I like most critters, though I will admit, some more than others. I like dogs. Real dogs, not those yappy little barking rats that so many people seem to think are dogs. If it weighs less than 25 pounds, it’s not a dog, it’s an annoyance.
I will admit that I don’t really like cats. Although I’ve known a couple of nice ones in my life, but for the most part, cats are jerks. They have aloof I’m better than you personalities, and they don’t really give a damn if you are there or not as long as you keep them fed with the kind of food they demand and leave them alone unless they want to be touched. The rest of the time, they look at you like you’re something the cat drug in. Get it, cat drug in? 😊 I don’t need that kind of rejection in my life. If I wanted to be treated that way, I’d still be married to my first wife.
I guess it comes down to the fact that I’m too insecure to be a cat owner. When you come home, even if all you’ve done is walk out to the mailbox, your dog is so excited to see you that it jumps up and down, rolls on its back, and piddles on the floor. A cat looks at you with a you again? expression and walks away.
Tropical fish are okay. I’ve had several large aquariums in my life and really enjoyed them. Well, I enjoyed setting them all up and picking out the individual fish that would live there, and then sitting back with a smile and looking at the little aquatic world I have created. That lasts about 15 minutes or so, and then I get bored. From then on, it’s just clean the tank, feed the damn things, and flush them down the toilet when the time comes. But in the meantime, fish are still better than cats because once in a while they will swim to the front of the glass and look out at you without sneering.
My kids have snakes and iguanas, or some such creatures, but they aren’t pets. Nothing reptilian has ever been a pet. I believe I’ve eaten both species during the jungle survival training course I went through in the Army. I didn’t even like them then.
Our granddaughter Hailey loves her horse, Six, and they are a great barrel racing team. That’s all well and good for her, but I don’t ride anything I can’t put gas in.
Two or three times over the years, I have decided that having a parrot would be cool. I was wrong. Trust me, it’s not. They are loud, they make a mess all over the place, and they’re damn near as arrogant as cats are. Plus, they live forever. I’m too old for that kind of commitment. These days I don’t even buy green bananas. So that’s about as far as I go with birds.
Except for chickens. I have a fondness for chickens. My preference is fried, although barbecued and baked are fine, too. And let’s not forget Miss Terry’s delicious chicken pot pie. But when it comes to roosters, all bets are off. Anything that wakes up that early in the morning making noise is not my friend.
When we were visiting our son Travis and his wife Geli at their new house in Alabama recently, we got to meet a couple of dogs that came with the place. They also have a beehive, a hen, and a rooster. The rooster’s days are numbered.
I believe he’s a Rhode Island Red, but I could be wrong. All I know is that he is noisy as hell and crows from about 4 AM until sometime in the evening when it starts to get dark. He is also very aggressive, as I understand roosters can be. He has chased Geli around the yard a couple of times, and Travis keeps telling her she has to throw her arms out from her sides and make herself look big and ominous so the rooster knows who is boss. Apparently the rooster never got the memo about how that works.
I get it. He was there before I was, and roosters crow. But really? 4 AM? And it doesn’t help that one of the dogs joins in with the rooster every morning, howling in serenade. Don’t they understand that fat old men need their rest?
One morning while we were there, I got fed up with all the noise, and I went outside to show that damn rooster who was boss. I threw my arms out to my sides and yelled at it and took a step forward, expecting it to turn and run away like it was supposed to.
Apparently the rooster didn’t get the memo about that either, because instead of fleeing, it went on the attack, coming right at me with its wings spread, cussing at me in rooster language. Then it raked my leg with one of its spurs. That hurt like hell! But worse than the physical pain was the damage to my ego and my trust in those members of the canine persuasion that I suffered when the dog bit me on the ass!
Travis insists that the dog got scared when I grabbed a lawn chair and tried to put it between myself and the rooster, so it just reacted. No, it didn’t. Those two were plotting against me from the moment I pulled into the driveway.
Being the big-hearted big guy that I am, I’m gonna give the dog a pass. Maybe it really did react to all the commotion and was really on my side and was just trying to get to the rooster, and I happened to be in the middle. Kind of a friendly fire type of thing. I spent enough time in the Army to understand that happens. But that rooster needs to die!
Our son is a gentle soul who always tries to see the best in any creature, so when I offered to shoot the rooster to protect Geli in the future, he told me no. In fact, he accused me of just wanting revenge. Can you believe that?
Of course, his story about how the whole thing happened is quite different. According to him, the rooster was minding its own business when I came outside and attacked it, and it was only acting in self-defense. He also really wishes he had made a video of it because he could send it to that TV show and make $10,000. Where’s the loyalty? I may disown him soon and write him out of the will.
Because it’s Travis’ house and he is the king of his own little domain and I’m just a visitor, Miss Terry says I can’t shoot the rooster. Maybe not, but I can tell you one thing. The next time we visit my kid, I’m going to take a bucket of KFC with me and eat it on the back porch, just to show that nasty critter what I’m capable of.
And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us.
Congratulations Stevi Hackenbruch, winner of our drawing for my two-book Highway History and Back Road Mystery series, featuring oddball little stories we picked up in our travels across America as fulltime RVers, both books personally autographed to the winner. We had 120 entries this time around. Stay tuned, a new contest starts soon. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books to foreign countries, only entries with US addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed.
Thought For The Day – If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?