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"Shorts, Outtakes and Rants"

Most weeks I write a column for my paper; occasionally my daughter writes one. Usually they're focused at local issues, but every now and then I come up with one that I think Spearfish Lake Tales readers would find interesting, so I post them on the Spearfish Lake Tales Message Board. Since I've been neglecting "Shorts, Outtakes and Rants" recently, I decided to repost a few of them here, like this one. I hope you enjoy it! -- Wes
A tough way to start the week

March, 2017

I was not at my best around here on Monday.

One of our cats is a bully. This black long-haired cat is theoretically one of Amanda's, but she somehow got left behind over my objections when Amanda and her husband moved to their new house. This cat enjoys attacking the other cats to show dominance, the same way that human bullies work. Her idea of perfection seems to be lurking in ambush, or at least throwing her considerable weight around when her target isn't aware of it.

Her favorite target is a small brown and white cat, who, unlike the bully, has claws and is very agile, so is a more than even match-up. The black cat, who is far from the brightest cat we've ever had, is so blinging dumb that she doesn't remember it the next time she's looking for a little recreation.

They frequently have confrontations. I'll occasionally come home from work to find tufts of black hair scattered around the carpet, telling me that the two have been at it again, and it's easy to tell who came out ahead on the deal. You would think that the bully would learn something after a while, but it doesn't seem to be dying down.

So, I'm sound asleep at three in the morning on Monday, peacefully minding my own business, when the black cat apparently decided it was the perfect time to pull one of her patented sneak attacks on the brown and white cat. Unfortunately, the little target was asleep on my pillow at the time, so I was rudely wakened by a cat fight going on around my head. I didn't get hurt, but it was not my favorite way to wake up.

Then to make it worse, the little one scrambled away on the first available route, which was over a stack of books that normally are piled on the headboard of the bed, so my wife and I immediately had a shower of books falling on us. Let's just say that she wasn't very happy about the rude nighttime interruption, either.

I never did make it back to sleep. Waking up in the middle of the night and having difficulty getting back to sleep is nothing new to me, but this time I was so worked up none of my usual tricks to get back to sleep did any good. That meant I was really dragging around all day, but somehow I managed to get through until I could go home, close the bedroom door to keep all the cats out and grab a couple of hours of nap time to get a little closer to being back on an even keel.

Our cats are fun most of the time. They enjoy playing, and there's nothing that takes away a mild depression better than having a cat hop up in your lap demanding to be petted and getting a purr as a result. Sometimes they're a pain in the neck, like they were Monday morning, and they need some maintenance and expense that we are glad to supply because we think they're worth it.

Most of the time, that is.

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