Sunday, May 25, 2008

Some People Like Cats

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This is Marlin, she's about 12 years old. No, she's not named for a fish, she's named for a Model 1895 45-70 Marlin lever action. Now who'd name their cat for a gun much less a cannon like that? She is a survivor type and there is a reason. We were hunting elk high up in the Elkhorn mountains driving from one hunt to another in the K5 and watching for signs when over the noise I heard mewmewmew. Looking around I saw a kitten tearing down the opening by the road. I stopped and got out taking the lever with me telling my wife what was up. Her response was, "Oh we have to take it to town." I patiently explained to her that with no animal shelter there'd be no giving it away since there were already plenty of spares available, so if it went into the truck it also was going home and I didn't really want a cat. "Well you can't just leave it," which was true, it was late fall at 7000 ft and real winters and kittens or cats don't belong in the mountains so I responded that I'd just have to shoot it. "Whatever you think is right." Swell. I now had a problem, the kitten was twining about my ankles and that would involve shooting my own foot off. In order to accomplish shooting it in any sort of safe manner I'd have to give it pretty good kick. That tore it, I'd be unhappy shooting the creature but having to kick it was a bit much. So the 45-70 and the kitten went into the K5. Considering the cost of neutering and getting her cleaned up and shots and all that a 45-70 round would have been a pretty good investment. She's a really nice cat and she thinks I'm great stuff so it worked out, but she is named for the gun that didn't kill her, Marlin.

Her pose involves a bug. When someone visits the house she generally comes to see them and get petted. She is quite affectionate and not particularly aloof with my wife and myself. She believes she runs Gus, 150# Pyrenees, he knows better but lets her get away with most things. I also now know something I didn't before we had her, all Calicoes are female and very fertile. Your cat fact for the day.


Bpaul said...

Now that I've studied genetics in more depth, calicoes intrigue me. The coloration is a result of some pretty fancy/weird biology that's quite interesting, it's called a an x-linked Mosaic.

Can't look at a tortoiseshell or calico without thinking about it now.

for those feeling geeky, an explanation:

ps: You can get male calico, but it's so rare that statistically it's probably proper to say all calicoes are female.

Phil said...

And all orange cats (Garfield, for example) are male. Your second cat fact for the day.

Jenny said...

Awww. Good story, Chuck. I love cats, and Marlin looks beautiful.

Quasi said...

Phil, most orange cats are male. There are a few orange girls around. I’d like to tell you that my hilariously funny book, The World Is Your Litter Box, is in bookstores now and is also available on Amazon. The book is cleverly disguised as a cute cat book so humans will buy it, but is, in fact, a how-to manual FOR cats. Check it out on my website,

flywheel said...

Hey Chuck, a friend of mine was on a camping trip in his truck and fifth wheel with his wife and cat. Cat sunning on roof of truck when hawk/eagle grabs and carries off. My friend said he could see his cat fighting the bird as they flew over the trees. He camped a few more days and his wife was ready to leave, but he insisted on staying "just another few days". Sure enough, here comes the cat, somewhat the worse for wear, which he promptly took to the nearest vet and re-named Secret. This cat would sit in the room and size you up in a very cool and detached sort of way and then, if he thought you were cool, he would come over and say "Hi!". One of the coolest cats I ever knew.

Bpaul said...


The Wife and I always call those "back from the dead" animals the shamans of their kind -- they've been to the land of the dead and back, and are now special HAHA.

We knew a little banty rooster like that, he always had a special way about him after he disappeared into cougar and coyote-infested forest for a couple weeks.

Great story and image, thanks for posting.

Chuck Butcher said...

An eagle ride had to be exciting, at least.