and a huge, fluffy brush of a tail, at least as long again as he is. Marcela has pointed out that he has the longest tail of anyone in the house (...since our two dogs both have stubby little tails... and the rest of us, sadly lacking in that department).

So now we have this cat.

As we were getting ready for bed...As we were getting ready for bed...

He won’t eat anything but tuna, so we buy cheap stuff from Wal-Mart at 50¢ a can (but I have caught him sneaking nibbles of the dogs' food occasionally!).

And he likes to spring at you when you aren't looking.  You’ll be walking through the kitchen, and all of a sudden you'll have a ball of black and white fur attached to your arm.  He doesn't really bite or anything, more just grabs you with his front paws and then drops back to the floor.  It's pretty funny - especially when you didn't see it coming!

Pepe tossed out the name Bootstrap Bill one day, and it was the name that finally stuck. He is a real swashbuckler.

Lately he has taken his post on the banister...

(photo Bootstrap on his post....again)


Last night around 10:00, Dani and the girls were in the kitchen working on their Sudoku puzzles.  I was in here working on the computer - when all of a sudden I hear screaming coming from the other room...


(That’s Dani's nickname for me.... it’s a long story.  "Did you take the last piece of pie?  "Moi?"  "Vu!" (pardon my French..... or lack of correct spelling of it).  Somehow, "Vu" became "Hugh." You know how obnoxious pet names go!)


Dani is screaming, the girls are screaming...

I am thinking it must be a really HUGE spider.

So I drop what I am doing and run into the kitchen.

It is chaos!

The girls have hit the floor, Dani is grabbing at the dog - 


The bat gets free and now is flying around the kitchen.  The girls flee to the living room while I open the back door so it can fly out.  I grab the dog (so HE doesn't fly out instead!).  For a moment the bat lights on the garbage can and I look around for something to trap it with... it's a BIG bat!

But instead, the bat swoops into the living room.

The boys - playing video games - duck for cover. The girls are crawling around the floor screaming, “Oh my God! Oh my God!”

Now, the truth is, when it comes to bats Dani is pretty much unfazed.  Dee got the front door open and the bat fell to the ground nearby.  So Dani calmly shooed it out with her foot.

With that excitement over, I let Blackie go. I had forgotten the back door was wide open...

Whew!  Aracely found the open door before Blackie did!

That's all we would have needed - a nice run after the dog on a freezing cold night!

Turns out, the girls had seen the cat come up from the basement.  He disappeared under the table, and that's when they started hearing this funny squeaking sound - and then Aracely saw that he had something in his mouth. He had brought up a little present for us!

At first she thought it was a rat - an even more unpleasant thought.

Never a dull moment around here!

Well.... I need to whip up some burgers for dinner (with fried onions and melted Swiss cheese..... Yum!!!) - I have 30 minutes until American Idol!

February 21, 2006

by Paul Dallgas-Frey

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