Categories
short stories

My squirrel hunting cat

     Every once in a while, I enjoy writing about  something a little different. I choose to write about some of the experiences I have lived through. I enjoy sharing these tidbits of my life. If you are following my blog, you have noticed how I throw these funny yet true stories in every so often. Most of these stories involve me learning a lesson the hard way, usually showing comedy with me being shown as the butt of the joke. In all of these posts, there is also a lesson that I have learned and passed to you, hopefully helping you not make the same silly mistakes. I have had great success with these post and continue to go back through my memory to pull one out sometimes. This story is one that involves an amazing little creature I had the pleasure to witness at his absolute finest. For once, I didn’t make a grand mistake making me the stooge in an event of my life. Actually, there’s no funny in this one, just pure amazement. I hope you will continue to read and allow me to introduce you to “Smokey” my truly amazing cat!

     I had this cat that was the best darn  squirrel hunting dog that I ever owned. Did I say dog? He might as well have been. I know that just sounds plain crazy to start my story  like that, but when I explain farther, you will think that was the best way to start after all. Spending my teenage years in the Ozarks of Missouri, I did a lot of hunting for various reasons. Sometimes the reason fell upon food for my family, other times it was for the hides so rich people could wear strange clothing. If you have never lived in the country, you probably wouldn’t understand the need for hunting. It’s probably not a far stretch that you city folk wouldn’t understand the pure joy of hunting, either. The joy of hunting is a pleasure that is hard to explain. Was it bloodlust? No, it is the joy of being in the woods, watching and listening to everything around you. It brings a special piece to one’s self. It settles the mind and teaches us the gift of the great outdoors. The hunt is the necessary part, the other is the pleasure one is given for such an adventure.

     Part of hunting sometimes includes a good hound dog who can lead you to prey one seeks. A good squirrel dog will drive squirrels up a tree and run around barking, keeping the squirrel treed. This term treed means just what it sounds like, the dog will keep the squirrel in one tree, not able to flee to another tree. Once his master finally gets there, this brilliant dog will walk around to the opposite side of the tree, giving the hunter a clear shot at his prey. For those of you whom have never paid attention to squirrels before, when you are walking towards the tree the squirrel occupies, he will climb around to the opposite side, staying out of your view and in a safer place. This leads us to the good hunting dog I spoke of. The hunter once taking up his position at the tree will signal his companion. This brilliant animal will do what he is taught and circle around to the opposite side of the tree. Once he is in position, he will growl, bark and jump up against the tree. The prey will see this craziness and want to get to a safer position, climbing around the tree away from the danger to the opposite side. What the squirrel has now done is take himself away from something that can’t get to him into the sights of something that can, the hunter!

Gray cat laying down
This is not Smokey but could be his twin

       I feel this is the time to introduce you to the cat I had back then. His name was Smokey. I named him that for the most obvious  reason. He was gray from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet. There wasn’t a speck  of any other color on him. Smokey was a great friend to me. Living on a farm, we had lots of cats, but Smokey was the only one I liked. As he reached adulthood, I noticed that Smokey started following me on my hunts. “Stupid cat, he thinks he’s a dog” I thought. Later on, he would be known as a genius kitty by me.

       I went for a squirrel hunt one day and happened to catch a glimpse of Smokey following me through the woods. Once again, all I could think of was, stupid cat. All of a sudden, I seen some squirrels looking for nuts around this large oak tree. I slowly kneeled down and patiently watched these little creatures running to and fro. It dawned on me that I hadn’t heard Smokey moving behind me. I knew if he was moving around, he would have to make noise in the dry leaves that covered the floor of the woods. Did he go back home? Nope. As I slowly turned to look behind me. There he was, maybe fifteen feet behind me, sitting still as a brick wall. Another thought jumped into my head. This stupid cat is going to run across them leaves on the ground and alert the squirrels of my location. This isn’t what was happening, he just sat there, watching, with me as still as he could be. He’s not crouched down waiting to leap, just sitting there patiently watching along with me.

     A little while past and I watched as the squirrels headed up this other tree, maybe one hundred feet away. This is when I slowly started my walk to their location. I would have them treed, and the only problem I would have now would be to get them in my sights to shoot them. I could have shot one from my original position, but I would lose track of the others and probably wouldn’t be able to get them. When hunting, I always believed I should bring home enough for at least one good meal for my family. Any less than that and I would feel like I failed the reason for the hunt.

