What's Tony Thinking

119 Year Old Cat Goes Sky Diving


Yes, that headline is definitely “National Enquirer” territory, or You Tube worthy. Alas no video.

Our 17-year-old calico cat, a female named George, tried flying the other day.

We actually missed it. Isn’t that how it always goes? You’re out mowing the lawn when he takes his first steps, or in Poland when she first says, “Da-da.”

But even those would be more predictable than a 17 year old cat (119 if cat years are the same as the dog years factor of 7), going free fall.

We live on the third floor. Spring weather makes the deck a choice place for George to hang out, catching rays.

Three stories below two women walkers were briskly strutting up the sidewalk when what should appear? A cat, George, in free-fall. Imagine their surprise! Imagine George’s surprise! (My theory is that she did that big roll and stretch thing from her perch on the edge of the sunny deck, but it was a stretch too far.)

The good news, you’ll be happy to know, is that George landed on her feet, on the sidewalk, three stories below, to the amazement of the startled walkers. Not being accustomed to public acclamation, George scuttled into some nearby shrubbery to review her situation.

Happily, our great neighbors, Ron and Alexandra, were alerted to George’s stunt and coaxed her back home.

Meanwhile, we were over in northeastern Oregon making an earlier than usual visit to the family cabin in the Wallowas.

And that was kind of mistake because there was three feet of snow around the cabin. I plunged in, as per usual. “What’s a little snow?” That turns out to be quite a lot of snow, especially when another load slides off the metal roof creating a 5′ pile and ripping out what I thought was a power line. (Photo a right is frozen over Wallowa Lake.)

Say this for Pacific Power, they get there pretty fast when you call saying, “line down.” Turned out it was the cable TV line for someone nearby. Not us. Cabin is a “no TV” zone, to the puzzlement of the grandchildren.

By the time we had finally staggered to the cabin door, we found the lock unusually resistant. Trip to hardware store. Application of graphite to make key work. No luck. So we called the only locksmith in Wallowa County and he, one Harlan Menton says, “I’ll be right up.” This is 5:00 p.m. and he’s 12 miles away in Enterprise. But that’s how folks are out here.

Harlan labored for half an hour in the rapidly dropping temperatures trying to pick our lock. I said, “Gee, in the movies this goes faster.” He concluded the lock was broken in a way that required extraction and a different set of tools.

“How much do I owe you Harlan?” “Nothing.” “If I can’t help you, I don’t charge you.” Again, small town life.

We agreed that Harlan would return when the snow is gone (although they are supposed to get more this weekend). And we hightailed it back to the warmer climes of spring-like Seattle and a visit with our flying cat.

So, a happy spring to you. Watch out for falling cats. T

p.s. A friend likes to send along jokes about aging. I thought this one was pretty good.

“Two elderly gentlemen had been friends for many decades.
Over the years, they had shared all kinds of activities and adventures.
Lately, their activities had been limited to meeting a few times a week to play cards..
One day, they were playing cards when one looked at the other and said, ‘Now don’t get mad at me …..
I know we’ve been friends for a long time, but I just can’t think of your name!
I’ve thought and thought, but I can’t remember it. Please tell me what your name is….
His friend stared at him for at least three minutes — he just stared and stared at him.
Finally, he said, ‘How soon do you need to know?'”



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