Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Ballooning the Cat

One of Gramma Berg’s favourite stories.
And with apologies to my Uncle Leif, who tells it better . . .
Gramma. And 'The Instigator'.


Among the many animals on the Berg farm were always a dozen or so cats. Plentiful food of mice, birds, scraps and fresh milk kept them healthy . . . and prolific.
Now cats were not normally allowed in the ranch house.
But that didn’t stop them from accumulating on the front porch and making feints at the front door.
Whereupon (Oooh, good word!) Gramma Berg would disperse the problem with the skillful handling of her broom.
But one friendly and persistent old mother cat would elude Gramma’s best efforts and re-appear with stunning persistence.
And rapidity.
And that was when Uncle Leif decided to try his hand . . .
He came up with ultimate ‘harassing the cat’ plan.
A balloon.
Balloon?
Simple, yet effective.
He would tie the balloon to the cat’s tail and she would be well and truly harassed.
Genius.
Gramma was sceptical as to the effectiveness of her youngest son’s plan, so she kept watch from a distance.
Leif put the first part of his plan into action with the enticement of said cat with tender morsels from the kitchen.
While she was thus absorbed, he quickly tied the football-sized balloon to her tail with a piece of string.
Perhaps the string was a tad too tight.
Perhaps the cat simply panicked when this ‘thing’ bobbed and swayed almost on top her.
She took off.
Her first strategy was to simply outrun.
When this proved ineffective, she made for the nearest high place.
The telephone pole.
Scratching and clawing her way up, she finally reached the very pinnacle.
Then, pausing to survey the situation, she realized with dismay that the pesky ‘thing’ was still there.
All of her ‘cat’ instincts came out at that moment and, claws out, swiped at the offending balloon.
It popped.
With a loud and very satisfying bang.
This was too much for the poor cat.
With a combination of ninja-cat-moves and free fall, she hit the ground and headed for the barn.
By this time, Gramma was nearly unconscious with laughter.
Leif, satisfied that his genius plan had proved effective, smiled in satisfaction.
But the next day, you guessed it, the cat was back.
Happily curled up in her favourite ‘relaxing on the porch’ position.
But keeping a wary eye on Leif.
Sigh.
There was one outcome from Leif’s genius plan.
Hearing - and watching - Gramma tell the story.
She would start laughing so hard that someone else invariably had to finish for her.
Huh.
Sometimes the result you are going for isn’t the one you get.
And that’s better.

12 comments:

  1. I'm glad the cat suffered no lasting harm :)

    One of our cats once got a stringed toy caught in his fluffy tail - he ran all around the house, lost bladder and bowel control, and was a quaking mess! It all depends on the personality of the cat, I think!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really should clarify that this was accidental, and since then we have banished from the house every kind of toy or household object such as string or grocery bags with handles, etc., except those contained in drawers where he can't get at them. We couldn't even catch our poor cat quickly to disentangle him; we had to corner him in a bedroom, move a bed, and cut the toy away from the string to get it off him. He was truly traumatized; he's such a gentle cat I think it was especially hard on him. Like Delores, I don't like seeing any animal harassed.

      Delete
    2. The poor thing! I would never deliberately torment an animal. I'm an animal softie!

      Delete
  2. Don't really like to see the kitties harassed...even by a balloon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Probably a good thing you and I weren't born yet!

      Delete
  3. You have to see the "big picture"! Loved it! No harm done. Cat's fine. We do it to our siblings, don't we. Can't help it. It's funny then too.
    Love,
    Chris

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wish I could have seen it. Ah, that's a good chuckle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My grandmother never stopped chuckling about it.

      Delete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. oh that poor cat! Yet she still tries to get inside. I wonder, after the balloon popped, would a room full of balloons bobbing around be enough to stop her trying to get in? Or would she get used to them and keep trying? Cats are hard to figure out.

    ReplyDelete

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