Gray squirrel in a tree

     As I got within fifty feet of the tree, I stopped and waited for the first squirrel to get curious enough to come around to my side of the tree. I knew this would take a while since I didn’t have a dog or a hunting partner to walk to the other side. I waited maybe five minutes and I heard something coming from up from behind me through the dead leaves. Furthermore, I turned and seen that it was Smokey. I thought once again, “stupid cat.” I believe he must have read my mind. He must have been thinking, “I’ll show him who’s a stupid cat!” All of a sudden Smokey ran past me and headed for the squirrel tree! What the heck is he doing? When he reached the tree, he slowed down and slowly walk to the other side. Once there, he jumps up on the tree and ran up about ten feet. I was surprised to see he’s looking around the tree, where he had stopped, right into my eyes. The best that I could come up with was him asking if he was in the right place. Of course, he may have been thinking, “stupid human. Here I am running the squirrels to his side and all he can do is stare at me.”

      Once Smokey was in position, the squirrels worked their way around to the opposite side of where he was. This put the three squirrels on my side. It caught me by such a surprise, that it took me a minute to get through my brain what was happening. Once the shock left me, I picked up my rifle and was able to get all three squirrels, Smokey had sent to me. When the squirrels hit the ground, Smokey came down out of the tree and ran towards me. Once again, shock hit me. This cat was running towards where the loud sound had just originated from. Wow, that is the best squirrel hunting dog I had ever witnessed, and it is feline, not canine!

       I took the squirrels home and prepared them for my Mom’s famous squirrel and dumplings. I relived the moment of the hunt while sharing my story with my Mom and Dad. My Mom thought it was a sweet story, while my Dad ask what I had been smoking. I’m serious Dad. It really happened, just like I said. I don’t think he believed me at the time, but he would in the near future.

     I went out many times squirrel hunting, and every time Smokey went with me. Not only did he go, but every time he would do the same thing as before, jumping up on the opposite side of the tree, giving me the clear shot I needed. My Dad finally had enough of my story telling about Smokey, so one day, he decided to go on the hunt with me. Smokey followed us out and when we got the squirrels in the tree, Smokey once again showed his trick. My Dad was absolutely floored. He had just witnessed this with his own eyes and still had trouble believing what he had just seen.

     I continued to go hunting with Smokey over the next two squirrel seasons. No matter how many times I have seen Smokey do his little trick, it was still hard to believe. Smokey passed away towards the end of the second season. I guess I should’ve sent my story to the papers at that time, but I don’t think they would’ve printed such a crazy story.

     I have had a few cats since then, but none with the talent that Smokey had. I hope you have enjoyed my story. It really did happen, crazy as it seems. For those of you that are against hunting, I’m sorry if I offended you. For those of you that enjoy hunting, I hope you have the fortune of a talented cat that helps you on your hunting trips. Take care, my friends and remember, we are all in this together.

Love like your pet and end war!!

     If only humans could love each other like our pets love us. We have all heard about unconditional love and yet we know nothing about it. If you would like to see the true meaning of unconditional love, take a look into your dog’s eyes. I choose a dog because they are the one animal that truly has this kind of love for their owner. A dog will lay his life down for you even if you have mistreated him. Now if you are mistreating your pet, then I hope you are punished.

White labrador retriever

     We as humans have the mindset to be who we want to be and yet we tend to choose destruction ove.r love for one another. I don’t understand how humanity could make such a terrible mistake like this. Why, in this day and age, do we have wars with each other? Wars are totally unnecessary in these times. I shall explain farther so as not to sound completely incompetent. Wars are always started for one of three reasons. First one is of course, religion. The second falls under the heading of resources. The final is for complete control.

      Talking about the third reason “complete control” is what is happening right now in Ukraine. When this happens, it is always started by some crazy person who wants to rule over as many people as possible. If you believe this will end in Ukraine (if not stopped by someone), you are sadly mistaken. This is the dumbest war that can be started with no real reason to do it other than for control. If the people of the evading country could love others the way their pets love them, they wouldn’t follow a crazy man. Some brave person or persons would remove this virus from power and there wouldn’t be a war in the first place. The ones who follow the crazy person at the top have no love for their fellow humans. They are also cowards for not stopping this crazy person in the first place. People will argue that the people have no choice but to follow because the army of the nut case at the top is too powerful. I answer this by saying, the army is the ones who cowardly follow the nut ball at the top and have no love for fellow humans including their own people that they are putting in the situation of having to follow.

A sign saying if Russia stops, no more war
If Ukraine stops, no more Ukraine

     I have been watching the destruction of Ukraine with a heavy heart. The one thing I can say is the people of Ukraine are the toughest people I have ever witnessed. They are standing strong and fighting back the evil that is invading their land. These people are heroes in my book. The invading Russian troops are cowardly for following such evil and not standing up for humanity. They see what they are doing and continue to blindly follow something that they themselves do not believe to be right.

