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The barn cat recruiting dilemma

The Landlord has appointed me Commissioner of Cats. I suspect this promotion has something to do with the dearth of regular barn cats in our little home sweet home. It also surprised me, since I’m no expert in barn cat recruitment. In fact, the last time I tried to interview a working tabby she tossed me a withering glance before reclining wordlessly in her COSTCO box.

One would think Mr. and Mrs. Landlord could round up a couple of feline freelancers given today’s tough job market, but no. Months of interviews have produced only a handful of uppity city kitties. These urban varieties prefer flirting with the boarders rather than managing vermin.

Anyhoo, much as I enjoy all creatures, great and small, my knowledge of kitty culture could use a boost. However, this is not due to my lack of trying. For example, along with 118 thousand others, I Like Henri le Chat Noir on Facebook. I also attempt to make meaningful conversation with Madam’s Fluff Muffin Cat. In fact, I recently queried the Fluff Muffin about what he would like for his birthday.

“Nothing,” he chirped rather dismissively.

“Perhaps you could use a new hat or a game of kitty Monopoly?” I persevered. “How about your very own goldfish named Ted? Maybe an iTunes gift card or a field mouse soufflé?”

Another withering glance shot my way. The Fluff Muffin then airily announced that he preferred napping in his COSTCO box to nibbling on a gourmet entrée endorsed by a horse. I was beginning to wonder if the COSTCO brass knew what a hot commodity they had on their hands with these boxes.

“You mean you want nothing more than this teeny box that once served as home to canned peas?” I asked, realizing we had a recurring theme here. Clearly some marketing guru caused these cats to treat COSTCO boxes as if they were upholstered in mackerel.

And did I happen to mention Fortuna Farm’s three retired cats? We call them retired because they spend the day lolling around the office picking their teeth and exchanging recipes for rabbit fricassee and sautéed dove. Though they regale one another with old chipmunk hunting stories, we have yet to see any evidence of truth in this.

So, it’s safe to say that I face a daunting task recruiting cats with proper credentials. It’s also time for me to enroll in a cat sensitivity seminar. Perhaps I can learn why the retiree named Fang ignores my offers of carrot cake, yet regularly reclines on my backside.  It’s a mystery.

— Noah Vail

Noah Vail and Mary Farr have collaborated on the newly published book, Never Say Neigh: An Adventure in Fun, Funny and the Power of You. Noah, author, philosopher, humorist, gin rummy ace and all-around “good news sort of guy” blogs here.

Reflections of Erma