Damn Kat

by Captain Perry Wrinkle

Years ago when I was very young I had this friend who used to hang around with us. He would come and go, but he really didn’t seem to belong. His eyes were never still, they were constantly moving from object to object, never seeming to really see anything, but you knew he didn’t miss anything. He finally moved away. No one ever missed him.

Later in life I was lobster fishing, shortly after I got out of the service. This older guy was fishing out of the same harbor. He was the same way. He would look at your boots or over your hat; the guy could look east with one eye and west with the other at the same time. He could check his shoe lacing and watch the sun come up at the same time. He was hauling my traps. I don’t think mine were the only ones he hauled. I think he hauled a lot that he didn’t own. He could never look anybody in the eye. The lobsters were just coming on in the deeper water and I would haul out there first while it was calm and by the time I got back inshore my short rope gang was pretty well picked. I told my wife that I was going to have to take some time and catch that old S.O.B. and then shoot him! She said I ought to tell her father. He was the local marine warden and he could catch the bad guy. I told her that us guys usually took care of such problems our own selves.

All of a sudden this guy took up his traps and sold out and he never fished again. I found out many years later that she had told her father, and he in turn had caught that guy red handed. He made a deal with the guy that if he sold out right away there would be no charges. My father-in-law said he did it that way because he knew damn well that once the guy was caught, if I didn’t shoot him, one of the other guys in the harbor certainly would. The wardens back then used good judgement.

Now, this “damn kat” reminds me of these people, sneaky, conniving. If this damn cat were a person, she would wear a felt hat and a trench coat. It ain’t my cat. It actually is supposed to belong to my son’s wife. I hate cats!! My wife was having a yard sale last spring and I tended for her a while. I sold that damn cat four times and as soon as someone would pay for her, she would run off till I gave their money back, then back she would come.

If my wife opens the door this damn thing goes by me so fast that the wind nearly knocks me over. When I stretch back in my chair to watch television there is a roaring behind my ear that sounds like a 671 Detroit in the wheelhouse, and it keeps up until I produce a bowl of milk for hush money. If I bring home any scallops this damn cat knows. “She will go around my legs like a boa constrictor.” I think she’s trying to knock me down so she can frisk me.

I think she carries a switchblade because every time I am a little slow with the milk I get prodded with a sharp instrument. I wrapped her up and gave her to my other son for Christmas, but he brought her back the same day.

I’m expecting anytime to go out there and “Damn Kat” will be hauling my traps. I guess she has decided to adopt me, so I’m just going to have to learn to cope until I figure out how to give her back to my daughter-in-law.

Good fishing and beware of cats.