    I did mention that there were two other reasons for war. The first being for religious purposes and trying to force others to follow their views. This kind of war is also stupid because over the centuries of these wars being fought, these have never won anything. There are more religions today then there were hundreds of years ago. This says that there will be more religions created as more time passes. There is always someone who will come up with something different and gain a following. Think about it, during these hundreds of years, how many wars have been started for religious beliefs and how many new religions are there today? I want to make this perfectly clear, religions are man made! The more time that passes, the more people will come up with new religions. So starting a religious war is stupid because it doesn’t change anything. Before I leave this paragraph, I must say that I am a Christian and I am just explaining how starting a religious war is stupid. Protecting your religious beliefs against an invading force is very much warranted.

       The other type of war is for resources. This type of war is usually mixed with one of the other two types of war. Resources are usually a secondary thought and a bonus to the invading force but not the first reason for the war to be started. So when we examine it, there are actually only two reasons for war to be started, religion or domination with resources as a bonus for the invading force.

     I was not going to write this post and I must say that it is not something I enjoyed to do. I do feel like I must say something because of what is happening to people that truly don’t deserve what is happening to them right now. It is hard to see the rest of the world standing on the side lines and watching  something so horrific happening and doing nothing to help. I am saddened by the lack of love in so many. If only they would take a minute and see the love their pets have for them and learn to love the same way, this kind of thing would never happen in the first place. Along those same lines, while it is happening, other countries would step up and stop this horrible unjustified war. May God be with the Ukraine people in their time of need.

      If you have read my post before you know that I always end saying how we are all in this together. Today I will not end my post like that for the Ukraine people are standing alone and we are not in this together. Remember to love one another as your pets love you. We can live in peace if only we will do this simple thing. Look into them puppy eyes and learn what it is to have unconditional love.

Categories
Blog posts short stories

Do you have a kind spirit?

Are you a kind person? Do you care about others as much or more than yourself? Are you the most important person in the room and see others as beneath your superiority? These are questions that if you are not asking yourself, maybe you should.

Everyone on this planet is different.  There are no two people exactly alike. Even identical twins are not identical in spirit and observe their selves and others differently. My question to you is not only are you a kind person, but how do we know if someone else is truly kind? You have to determine you for yourself. As far as others, there are two sure fire ways I know if someone is truly a kind individual.

Number one is the reaction of a small child around this person. Now, I don’t mean when the child is acting shy or maybe even cautious of this other person because the child doesn’t know him or her. Most children will show both of these emotions to anyone they don’t know yet.  However, if you watch the child, you can tell a lot about this other person. A kind person will still draw the child’s curiosity. He or she may be hugged up to mom or dad’s leg, but still want to take glimpses of this new person.

If this stranger doesn’t have a kind spirit,  the child will never take another look. Instead, the little one will grip mom or dad’s leg as tight as possible, hiding their face in the parent’s leg and never even attempt to take another peek.

Small blonde child walking in back yard

How can a small child have these strong feelings at such a young age? This is because this little person has yet to be damaged by society.  You heard me right! Let’s put the child at say four years or younger, depending on when they start school. The child is still living by instinct. Once they go to school, things change. The child is forced to deal with all kinds of different people and to learn to get along and accept others no matter what. I’m not talking about race or handicaps or stuff like that because the child hasn’t been introduced to any such feelings just yet. I’m talking about kind and unkind people and trusting in both the same.

Once in school, usually starting first grade, society has started to take hold and instinct is starting to be less involved. If the parents are not on top of these new emotions, then society will take its hold and instinct will start to wither away. This will be the first start of bad thoughts of others because of differences like race, religion, mental abilities, athletic abilities, clothing  or any other Stupid reason not to like someone else for. However,  they will lose the ability to look out for the one thing they should be watching for, and that is someone that may really harm them. Society has now started taking over!

This is what sets humans apart from animals. No matter how old an animal gets, instinct is still there. We as humans tend to overlook our instincts and that is why a lot of humans tend to get into dangerous situations without even seeing it coming.

The second way I know if someone I’m talking to is kind or not is by watching my dog. Of course, a dog is going to protect his master no matter what. But if you really know your dog, you can tell when something is really not right. No matter how well-trained your dog is, he will advise you when something is wrong, even if he is going to get in trouble for it. Your dog is not only your protector but also and sometimes more importantly, your advisor of danger.

Golden retriever sitting, looking straight ahead

They say a dog can smell fear. I truly believe this to be fact. I also believe a dog can smell or sense a kind or unkind spirit in a person. If you are an unkind person and have a dog, the dog will protect you because they are so loyal. However, the dog will also be leery of you and never completely trust you.

So there it is. Are you a kind spirited person or not? If you’re not sure, watch a child or dog. They will let you know the truth about you! Until next time, be kind to yourself and others.