Rolling, Tumbling, Snarling & Hissing

Well, we stayed home, and it was probably just as well.

As I reported last Thursday, the Texas Gal had told me to be ready to depart on Friday morning for a secret destination. She’d dropped hints about a special event in St. Paul, but she’d said nothing more than that. (I did some online sleuthing and could find nothing going on in St. Paul over the weekend that seemed to fit our tastes, but I mentally shrugged, figuring she knew what she was doing, and let it go.)

I got the full tale when she came home from work that afternoon. She’d been planning for us to spend the weekend with our friends jb – proprietor of The Hits Just Keep On Comin’ – and his Mrs. at the Green County Cheese Days in Monroe, Wisconsin. It was a trip we’d talked about during the summer; we’d set those plans aside then, and the Texas Gal had secretly resurrected them. But, she told me tearfully, some unexpected obligations had arisen that day, and we were going to have to cancel our Cheese Days plans once more. 

Disappointed, pleased and surprised all at the same time, I sat with her on the sofa, and we talked about other things we could do with an already scheduled four-day weekend. The dinner hour approached, and I headed downtown to bring us home a meal. And when I walked back into the house, I walked into a crisis.

The Texas Gal was at the bottom of the basement stairs with Clarence, our oldest cat. He looked unhappy. The door to the kitchen, to my right, was closed. I opened it, and I saw our other three cats gathered near the door, craning their necks to look down the stairs. As I placed the take-out bags on the counter, Clarence came bolting up from the basement, running through the kitchen and into the dining room. Three-year-old Little Gus took off in pursuit.

Clarence wheeled and hissed, and Gus, who outweighs Clarence by a fair amount, pounced. The two of them took off across the front rooms in a rolling, snarling ball of fur. Four-year-old Cubbie Cooper, who tips the scales at about eighteen pounds, jumped into the fray, and all three of them disappeared behind the couch, spitting and wailing. The Texas Gal and I followed, and we managed to separate the three and get Clarence and Gus into separate rooms.

“That’s the second time that’s happened since you left,” the Texas Gal told me. “I don’t know what started it, but Gus and Clarence have been spatting ever since, and Cubbie joined in. I had just managed to get Gus and Cubbie upstairs and get Clarence calmed down when you came in and opened the kitchen door.”


“You didn’t know,” she said, “and I was hoping it was over. But I guess not . . .”

We kept Clarence and Gus separated that night. The few times they saw each other, Clarence – who tends to hold a grudge – snarled and hissed. Gus returned the favor the first time or two but then subsided. Cubbie was jumpy, as was five-year-old Oscar (who’d watched both squabbles from close range but had not been involved).

We were lucky that no one was seriously hurt. Cubbie had a scratch on his tail that was a little bloody, and Clarence had a small scratch on his ear. It could have been far worse. Still, it took until late afternoon Friday for us to be sure that Gus and Clarence weren’t going to get into it again, so – as I noted at the top – it was probably just as well that we stayed home this weekend. And, you know, there’ll be another Cheese Days Festival in two years.

In closing, here’s a 1971 tune from the Twin Cities band Crow whose title pretty well sums up the way things were here Thursday and Friday.


One Response to “Rolling, Tumbling, Snarling & Hissing”

  1. jb says:

    We missed you this weekend, and were forced to eat your share of the deep-fried cheese curds. Did you ever get any insights into what caused your cat battle royale?

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