© 2016 by Charles D. Jones

Camp Cat Update

April 20, 2018

My mother loved cats, and we always had cats growing up. For a short time, we had 16, but that's another story. Suffice it to say, I don't recommend more than 2 at a time. I have scores of cat stories, and I've thought about writing a collection of cat short-stories. But I'm not sure how many people would admit to being interested in book of cat short-stories. Cat lovers seem to be like Trump supporters. They're mostly under the radar, perhaps embarrassed, but unwavering.

 

In addition to Buddy, the camp cat at lovely Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp, our current feral cat population stands at 11, down from a high of 14. Hopefully the population has been controlled thanks to a Corrections Officer with a soft heart for animals who had them each trapped, neutered and returned to the camp. Oddly, one of the feral cats has decided to domesticate herself. She's a beautiful smoky gray with a black nose and yellow eyes who's very talkative, friendly, and loves to play.

 

One evening while leaving the outdoor recreation area, I stopped to play with her as she rolled on her back. When I bent down, one of my radio ear buds came out. She immediately swatted at it, and one of her claws caught the ear bud, yanking it out of my radio and the other ear bud out of my ear. All this headphone wire coming at her must have been scary, because she took off running, with the headphones caught on her paw following right behind. No matter how fast she ran, she could not outrun the headphones. She ran under the Education Building, out the other side, through the visitation area, down the driveway and back under the Education Building.

By now it was getting dark and after 8:30pm, the time I was supposed to be back inside, but instead I was still outside calling cats. I was worried that she might have gotten tangled up in the headphones and trapped under the building. Finally, I found her. She was a little angry but OK. The headphones were nowhere to be found.

 

There was visitation the next morning, so I went out before it started to search the visitation area and all around the Education Building, but my search proved fruitless. By the next week, just as I had resigned myself to a $16 purchase for new headphones, an inmate found them far away in the grass. By now, the story of the cat and the headphones was well known, so he knew they were mine. They were left on my bunk with a Post-It note that said, "Meow." The connection jack was broken and they were a little dirty, but otherwise intact. Thankfully another inmate who works at Unicor replaced the jack, so they're now as good as new. 

 

I'm glad to report the smoky gray cat has forgiven me for my part in her traumatic experience. Apparently cats have short memories, like Trump supporters.

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