Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 8

M
Mill
Creek
Stories
by Molly Dugger Brennan
Porch Cats
THE PACE IS SLOW, THE STEPS MANY, BUT THE FELINE TEMPERAMENT
RULES AT EVERY JUNCTURE, FROM FIRST GLANCE TO PREMIUM FOOD.
HERE IN THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY
of Virginia, no
one buys a cat.
Don't have to.
Out here, cats
choose you.
Cats just
appear. First, they
start hanging
around the edges of the property.
Then they make themselves comfortable
in the shed. Next, you notice
them moseying across the front porch.
By the time they've laid a dead mouse
on your welcome mat, they've had
their mail forwarded to your address.
The cat introduces himself with a
gift of a rodent in rigor mortis and
you praise him for it. You may even
express your gratitude by putting out
a few crumbs, a bit of milk, nothing
really at all. You did nothing, except
to the cat your small gesture is the
same as if you had signed a 40-page
contract in blood. He owns you now.
He'll appear at your kitchen door
every day at the same time expecting
a saucer of something yummy. You
have just become the indentured servant
of a feline and you poor slob,
you never saw it coming.
My friend Emily had a cat appear
on her front porch. She came home
from work to find the scruffy calico
Full ownership involves playthings real and natural, and planting catnip.
stretched across her porch swing,
soaking up the afternoon sun. Her
dogs were all at the picture window,
foaming with disbelief that a cat
dared to trespass on their turf. The cat
took no notice of their frenzied barking
except to yawn and stretch a paw
towards the dogs. If cats had middle
fingers, one would have been lazily
extended.
The cat introduces himself with a
Emily did not acknowledge the
cat. For days, she didn't admit there
was a cat there at all. She started
referring to the intruder as Ga. Ga is
not really a name so much as a wish.
It stands for "Go Away."
The cat had other plans.
The cat took to walking
gift of a rodent in rigor mortis and
you praise him for it. You may even
express your gratitude by putting
out a few crumbs, a bit of milk,
nothing really at all.
8 | BlueRidgeCountry.com
across the window sill,
nothing between it and the
dogs except a brittle pane
of glass. The first day this
happened, the dogs went
into a collective convulsive
fit. Within minutes the
window was thickly spackled
with dog spit, obscuring
the cat into a shadow
of interpretive dance.
After a week, the dogs were completely
anesthetized to the cat's presence.
Even when the dogs were let
out, they paid no attention to the cat
who now lived on the porch 24/7.
Sure, they occasionally waltzed over
to sniff the cat but she barely awoke
when they did.
Emily started sitting on the porch
swing with the cat in the evenings.
Next, she started petting the cat.
Then she let the cat sleep in her lap
while they were swinging. Well, once
you start handling a cat, you have to
make sure it's vaccinated. You must
have it spayed because you certainly
don't want a litter of kittens appearing.
Emily briefly considered abandoning
the cat at the vet's office but
brought it back home because she
thought the dogs might miss Ga if she
disappeared. Right. The dogs.
So now Emily buys 60 itty-bitty
cans of premium cat food a month
and plants catnip in her flower beds.
That, my friends, is how you acquire a
cat in the country. 
KAREN BLANKENSHIP
http://www.BlueRidgeCountry.com

Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015

Letters
From the Editor & Digital Help Guide
Mill Creek Stories
Creature Feature
The Hike
Great Buys
Mountain Report
Country Roads
Creature Feature
Festivals & Events
The Curios: Our Annual Compendium of the Strange
North Georgia: A Foodie Haven
Why We Travel: The Photoessay
The 2015 Blue Ridge Country Travel Guide: A Year of Experiences
The Weekend: Harpers Ferry and Western Maryland
The Old Stone Chimney
Cabin in the Woods: Fiddler’s Roost
Mountain Garden
Guest Column: Author Stephanie Jeffries
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 2
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Letters
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - From the Editor & Digital Help Guide
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Mill Creek Stories
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Creature Feature
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - The Hike
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Great Buys
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Mountain Report
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 14
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Country Roads
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 18
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Creature Feature
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Festivals & Events
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 22
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - The Curios: Our Annual Compendium of the Strange
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - North Georgia: A Foodie Haven
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Why We Travel: The Photoessay
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - The 2015 Blue Ridge Country Travel Guide: A Year of Experiences
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 42
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 44
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 45
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 46
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 48
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 52
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - The Weekend: Harpers Ferry and Western Maryland
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 55
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 57
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 58
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 59
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - The Old Stone Chimney
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Cabin in the Woods: Fiddler’s Roost
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 62
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 63
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Mountain Garden
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Guest Column: Author Stephanie Jeffries
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Cover4
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