My Masters

The Cats – Charles, Peter and Tapioca

I am an inanimate object;
My three spoiled cats have told me,
I’m just a thump in a well-traveled route,
Between their water, fresh food, and smelly sandboxes.

They expect me to know their special needs,
They prefer houseplants to dry crunchy kibbles and bits.
But whatever they eat, they cough and they spit
Messy hairballs on my dining room carpet.

At night when I lay in my warm cozy bed
Scampering claws dig into my flesh.
They scream and hiss in purr delight
Then quietly settle wherever they wish.

It seems like so many years ago,
When my daughters selected cute bundles of fur.
They promised us they’d alwys take care,
Now they’ve fledged and left them behind.

Nine lives is a long, long time,
About nineteen years, my vet has advised us.
But still I would protest if someone took them from the nest,
I’d miss my lords and my fur masters.

               -Clarence Holm, Servant of the House

The Cat-trievers!

Charles and Peter "Purrefed Cat-trievers"

Charles and Peter
“Purrefed Cat-trievers”

Yesterday, as I was preparing for my afternoon nap, I was startled to hear the pecking of that rascally red headed woodpecker that is reducing the side of my house to a shredded variety of Cedar Swiss Cheese.

I am normally a bird lover, we have feeders placed throughout the yard, providing tempting sunflower seeds mixed with millet and thistle to our fine feathered friends. In the summer we offer fruit and peanut butter to balance out their diet and in the winter we hang the finest suet available from the local hardware store. I have installed numerous homes on poles and hung many from our trees. All I ask of them in return is a reasonable amount of quiet, some bug harvesting, and a pledge not to destroy my home.

For over 20 years, the birds and I have co-existed (vis-à-vis in an interspecies way). However, over the last three months this peace has been shattered by what I have come to believe is a pecker headed birdie that has suffered a concussion from continuous head strikes. This demented demon has riddled straight lines of holes into my rustic cedar siding. I have filled the damage and have repainted the areas, only the have it re-attacked when my back was turned.

I have placed convincing replicas of mean looking hoot owls and have arrayed an army of gnomes to ward off his pecking. Their intervention has been an abject failure!

I can only surmise that a state of war exists with this bird and my neutrally painted siding.

Late last afternoon, I was forced to take up arms against the aggressor. I broke open my locker of war and brought out my trusty Daisy Red Rider BB-gun. With a few drops of light weight gun oil, I lubricated my trusty pump of war. Then with a gentle cleaning solution, I polished the barrel of retribution and adjusted the black target sight of death.

Putting the weapon aside, I cleaned and polished my tri-focal lenses to their maximum optical brilliance and then opened a package of tender beef jerky to assuage my savage hunger.

Calling to my faithful hunting companions Charles and Peter, we together savored the scent of war. My purrifed cat-trievers literally pranced to the sliding patio door, waiting to enter the backyard of honor.

Crying tally-ho we turned toward the December sun and followed the feathered trail of sedition. With measured steps we crept around the house to our avian field of valor.

With shouldered arm and peering eyes, we glimpsed the devil incarnate. With a hardy chirp, he plunged his head again and again and again into my siding.

And, as my racing heart pumped adrenalin fueled retribution to my finger tip, the bird tilted his head to look at us, while my faithful cats, Charles and Peter, licked their chops.  I inhaled then exhaled and calmed my pulse, squeezing the Red Rider’s trigger. With a mighty “Pffft”, the copper missile was launched on its deadly trajectory of doom.

Oh, somewhere in this wonderland the sun is shining bright; somewhere the cats are dancing. Somewhere the birdies sing, somewhere men are laughing and somewhere a prayer filled shot flies true: But sadly there remains a pecker in my yard – mighty Clarence missed the mark.


Clarence Holm