Pasquale, 40-something-year-old Quarter Horse, speaks his mind

Cat-aclysm

Sometimes I wonder why it ain't me that gits all the pets, hugs and sweet-talk around this farm. I do my share, and then some, of the work around here. I eat the grass around the posts and the trough to help keep things trim, not just out in the middle of the field where it's easy pickin's. I cart my person around from time to time, and a buncha kids, too, once in a while. I teach them there younger horses manners, and calm the fears of the not-so-young. I go FIRST through the scary places and narrow paths, just to show the scaredy-cat herd how to be brave. When they stop on the trail and refuse to go, who goes first? Yep, reliable ol' P-pot.

Do I sound like I'm whinin'? Well, mebbe I am. And mebbe I am just bein' a little selfish. But I wanna know why I don't git the most pets. Sure, I probably git more than the other horses, but I sure don't git as much as those furry little, meowy, fish-breath, whisker-lickin' cats. Every time my person passes by a cat, it gets a good pettin' and a "You're such a good kitty". Even little kids run to pet them before they pet me. What do cats got that I ain't got? Hmmm…Claws, but that don't quite explain it. They surely didn't claw their way to the top, if ya know whut I mean.

Some of those cats think they own the place. One time I was restin' next to a gatepost that a cat leaped up on. The next thing I know, he was steppin' onto my rump. I didn't mind, 'cause he kept his claws in, and he got comfortable there and curled up for a nap. His warmth and purrin' felt kinda good, so I napped too. But when I said, "Time to go" he didn't budge. I thanked him for keepin' my rump therapied and told him to git off, but he still didn't budge. So I just started walkin', hopin' to gently wake him up, or just bring him along if he really wanted to come. But by the third step he jumped right down and walked off. No thanks or nothin' for the nice nappin' place. "Cat got yer tongue?" I said to myself, and he kept walkin'. Not even a catty remark, heh heh. But I was mighty thankful he kept his claws in. Yep, horses are claws-trophobic.

Those spoiled cats also git to go wherever they want, whenever they want, with no fences keepin' them in. They come jumpin' outta the weeds and brush along the fence, scarin' the daylights outta one of us horses grazin' nearby, just to have some fun with a field mouse or butterfly. Then along comes another cat to steal it from them and they start hissin' and howlin' and gettin' their whiskers all outta joint fightin' over it.

And they get to play around up in the hayloft. I know THAT because they like to skitter and scurry around up there makin' all kinds of noise, sometimes knockin' things down with a BANG and scarin' my herd, leavin' me to cope with the CAT-astrophe!

Those darn cats also have 7 other buddies to choose from. Not that they always like to hang around with a buddy like we horses do, but they have more friends, it seems. Sometimes they even invite strays. Run-down skinny strays lookin' like somethin' the cats dragged in, and the other cats let 'em stay. Then my person feeds them and they get lotsa pets too…

I know I sound like I'm complainin', and I am. The curiosity is killin' ME, not the cat. How DID they git to the toppa the list for pettin'? Is it 'cause they purr? Or 'cause they're so soft? Is it 'cause they're little and cute? Is bein' bigger than a lap bein' less than purr-fect? Is it 'cause they can jump eight times their own height? Guess none of them are gonna let the cat outta the bag on that one. I may never know. It can't be 'cause they actually work for it, with all the cat-nappin' they do. Eat, groom, sleep. (Think I feel a little like a nap myself right now… too much punnin', I reckon. Enougha that.)

HOWEVER - I was finishin' my grain one day and outta the rock wall scrambles this speedy little grain-stealin' mouse, surprisin' us all. My person was in the barn so we alerted her by snortin' and prickin' all our ears and lookin' in its direction (works every time) and she saw it. "Awwww, look at that cute little mouse. It's just a harmless little mouse; relax, everybody," she cooed. But the next words outta her mouth were "Here, kitty-kitty!" and she called some of them by name, and dang if they didn't come a-runnin'. She picked one up, pointed his little eyes in the direction of the mouse, and put him back down. And that was the end of that mouse. Silent, but deadly. Fast as lightnin' across the barn. That mouse never had a chance. Neither did the back-up feline forces.

So, I gotta admit they DO do their share of keepin' the mice down. And I s'pose that's mighty important around a farm. Just don't expect me to ever think their one job is more important than my many jobs, or that they deserve more pets than I do.

Love, P-pot

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