Smiley: Cats aren’t stupid

Henry Bradsher has gained a new respect for our furry friend the cat:

“After several years of watching feral cats parade across our rear patio as if they owned the place, we asked the parish Animal Control & Rescue Center for a cat trap.

“They delivered a trap on a recent Tuesday and baited it with a can of cat food.

“A few hours later we caught … a turtle. I released it and reset the trap.

“On Wednesday morning we found in the trap … a small possum. The Animal Control people came, took it away, and reset the trap.

“Thursday morning: a medium-sized raccoon, also taken away.

“Friday morning: nothing. Saturday morning: a large-sized raccoon, also taken away.

“Nothing on Sunday or Monday morning, and on Tuesday they took the trap away.

“But we had seen at various times a small black cat sniff warily around the trap but disappear into the shrubbery; a large yellow cat circle around for a long time and even venture up to the trap’s entrance without going in, and a medium-size gray cat try unsuccessfully to get the bait out the back of the trap without going in the triggered entrance.

“Final score: canny cats 3, us and Animal Control 0. The cats are still out there.”

Which reminds me

When my mom and dad left Kenner in the ’80s and retired to a country place in Oakdale, one of Dad’s joys was working in his big yard, planting and tending to flowers and shrubs.

He had lived and worked in the New Orleans area for years, but he was still a Mississippi country boy at heart.

Every time I visited, he complained about the armadillos that dug up his garden as soon as he planted anything.

Around Christmas time, I heard of a guy in Kentwood who made armadillo traps, so I went up there and bought one of the wooden contraptions.

As I recall, it was a box with a heavy wooden door at one end that you would prop open with a piece of broomstick. The trap would be baited, and when the armadillo went in he would knock down the stick, causing the door to slam shut.

My dad was very appreciative of his Christmas gift, and put it out in the yard right away.

A few days later he called to tell me of his catches: a rabbit, a possum and a cat.

He said they were not amused by their captivity — especially the cat. …

Packing heat to eat

Nick Ferrara asks, “Do you think we might reach a point in Baton Rouge where we will have signs inside our local restaurants that read ‘Concealed Weapons Section Only’ and ‘No Weapons Section Only’?”

Olympic Rover?

It seems the childhood game of Red Rover was not as simple as I first thought.

Readers provide us with some nuances of the pastime:

Rexie Artieta says, “We were not allowed to play this game at school. It was played on Sunday afternoons in our grandparents’ backyard. It was too rough for school.

“When you picked sides, you had to make sure the big boy cousins were not all on the same team.

“Then they could not hold ‘double grip’ to keep you from breaking through the line.”

And Mike Eldred, of Tylertown, Miss., says, “Strategy included ducking at the last minute to go under the chain, or letting the person through in hopes the weak link of the chain would go to the other side.

“The game reached almost Olympic status in Pineville, the town of my youth.”

Special People Dept.

  • Elizabeth Rayburn celebrates her 90th birthday Tuesday.
  • Nell and Calvin Golden celebrated their 61st anniversary Friday.

Sounds yucky!

“My mother had ‘phonetic taste buds,’ says Tom Toddy.

“When I got married, my wife introduced me to the vegetable squash. It became a favorite of mine, in casseroles and cooked down with onions.

“The next time I visited my mother in another city, I asked her if she liked squash.

“ ‘Oh, heavens no!’ she replied with great disdain.

“I then asked her if she had ever tasted squash, and her reply was no.

“I then asked her how she knew she didn’t like squash when she had never tasted it.

“Her emphatic reply was, ‘Just by the way the word SQUASH sounds, I know I would not like it!’ ”

(Yeah, I have the same reaction to the word “tripe.”)

Spare that wolf!

Bertha Hinojosa’s pre-K and kindergarten class at Glen Oaks Park Elementary recently held a trial of the Big Bad Wolf who harassed the Three Little Pigs.

A Southern University Law School professor presided at the trial, and after extensive testimony from many witnesses sentenced the wolf to a suspended one-year sentence as well as home confinement.

After the trial, one of the students, who was obviously shocked by the court proceedings, approached the judge and said, “Your Honor, you DO realize that all of this was just pretend, don’t you?”

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.