Weekly Photo Challenge: Curiosity

I’d Like to Kill a Mockingbird!


We once had a house cat. He was amazing at first, the funniest kitten I’d ever seen, and I’m a connoisseur. A totally fluffy gray furball with longer white hair, he looked frosted. We named him Pussy Willow Catkin, Willy, for short.

As Willy grew, he developed issues with me, the discipline person who floated through the house in those wonderful reversible gauzy skirts, draped armloads of sheets to the laundry, and popped open trash bags, all of which activities scared him.

Not only that, but I often exchanged his raunchy litter box for one that smelled good, an activity he took as very personal rejection.

Eventually he learned which side of the bed was mine and occasionally he dumped on me. He knew which chair I would least like full of gray fuzz. He knew which floor was most problematic if peed on. He knew which windowsills had breakable brick-a-brack. He used all his information to pay me back for scaring him with my floaty, drapey, trashy ways.

I only did one thing right in his eyes: catnip. He loved it; I grew it.

The day came, though, when we weaned him to be an outdoor cat. After an initial wild exploration, he settled in to sleeping in the bird feeder. The birds frowned about that. He often fantasized that he could catch a bird, although all his forays into the wonderful world of the hunt were flops.

Especially the last one.

Around our property lived a mockingbird, which I don’t care what Jem’s Dad said, they do harm. They deliberately flaunt their senseless songs and seducing dances from atop the huge light pole that holds not only several wires and a yard light, but also the transformer for a few families. They do this only if a cat is in sight. Every time our cat would start up the tree near that pole, our mockingbird would keep up its cat-courting ritual just long enough to irritate the cat, then fly off.

One morning, Willy did not show up for breakfast. It wasn’t long before we discovered where he was: at the very top of the pole. At 5:00 a.m.

We decided he might learn a lesson if he had to wait until normal business hours to be rescued. We never dreamed what would happen next.

The skies opened up and dumped an inch of rain in 15 minutes. I’ve never seen anything like that and I’m also a connoisseur of rain. Love to watch it.

At this point, cat is drenched and bird is wherever birds go to survive downpours. Cat decides to take matters into his own hands and discovers that the perfectly safe props that got him up are now hot. Live. Murderous. In a moment, Pussy Willow Catkin lies at the base of the pole, basically dead.

We replanted the catnip bush over his grave.

Published by Katharine

Katharine is a writer, speaker, women's counselor, and professional mom. Happily married over 50 years to the same gorgeous guy. She loves cooking amazing homegrown food, celebrating grandbabies, her golden-egg-laying hennies, and watching old movies with popcorn. Her writing appears at Medium, Arkansas Women Bloggers, Contently, The Testimony Train, Taste Arkansas, Only in Arkansas, and in several professional magazines and one anthology.

2 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Curiosity

  1. Oh my goodness! (I would click “like” – but it doesn’t feel appropriate).

    My children moan at me “Why are you a petless mum?” (I have told my son he can have whatever animals he likes. When he leaves home in a decade or so. )

    This story is why.I’d just damage them.

    1. I am not fond of pets, either, but Willy was one I liked. Too bad he didn’t like me, much. When I was young, even then I avoided pets that could not outlive me. 🙂

      I’ve been wanting to tell this story for ages. Yes, it is sad, but it felt good to articulate it, for once. It is the kind of thing one doesn’t boast about. But it is true.

      You can “like” it if you want. I will understand.

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