Saturday, June 02, 2007


Wasting time earlier today, I heard a sound that practically yanked me out of my chair. It was the wailing scream of a cat either fighting or being attacked.

I jumped around the table to our front window, the sound seeming to come from as close as our front porch. I didn't see a cat at first, and in fact didn't see a cat till I went outside moments later, drawn by what I did see.

About fifteen feet from the front of our house is one of the world's saddest and ugliest trees. It doesn't grow anything pretty anymore, scarce patches of leaves like a thin green fog dissipating and lots of tiny sticks that are constantly peppering the lawn beneath the tree. One of these days I will write a rant about tree topping, but this isn't the day for that.

As I jumped and looked out the window, not seeing any cats, a motion in the tree caught my eye. I knew from the shape of the bird that it was most likely a hawk, and a bit of searching leads me to believe that it was a juvenile red tailed hawk. I only got about two seconds to see him as he quickly took off again, leaving our tree.

I alerted the family on my way toward the door, wondering at once how likely we'd be to see the hawk again and how likely our noise would be the very thing to run him off.

We proceeded around to the front of the house. As we came around the corner, fairly high up in our poor tree was a beautiful cat, white, brown and black, like three large spots combining to color one cat. Across the street, passing quickly and perhaps a little guiltily through the neighbor's yard was another cat. As it peaked back at us, we could see that it was a Siamese. Not that that matters, but we all know about those Siamese cats.

The cat in the tree was obviously frightened. It ignored our entreaties to come down while keeping a wary eye on us. We knew that our presence wasn't helping her feel safe in descending the tree, and we hadn't arrived in time to see any hawks, not that it had been likely.

Stepping back outside moments later for a smoke, I went around to check the tree. The cat was at that moment finally taking the last leap down to freedom. I heard a neighbor call from a couple yards over, asking about the cat. He'd heard the same noises I had. He listened to my story and told me that he was aware of the Siamese as this cat terrorizes both his cats on a regular basis. The hawk of course was an added twist.

It's an unsolvable mystery, a scream, a hawk flashes past, one cat is up a tree while the other slinks away. I can piece together the same stories you do. I can wonder how a cat would fare against hawk claws versus how a hawk would fare against cat claws. Is this going to be the summer of wildlife stories? I'm up to two, and I haven't even mentioned the lightning bugs yet.

ugh, yes, that klan

Not going into too many details, the ku klux klan recently paid our town a visit and have promised to come back, telling us even when they plan to do it.

A blogger at our local politicalish Knox Views ponders a response. She mentions a black friend who believes that the black community should have a counter demonstration, while the writer herself feels that ignoring the klan would be a better alternative.

Many of the commenters seemed somewhat to agree with the idea of ignoring the klan. What could be better than disdain when appropriate? It was mentioned that the counter demonstration to the visit we already mostly ignored was people mostly by whites. I'm not sure what that says beyond that it seems the black community already decided once to ignore them.

One interesting suggestion for a counter demonstration was an African drum circle. While drum circles may or may not have at one time been African, they are sadly not so today, at least not anywhere as white as this town is. Which is not to say I'd be against a hippy drum circle. What better first wall of defense should a bunch of racist nut sacks turn murderous than your/my town's hippy population. Sure, they will be as usefull as a wet match, but the rest of us will be ready, the hippy's screams having warned us. Outside of hippies as pawns in a possible klan riot, I have no use whatsoever for the infernally selfish racket of a hippy drum circle.

My own idea, had we but the time to schedule it, would be to host a contest/demonstration of the local high school marching bands at the same time. It's got all the youth-as-the-future kind of teary eyed shit, and it has the added benefit of attracting a racial demographic more in tune with the population of this little town.

And what would make all of this even better would be to hold the contest/demonstration somewhere far away from the klan rally so that you didn't have to hear their shit between songs. We could get the sheriff's department to fly some reporters over the rally just to be sure we citizens could see on the news later, and then they'd fly back to the concert/demonstration where all the kids were playing random songs transcribed for gawky teens in uncomfortable hats, walking.

It's got all the makings of a good time. As a counter demonstration, we wouldn't be ignoring the klan while not having to see them or hear them or even pretend that we could smell them, hoping to demean them when we pretend they smell bad. We'd likely get a good night of music together, and you can bet that the local restaurants would be selling food in little booths. Knowing this town, there'd probably be fireworks, and that would be the final added benefit, that the klan would probably see and hear the fireworks. They'd be sad and lonely, knowing all the fun we were having while they were missing out on the party, and it was all because they only came to town to be a bunch of dicks.

Stupid klan.