Nov 05

The decline of Western civilization

I was cautioned, when embarking on this feckless-crone-in-the-countryside blog project, to prevent it at all costs from devolving into cat blogging. How well I understand that worthy sentiment! Now that we’re all sophisticated internet users, cat blogging has justifiably become the symbol of Internetian culture’s wanton degradation. Cat bloggers waste valuable energy uncynically cat blogging while important news information goes unsnarked-upon. Cat blogging is an attack on intellectualism. Cat blogging drags The Discourse down to insipid depths of mediocrity. Cat blogging is the opiate of the people. Internet porn is, by orders of magnitude, more highly regarded than cat blogging.*

SmudgeSo you know that feral cat that’s been hanging around here? The black one I named Smudge, but which like every other cat I’ve ever had, I end up calling “kitty”? Well, to my horror, this cat Smudge has gradually come to somewhat suspect that I am not trying to kill him. Such that we have a comical ritual now. Around 8 or 9 o’clock, when I load up my hay wagon for the day’s final horse feeding, old Smudge materializes out of the aether. He accompanies me to the paddock, constantly darting just millimeters in front of my feet so I have to abruptly stop in order to not smush him, whereupon the hay wagon’s inertia propels it into what my 7-year-old niece would call my boo-takka.

It’s cat blogging AND cute things little kids say, all in one post! Did you hear that ripping noise? It’s the fabric of the universe!

Anyway, all this darting and bootakka-slamming can be something of a drain on the spirit of a weary crone who just wants to dump her hay and get back to the bunkhouse for a plate of nachos and the episode of “Homeland” she’s got waiting on pause.* So last night I resolved to put an end to this fucked-up cute-kitty bullshit once and for all. When old Smudge showed up with the notion that he would dive into my oncoming boots about 42 times between hither and yon, I summoned the ancient mettle of the crones. By which I mean, I impersonated a B-movie zombie (the slow-moving kind). I raised up my claw-hands and advanced toward him in a deliberate and menacing manner, growling “yaaaaahh.”

It worked! Smudge made like a liberal and left! Off he scrammed into the night, mercifully leaving me to trudge unimpeded with my simple wagon and simple thoughts, like the simple bumpkin I’ve become.

And then, out of nowhere, holy SHIT, what tha —

Something, possibly a wolverine, had me by the ankle. It had shot out of the shadows and ambushed me. You’ll never guess what it was.

No, sorry; it was in fact Smudge, the feral cat! With dastardly cunning he had pretended to flee, but in fact had lain in wait, all the while planning a deliberate, bloodthirsty attack. He was now clamped to my leg like a mukluk.

Smudge (artist's rendering)Luckily I was wearing a pair of cowboy boots, or else I’d probably be in the hospital right now receiving treatment for rabies, cat scratch fever, bubonic plague, and demonic possession.

Gently I shook the afflicted limb. My assailant released his death grip, struck a classic black cat pose, and shot off again. Seconds later he was back, rolling around on my boots. We then proceeded in our usual manner, the cat repeatedly darting, the crone abruptly halting, to the cat food cupboard.

* Ironic cat blogging, of course, is still OK.

** If I were any kind of decent cat blogger, I would have written “paws” instead of “pause.”

Illustration: “Smudge Striking Classic Black Cat Pose” by the author.


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  1. ChariD

    Due to the fact that I personally have posted pictures of my two Chihuahuas wearing bikinis to Facebook (and said Chi-chis have their very own Facebook page), I can’t look down my nose at anyone Cat Blogging. That being said, if you decide to continue posting stories like this about Smudge and his antics, I won’t complain. They’re very enjoyable and actually make me laugh out loud.

  2. Pueblerina

    Hmm. My cat does that when I’m walking down the stairs first thing in the morning. Not just my boo-taka at risk.

    I see you’ve been largely abandoned by the Blametariat, but I’m really enjoying this bllog (I loved your old one too).

  3. The Crone of Cottonmouth County

    Thanks for the kind words, Pueblerina and ChariD.

    I don’t expect this rural stuff to be of much interest to urban feminists. It’s like, if Germaine Greer suddenly started writing exclusively about NASCAR I’d probably unbookmark her.

  4. Carpenter

    Sounds like t cat might still be in his late kitten-hood, maybe 9 months old of so, because he seems to have been having some great play time with you. If he really is that young, then you will be in for some great yowling any night now as he first tries to attract females.

  5. NotthatMarcia

    So pleased to have found your new blog! I’ll take ruminations on barns and horses and cats any day just so long as I can read your prose. Dreams of Savage Death Island will have to suffice for the nonce.

  6. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    You’d best hie that cat to the vet and have him parted from the contents of his fuzzy little nutsack.

    Pikachu (named by the kids next door) is a constant underfoot cat. One a these days I’m gonna fall on my boo-takka to avoid stepping on her.

