Monthly Archives: July 2017
When we bought the mini-ranch one of the first things hubby did was stake out an area for a shooting range. He then put up stacks of hay bales, some wooden pallets, and stapled three targets in a row across the top.
Standing back, about 25 yards..or feet…I don’t know, because math, he proceeded to take the big-ass gun we have (okay ONE of the big-ass guns we have) and plug the bullseye nearly every time.
Handing me another of the BAGs, this one a smoother semi-automatic (the first being a revolver) he told me how to aim and shoot and stepped back.
I proceeded to empty the clip………..into the ground. By God, if anyone comes near me their feet are in some serious danger!
Every once in a while, patient hubby would take me out to try and teach me how to not shoot an intruder in the foot, thereby simply angering him/her and probably causing me to lose the battle, and each time I shot the ground. It didn’t seem to matter what size caliber the gun was either. Hubby had (wrongly) assumed a little “plinker” as he called the .22 we have would make it easier. Oh but he underestimated my ability to not be able to shoot straight. Still, he persevered. Bless him.
The other day, we tried again. This time with a BAG – the semi-automatic one I’d used on my first outing – and it was like a light bulb going off at my feet. Suddenly, I “got” it and began hitting the target every time. I mean, right in and around that bullseye. Anyone stupid enough to try and hurt me or mine would be in some serious trouble.
Unfortunately, I also became a casualty of the shooting range. You see, I was wearing ear protection, eye protection, the correct shoes, and a hat. But, since it was elebenty-hunnert degrees outside I was also wearing a tank top. And, since semi-automatic handguns have shells that eject after shooting, I now have FOUR rather large and painful burns in areas that are…well, sensitive. Yep, those suckers went straight up and then down the front of my tank top.
On the plus side, anyone coming at me now can feel reasonably certain their feet will survive intact.
They were two kittens hanging around our yard. One, a golden tabby we nicknamed “The General” after the cat in the original (and still the best) “True Grit”. John Wayne’s character, Rooster Cogburn, had a cat in the movie named General Sterling Price. Love that name. Anyway, the other cat was a tortoise shell tabby that had an elongated face and giant ears. He reminded me of every cat I’d ever seen in ancient Egyptian wall paintings. We didn’t call him anything, but he was clearly a very clever kitty because he’d hang back as The General snatched some of the food I’d begun to offer from my hand and when it was dropped, the other cat would saunter up and eat it off the ground without ever having to get near the stupid human.
One day, the week before 09/11, I opened the front door and there on my welcome mat were The General and his sidekick. The minute I opened that door The General ran off but the other kitten sat there staring up at me and meowing.
“Well?” I asked, “are you coming in or not?”
He slowly stretched up from a sitting position and sashayed his little ass into our house and hearts.
And there he stayed.
We named him “Bugsy”, and later “Bugsy, the Insane” for his crazy antics. He had pink paw pads, and a pink nose, and the rest was gray and white. He looked like Bugs Bunny.
At his visit for neutering, the vet guessed he was at least part Abyssinian – a revered breed in ancient Egypt – due to his bat-like ears and regal profile. He was crazy smart, able to open drawers and doors. He came when called, argued incessantly when given a command before reluctantly doing whatever I asked, and in general was a royal pain in the ass.
And we loved him awful.
When he turned 10 I started having to give him insulin twice a day. When he turned 13 we added thyroid medication.
When he turned 16, after years of not wanting too much human contact, he became an affectionate and sweet lap kitty.
Last weekend, after being sick a couple of days, he went to sleep and didn’t wake up.
We buried him under a mesquite tree and cried, the hubs and I. We still catch ourselves looking for him in the house, and I’m hearing the echoes of his meow from time to time.
He will be missed, but as my 9-yr. old granddaughter said during her breakfast prayer yesterday, she’s hoping that he’s in heaven with her great-grandmother (who died the same day as Bugsy) and having fun playing together. I choose to join her in that sweet and pure belief.
And, when I die I’ll look for Bugsy, and Smokey, Duchess, and Bandit, and all the rest of the animals I’ve loved along the way.