Monday, June 13, 2011


Slick was the name of the cat in the picture above and was a cat given to my dad when they were dating. Slick began life as an indoor cat up until my parents married and then got the boot outside by my mom. Kind of ironic. But was even more ironic was that my mom replaced him a few years later with another indoor cat named Tina that would live for the next nineteen years until I was out of college.

Slick was a tomcat and thus did a lot of tomcatting. Most days he would disappear only to come back in the evening for feeding time on the farm. Eventually his tomcatting would keep him away on overnight trips and as time passed by, his overnight trips became more and more frequent. Overnight trips eventually turned into multiple day trips which eventually turned into multiple week trips. But eventually there came a time when we fully expected that Slick would never come back. Coyotes were always a problem to farm cats out and about at night as well as winter frosts. We had another outdoor cat during the same time frame which had lost an eye to Distemper who got caught out one particularly cold night and ended up losing both ears and his tail to frostbite. When those had all fallen off and with his one eye, he looked as if he had been through a battle in hell and back.

On the other hand, Slick seemed immune to all these and always came back even if it was just once every few weeks. He would show up at our door thin and sometimes with open wounds mewing outside on our kitchen stoop steps. We would pour him a dish of milk or cream and tend to his wounds while he ate. He would stick around a couple days fattening up on the cream and then would disappear again. We never knew where he went but we spotted him sometimes several miles from our farm house as we were doing farm work on various outposts. Several neighbors along our road had plenty of outdoor cats of the female persuasion so I'm sure he spent time on those farms too.

Eventually when I was maybe nine or ten, the day came when Slick never came back. Whether he met his end one late night via a coyote or as I like to wish, meeting the ultimate female cat and settling down, we never knew. I do know that perhaps a year after Slick disappeared for good, a young male cat that looked identical in every way to Slick showed up at our farm and began cavorting with the outdoor cats. My brother and I were quick to name him Slick Jr. but he never stayed around long enough for the name to stick and after a few times of stopping by our farm, he too disappeared for good.


Murf said...

For a minute there, I thought your dad was dating Slick. If you ever need an editor prior to posting, I'm here for ya. ;-)

If Warren Beatty can be tamed by a woman (as well as our dear Sage) and still be married all these years, I'm sure it happened to Slick too.

geri said...

love the photo - adorable cat. Indoor cats were never heard of in the Philippines (except for my cat) so we had lots of cats that would disappear for days, then come back.

Ron said...

Man... I will probably shed a few tears when our cat, Milo, meets his demise. The guy piled up a handful of voles and mole for me last night. Nothing says 'I love you' like a pile of rodents. If he disappears, I'll tell myself it was for love, too.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Hard for me to get sentimental about cats, any cat. In fact, I've been continually reengineering my cat trap. I've removed five from my world over the past few months but the ones I REALLY hate are just too danged smart to go into the trap. Bastiches! So far its cats 4, me 5. They managed to kill four of my finches, two of them babies. Once that happened, it was ON!

Three Score and Ten or more said...

As a guy with cat allergies, all of our favorite cats have been feral cats that we fed, and thus encouraged to stick around and kill squirrels, mice etc.
We had one that was tiger colored with a bright orange tail (the kids name her OT for orange tail) She wouldn't allow anyone to pet her, but if her food wasn't out in the morning she would climb up on the screen door and scream emphatically (you would have thought that she was being tortured)