  7. Val

    Hmmm… Tried to comment on feral pig post but it failed to materialize?
    Anyway, I’ll try again – I suspect it would be safe to nab Smudge by his/her scruff, stuff him/her in a cat carrier, & take care of ye olde routine healthcare: spay/neuter, vacc, deworm…
    (i.e. may not have to resort to High Drama of the live trap; sounds like Smudge is taming down!)

  8. Ol-Lozy Ram

    Delighted to see you back in the saddle. Anything you write is a treat, but it’s especially humorous to get the perspective of a Hill Country Crone onnacounta we’re born, raised and educated New Yorkers living in East Texas, the Tea Party Capital of the Multiverse! (Gohmert is my congressman! gag)
    I’ve morphed into La Vecchia Signora dei Pini. Rural rocks.
    Smudge will be sleeping in your bed within a year.

  9. buttercup

    Cutest Crone Ever. Thank you for the late afternoon guffaw.

    I did a whole blog entry on the kitten the other day but I normally blog about yarn, so cats are probably a step up in depth for most people.

  10. thebewilderness

    Yay! Cat blogging!!

  11. testing123

    I’m banned to the spam pile too. Y’all know me as quixote, but I’m trying to see if maybe this way it’ll let me through. I suspect there’s oodles of us, haunting the place, but invisible to the real residents.

    I love this site. Urban feminism needs a break.

  12. quixote

    (It let the last one through and even found my gravatar! Weird, since I’m not logged in. Anyway, just testing to see whether maybe I’ve been promoted to purgatory with my real identity, too.)

  13. gingerest

    I am perfectly happy to read about your assault-by-cat. I think Carpenter’s right – something about the size, bearing, and behavior of that cat comes off as teenybopper to me. (Also, I would totally read Germaine Greer’s cat blog. Not NASCAR,though.)

  14. Laurie

    Keep those boots on, Twisty! Without them your ankle might have resembled my hand the time I foolishly tried to loosen a too-tight collar on a neighborhood semi-feral cat. He latched on and held on until I finally shook him off.

    DIdn’t think much other than ow until the next morning. It had turned into one of those giant red foam things they wave at the baseball game. Took a couple rounds of Keflex to shrink it down to size. The nurse told me that cat bites are the worst. That cat must have thought I was trying to strangle him, and Smudge sounds more like he’s just a kid messing around, but I do believe her.

    More cat blogging, please.

  15. Aunti Disestablishmentarian

    Buttercup: When you spin yarns, cats are sure to follow.

    And when you spin cat yarns, we are sure to follow.

  16. Friend of Snakes

    It’s like, if Germaine Greer suddenly started writing exclusively about NASCAR I’d probably unbookmark her.

    Nah. If you hadn’t already unbookmarked Greer after reading about her views on Teh Trans, I’m guessing you’d stick with her discourses on red state auto racing. Luckily for us, though, she not likely to waste our time with one of those topics.

  17. M.K. Hajdin

    Smudge loves you. I knew it all along!

  18. Pandechion

    What? No! Totally applicable to urban feminists. This is exactly what it’s like trying to get into my apartment carrying my body weight in groceries with my three-year-old underfoot.

  19. Satchel

    I’m a suburban feminist, and I think this new gig is a riot.

  20. ElizaN

    This urban feminist will go for horses over NASCAR, any day. Probably wasps as well.

  21. Le Chat Noir

    I love reading about the black cat. But of course I would.

  22. Bushfire

    Your Level of Discourse is far higher than that of most cat bloggers- entertaining and brilliantly worded. This urban feminist is very much enjoying it.

  23. Ruby Lou

    Our cat Trigger also slides directly underfoot while we walk through the house, and also stages guerrilla ambushes of various kinds when miffed or bored.

    I can’t wait to try the zombie attack on him. He has the irritating habit of running in and out of my room every five minutes all night long (I suspect it’s partly courting behavior toward my fleece blanket, which he has a crush on), adding to the chagrin of my insomnia. He’ll almost certainly wig out, zoom away, and hide out in the hall, waiting to rush up and swipe me from behind when I get up to go to the bathroom.

    I love this blog. For hundreds of reasons, not least of which is when Antoinette uses the word ‘dupa.’

  24. Comradde PhysioProffe

    HHAHAHAH! You can’t fucke with cattes! They are too smart!

  25. Anonymous

    We have a feral cat named Hope. Why you ask? My youngest daughter had always hoped for an orange kitten. If it weren’t this blog I was posted on, I’d add an ironic smiley face now. Anyhow, he has the same annoying habit of interweaving between your legs as you carry or drag heavy equipment. I have been known to do the slide walk kicking my foot slowly to the side with each step. He’s gotten chunky now sharing the food with the barn cat population but can’t let go of his starving past so the association of food with me makes him go nutty on my appearance outside.. P.S. We trapped him and got his rabies vaccine during cheap unrabify day at the vets so now I don’t have to worry about him afflicting the children when he turns all predator on them.

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