Who knew that Buffalo County and Sherman County in Nebraska treat stray cats differently? One bright, cheery morning in a town of Buffalo County a neighbor across the alley was leaning against his garage smiling like a deer during duck season. At his feet was a cage trap filled with a fury feline of the cat kind. He proudly explained that the lady in a nearby home had over eight cats and they were ruining his flowers. Apparently the cats were watching too many kitty litter commercials and wanted to get their own show on “Cats and Carnations.”
At that moment the Chief of Police of the hamlet drove up to the neighbor’s garage. The chief had told the elderly gentleman that he could not shoot, poison, run over, molest, annoy, injure, maltreat or take the mouser to dinner. He could capture the wily beast and the officer would take it from there. A nearby neighbor asked the chief if he was going to teach the cat to swim with nothing more that a burlap sack for the kitty’s beachwear. The cop was horrified at the prospect to harming the animal and loudly announced that he was “just going to relocate the stray feline.” Seems fair unless he’s talking about the relocation program the Capone family ran in Chicago during the 30’s. The neighbor cat unfancier had ended the urban dwelling for four mousers that week. Then there is home sweet home, Sherman County.
The psychic village of Ashton in the aforementioned county is also home to lots of cats and dogs wandering around the town. Some belong to a resident and some come to Ashton just for vacation and the fine food. There was a dog/cat chaser and catcher a few years back, but he left Sherman County the only way most leave, he died. Since then no one has signed onto the job that pays the princely sum of one hundred bucks a month (386 Polish zlotys) and all the kolaches you can purloin. Consequently the stray population waxes and wanes; you’d think the pooch and pussy population would simply keep increasing, but something mysterious is afoot.
The lady on one street has 30 cats; not the record for number of felines in one home, but a fine start. Lately she has complained that something is happening to her furry companions since 10 or 11 are missing. A few days later, five more have joined the MIA (Missing In Action) Club. How was this happening? Had house cat become the main ingredient in local meth lab concoctions? A dog with a vendetta? Maybe they went out on strike due the lady switching from whole milk to two percent? Spring break at Catnip Island? Whatever the reason, the stray population has been seriously compromised and kitty lady wants to adopt a couple of dozen cats more; you know, just to have a spare.
Have you ever heard cats fight? It’s not often, but loud and vicious. In many ways the bishops of the US are like cats: they’re aloof, largely indifferent and the leading cause of hairballs. Lately it’s been a cat fight between the bishops on the distribution of Holy Communion to pro abortion politicians; you know, the ones who say they’re personally against it but support every abortion cause ever known or voted upon. Some bishops are taking to the media with their gripes at one another, and it’s getting loud and vicious. If that is what’s happening in public, imagine the maneuvering behind the scenes. This is unseemly! (I’ll have you know that this whole rambling was just for the sake of that last sentence)
At the end of the day, every pastor has to answer the question: Do I give the transforming, healing grace of the Eucharist to someone who wants it, but still desires to be ill?