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Relay Race

by David Yehudah, Bellflower, CA, USA


These little hairy varmint critters never fail to amaze me.

When we lived in Texas Patty was heavy into quilt making. She had a frame and everything. When we moved here we had to leave the quilting frame behind because of space limitations, and she's moped about it ever since. So yesterday I got her a new frame as an early Hanukkah gift. Happiness! Once again there is joy in Mudville!

This thing is a freestanding floor model made of PVC plumbing fittings and pipe with half pieces of pipe with which to clamp the material to the frame.

Patty immediately dug out her bits and pieces of quilt-making stuff she'd been accumulating for I don't know how long and clamped it all together in the middle of the living room floor. She began the tedious process of putting it all in order and tying it together with colorful pieces of ribbon. Soon the top surface was covered with rolls of ribbon and pieces of cloth. And cat. Or cats.

First Samantha sprang up onto the hatchling quilt, scattering squares of material and rolls of ribbon in all directions as she prepared a nest right in the middle, making the quilt itself sag and pull away from the clamps on the sides. She closed her eyes and purred her little brains out as Patty squawked and wrung her hands, unwilling to mistreat the cat but determined to finish her quilt. Sam was gently removed and the offended quilt restretched and prepared.

Which, of course, made room for Cherokee, and as he weighs much more than Samantha, the quilt sagged almost to the floor. Which, of course, brought it down within reach of Toby's wildly snapping jaws and sharp little puppy teeth. Patty shrieked and flung cat, quilt scraps, ribbons, and puppy flying about the room.

With many imprecations, maledictions, and threats of serious bodily harm (up to and including dismemberment and barbecuing the offenders on a slow fire), Patty reassembled her project, and, still nursing her wrath to keep it warm, smoothed her tail feathers as far back into place as she could under the circumstances. Any critter who twitched was immediately transfixed by her gimlet gaze; "Don't you even think about it, Buster!" was her war cry.

Now Pussy is the smallest and daintiest of the crew, and she normally stays out of trouble, but she couldn't resist that enticing kitty hammock. Springing down from her perch on the mantle, she lightly touched the floor and without breaking stride popped up onto the quilt. Patty closed her eyes for a moment but managed to control her by now raging temper. Gently she brushed Pussy off the quilt, who was immediately replaced by Sam, who was replaced by Cherokee, who was replaced by. . .STOP!!!!

Patty grabbed a fly swatter off the counter and lay about her with might and main until by dint of perseverance, lightning reflexes, and the vocabulary of a mule skinner, she once again got the quilt stretched and ready to work on. From then on it was stitch (Swat!), stitch (Cuss!), stitch (Scream!), and the animals thought it was a great game and did their best to keep Madam from getting bored. I did my part by cackling insanely and offering 'advice.' Mac rolled on the floor holding his sides, wet his knickers, and begged for mercy, and Toby bounced wildly about the room, ears flopping madly, and yapped at all and sundry.

Interesting day, what? Although I suspect some of us enjoyed it more than others. :-)


Editor's note:

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