I thereby present "Susquehanna Cats" for your amusement....
When there's no cats around she leans on me gently and walks about in the mud barefoot, feeling for clams in the warm summer water with her toes. She says the mud and pebbles and bubbles of gas that trickle up from the water-weeds tickle her feet. No wonder, it's slow, warm water above the Susquehanna Rapids, the one with the little falls. The little falls is 2' high. She calls it her two-foot toe-wash.
That's how she describes it, and she found it, so she must have understood her father's instructions just fine, and that was good enough for me.
She moved from the city, where she could have a garden, hundred-year old cabin or not.
The old man's cabin, with silvered cedar shakes on the roof, is close to where he got himself killed off by a Greyhound . I was in the truck . We were getting cats that day too.
She keeps turkeys and hounds and an old bay horse named Buckley. He's the only horse around that knows how to round up turkey dogies . The hounds are 'Here' and 'There' . They want her to throw sticks out in the water, but watch the gobblers for her. Old Bones, he's always with us too, he got one puppy- leg chewed off and her daddy didn't want to call him Tripod.
I was with her fishing on the river. The water is lazy and you can smell the swamp grass along the edges. The big catfish explore the warm water along muddy banks, sunning and teasing me.
Sitting on the river waiting for catfish to bite is always a pleasure, even stuck in the mud, and that's what she did, came out on the bank to sit and watch me, in the early morning, sun, rain, fog or not, waiting for the cats.
"Hey Bones, look who's here!" she said. Buckly snorted. That always makes her jump.
She puts me under her arm when her hands get cold. She shivers.
"Time to go" she said after an hour, just to wind me up. I'd rather stay, but I said okay. She doesn't hear me, but I tell her anyway.
"Okay". The cats weren't biting, they're not hungry, just teasing the dogs. Fish are more communicative than some people, says my buddy Harvey. He likes trout better than cats. He sits in the corner most of the time and dreams about fish.
"Here, Mutts!" she called, and they came running.
We go in for coffee, and she makes hot biscuits, the good kind with cheese in them. I go with her to the coop and get eggs though, she says that's mandatory.
"That's the rules we live by, we want'em, we go get'em" she says.
"I don't go in the coop without you". There's snakes. I help whack them and I get bit. She sends the big neighbour boy in with a real snake stick sometimes, he gets 'em and takes them home to eat--the snakes, I mean.
I didn't need eggs. I don't eat eggs. I don't eat much at all. I stand in the corner with Harvey. He asks me if I caught any cats. Sometimes I tell him yes, just to wind him up but he knows better. For him, that's a real catharsis, he happily unwinds, he likes trout better.
"No fish, -- so shall we have biscuits, boys?" she asks.
"Just biscuits will be fine, Ma'am" we say, relaxing.
"That's what I thought, " she said laughing. "would you boys like peach jam too? "
"That would be fine, Ma'am" I say. She doesn't hear me.
"That'll be fine for me too, I'll make coffee" she says, her eyes twinkling.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.