Sunday, May 04, 2008


From the Archives: May 2, 2002

HOW TO SWING A CAT


In the evening getting the kids to the table for supper I noticed that Haru the cat was inside the house playing with something over in the corner behind the trunk, I picked him up with my right hand, having a dishrag or a paper or something in my left, and sort of held the squirming beast in place with my left forearm as I headed to open the door to put him outside so we could eat in peace but the cat was playful, and grabbed my arm quite painfully with his claws, and I went OW! OW! OW! and pulled the arm away from him and held him out at a distance with the other hand, when I felt that he must have extremely long arms because though in my right hand he was still clawing my left forearm, and then I looked and saw that it hadn't been the cat, it was a large hissing beetle the cat had been playing with, that had fastened itself to the cat's hair in the righteous fury it was now taking out on my completely innocent forearm, and I was going OW! OW! OW! but had both hands full and couldn't put the cat down or it would understandably run upstairs and hide unreachably under the bed or worse, and so I couldn't get at the beetle, who was hissing pissed off pinching for all it was worth the tender skin of my as I say innocent forearm and I was going OW! OW! OW! and Keech was going WHAT? WHAT? WHAT? and so I started swatting at the beetle with the cat I happened to have conveniently at hand, swinging the cat in wider and wider arcs (note to cat swingers: it's hard to get pinpoint accuracy and solid impact from a cat; if you hold them by the scruff they tend to flop around when you swing them less than top speed at anything as small as even a large beetle, so you lose control on the first few swings, whereas swinging them by the legs or tail creates too great an arc so forget about accuracy; and if one is swinging a cat with any sense of urgency, one should ideally have a short stiff cat and a large target), trying for the very first time in my life to hit a beetle with a cat's head, though this fact was unobserved by me at the time, as I was still going OW! OW! OW! as the beetle went HISS! HISS! HISS! and Keech went WHAT? WHAT? WHAT? and the cat went YOW! YOW! YOW! what is this guy trying to do with me till finally I got the vectors together and swung the cat (thank god we have a living room big enough to swing one in) so that his head hit the beetle and knocked it off my forearm, altogether a very suitable YOWling HISSing OW-ing WHAT-ing bug adventure of another kind. The bite was not venomous, just a pinch, and so to dinner, cat and beetle not invited.

4 comments:

Pam said...

Nice application of the adage "use the tools at hand." :)

Chancy said...

I think there is an old saying "the room was too small to swing a cat" or something like that.

Good thing your room was large.
"
I Googled and found this quote:) this quote:

When Mark Twain used the phrase "swing a cat" in the 19th century in Innocents Abroad, he was obviously referring to a cat of the feline variety: "Notwithstanding all this furniture, there was still room to turn around in, but not to swing a cat in, at least with entire security to the cat."

Anonymous said...

Poor cat.

Wembley

Bob Brady said...

He was actually quite an understanding feline and tolerant of odd events, being country companion to two active children. Too flexible for the posted purpose, however.