Monthly Archives: June 2014

Herding Cats

I can’t recall the first time, exactly, that I heard the expression “herding cats.” I’m pretty sure it was one of my mother’s sayings (probably about us kids). I have this flashback (not in a bad way), with me on the kitchen floor, kind of looking up and seeing my mother as that expression hung in the air. The funny thing is, I never questioned the expression. I knew exactly what she meant, because we had cats. We had a dog, a succession of cats, a horse and a couple of ponies. At one point we had chickens and even rabbits. Then there were the animals we caught and brought home, yes, among them many snakes.

Our neighbors had cows. There was a chicken farm on the street. A few other neighbors had horses. All our cats were outdoor cats, the neighbors’ cats, too. The point of having a cat, was to prevent having mice (or…shudder….rats). Ours were working cats.

So, when I heard that the town of Weymouth is actually, seriously debating a leash law for cats, I thought for sure it was from The Onion, a spoof website devoted to making fun of the day’s news.

It’s a sad commentary on our society that we have become so distanced from nature that we don’t even understand our domestic animals .

A leash law for cats?

Heaven help us. We’re doomed, doomed, as my friend Pam would say. We are, simply, doomed.

Cats will not be leashed. Anyone who has owned a cat knows this. The woman who is proposing the law is tired of cats messing up stuff in her yard and pooping everywhere. I can appreciate that, really I can. I have a vegetable garden, and the neighborhood cats love to do their business in the nice soft soil. It’s yucky when I’m scratching around trying to tend to my plants.

Ugh.

But, said cats also keep the mice population at bay. And I saw one of those cats keep a full-grown Labrador Retriever at bay the other day, too. I heard the dog yelp and cry and I even heard her as she stomped away. I looked out the window of my little office just in time to see the big, 60’sh pound Lab run home to papa. I ran out the door to see if it was a coyote or a big raccoon or a car or something that set her to running. I found my neighbor’s cat, the light calico, sitting with her head high looking like all of the Queen of Sheba, calm as a glassy ocean on an early morning in August. She looked at me as if to say, “What? That dog annoyed me, so I got rid of it.”

I chuckled, heard my neighbors (the owners of the dog), say something about a cat (and they chuckled, too), and we all went back to our business.

So, c’mon over, Weymouth. Try to put a leash on that cat.

I dare you.