Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Tails From the Farm

Those Darn Cats

Being able to sleep in, instead of dragging my sorry carcass out of bed, at four or five in the morning to head for work, was incredibly great. I didn’t even feel guilty, when hubby would get up to go to work. After all, he wasn’t the one dealing with lugging a big belly around. He didn’t have to look at the body that was being stretched out of proportion … well, he did, but it wasn’t the same as owning it. I would listen to him sigh and groan as he stretched himself awake. I would squint or hide my eyes from the sudden light that would flood the room. He’d slowly dress, finally turn off the light, and head downstairs. The semi would be started. He’d putter around in the kitchen a bit, and before too long, would head for the gravel pit. I would contentedly snuggle deeper into my pillow with a smile, and wait for sleep to reclaim me.
One particular, early spring morning, there was the most awful racket outside, shortly after he’d left for work. It sounded like something was dying, or being killed. Whatever it was, was suffering greatly, and it sounded like the horrid noise was coming from right below my bedroom window. As soon as hubby would head off to work, I would open the window. I’m one of those people, who simply loves, fresh air. If it was up to me, I would have the window open from early, early spring, to way into the fall. I love snuggling under the covers when the air is crisp and fresh. Seriously, what’s the point of living in the country, if you don’t fully enjoy it? Anyway, there was this most horrendous racket below that open window, and I had to investigate. It sounded like something was killing something, possibly a crow, raven or magpie, and it was up to me to save it. Scrambling out of bed, I looked out and down. There in the shadows of the yard light, were our cats. They most definitely were very interested in something directly below and out of my line of sight. Restricted by the screen, I wasn’t able to lean out to have a better look, not that I’d be able to see in near dark anyway. Of course the cats ignored my scolding, and kept right on with their intent stalking. There was no choice but to throw on a housecoat, and go see what needed saving. I figured it was some sort of bird, as the dog had stayed on the driveway. He seemed content to be an observer of the goings on, instead of a participant. To me, this meant the squawker was a bird, certainly not something, he’d be interested in.
Out the house I went, housecoat flying, feet barely hitting the stairs in my haste, no longer sleepy, but still a bit dozy from having just woken up. I had to save whatever poor bird they had cornered, before they could do more harm. Surely it had taken refuge beside the house because it was injured. It took a bit of work to shoo the cats away, but somehow, I managed it. Though they hung back a bit, they still intently stared, at the same spot against the house. Unable to see anything in the dark shadows, never mind the tall, dead flowers from the year before, I cautiously, carefully moved towards the spot, where the hair-raising noise was emanating from. I was maybe eight feet away, when something suddenly erupted out of the tangle of dead plants with a vengeance. To my shock, it wasn’t a bird at all. The animal that dared threaten me, its human protector, was a very angry mink! That furry, fat beggar was all glossy fluff in anger, and didn’t in the least care that I was a giant in comparison to it. All it wanted was, to unleash its fury on something, anything. It was only the fact that the dog stood beside me, and that the cats immediately rushed forward that halted the attack. Well, this was a surprise, and changed my whole plan, too. Instead of helping an injured, giant bird of some kind, I ended up locking the cats safely in the quonset, and the dog in the porch. Mister or Missus Mink needed some space. The sooner it moved along, the better.
We saw the mink a few times, over the next week or so. It was on the tire of the garbage trailer a couple of times, as well as inside it, rummaging around though there was nothing to scavenge. We caught a glimpse of it rushing out of the barn, and there was a scary scurry of movement, as I walked by the flower garden once, but that was about it. Eventually, it was simply gone, well remembered but never to be seen again.

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About Trudy Andrew

Trudy Andrew lives on a small farm just east of Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she enjoys her Morgan horses. A dreamer since she was a child, its no surprise to those who know her well that her imagination would find an outlet in writing, as it has in the past through artwork.
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 Oakbank, MB