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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cats vs. Cat Catchers: Redux (or, more appropriately, Regeese)

My brother Zac is a great artist. As a boy he would draw constantly, filling in the front sides of the pages of an entire drawing notebook, and then going back and filling in the back sides of the pages. And then he'd start on another notebook. He has stacks and stacks of notebooks that he filled up when we were kids. I was always mesmerized by the way he could see something in his head and transfer it to paper seemingly effortlessly in his very distinctive style.

So when we were quite young, Zac and I liked to play cats vs. cat catchers. Of course, the cats were the good guys and the cat catchers were the bad guys. Sometimes we would run through our sprinklers while making believe we were the cats trying to avoid the cat catchers. I don't really know where the logical connection is there. These things come so naturally to kids, but I've lost access to that part of my imagination, it seems. Anyway, other times, Zac would draw paper dolls for us exhibiting many characters from both the cat side (in humanoid form, of course), and the cat catcher side. If I remember correctly, sometimes there was a rouge cat who was on the cat catcher side, and maybe there was like a human scientist on the cat side. Vague memories, though, so I'm not sure.

Anyway, what brought these memories back to mind was an incident that happened yesterday. There are a couple of nesting geese that live near my office on 200 S and 700 E -- right in the middle of the city with no water or park in the area. But these geese are very content with their location and very vociferous when they cross the street on foot and force cars to stop or slow for them while they stand and honk (the geese, that is, not the cars... well, sometimes the cars honk too). Miraculously, they haven't been killed yet, and I think the whole situation is quite amusing. I say if they want to risk their lives living in the city, that's their business.

So I was a bit disturbed yesterday when I started walking home from work and saw a woman half a block ahead of me flagging down an animal control vehicle. Apparently she had called them in to capture the geese. As I approached the vehicle, the goose catcher retrieved her net from the back of the vehicle, and memories of cats vs. cat catchers flooded back into my mind. But this time it was a battle of the good-guy geese versus the bad-guy goose catcher and her evil animal-hating minion. I knew which side I was on. So as I passed the evil animal-hating minion and the evil goose catcher who approached the poor unsuspecting geese with her net, I yelled, "RUN, GEESE, RUN!" And of course, they don't speak English, so they didn't run, but I couldn't bear to watch, so I kept on walking. A few paces down the road and the honking started. The battle had commenced, but I kept on walking.

I felt like I was all wet in the sprinklers.

But much to my delight, this morning the geese were back in their usual place, honking vociferously as ever, as if to declare that, yes, this is their home. I was worried that the poor geese were to be destroyed, but maybe the evil goose catcher had instead taken the geese to Liberty Park, where dozens of other geese nest about the pond. Foolish goose catcher! Geese have wings, and better navigational instincts than your on-board GPS, and obviously these particular geese do not have the same lust for water and grass that the other geese have. No, they long for something different. They choose not the suffocating anesthetic of the suburbs, but the violent jolt of the capital. That is their choice.*





* Last two lines borrowed from the film The Hours.

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11 comments:

Sov said...

So what precisely did the Goose Catcher think was going to happen after taking the geese to the park? That they would stay there happily like nothing had happened? Actually, that's probably good for job security, since you just have to keep doing it over and over.

For the record, I hate geese. They are nasty and vile creatures. They are very territorial, and fairly big as far as birds go. And they can run pretty fast. I've had many a chuckle seeing geese run after little kids in the park, geese hissing and flapping and little children screaming for their lives. Quite amusing. Still, I dislike geese almost as much as seagulls. Ducks are much better.

Sra said...

I rather like geese, probably for the same reasons that you hate them.

I HATE pigeons though. I have threatened to kick pigeons that stand in my way. Little flying street rats, that's what they are!

Seagulls are rather annoying too. They won't leave you alone if you have food.

feed the world with PEZ said...

The whole situation speaks volumes about how nature is so much more powerful than we are. People think that we have the power to kill the world and it just shows that we are merely an inconvenience.

When we finally kill ourselves off or starve to death or die from a some massive plague. The Earth and all the rest of the creatures will just go on like nothing happened. New species will evolve and the cycle will start over. May be geese will the be next intelligent beings. Of course they won't waste their time worshiping that dork David Archuleta... he he he

The Over-Thinker said...

Sometimes I wish I still had the inhibitions of a child. Just you wait, one day they will come back to me and you'll see me skipping along the street singing the Chimney Sweep song from Mary Poppins. Or maybe I'll just go buy some crayons.

On geese...
The geese that live in/around the pond outside of our apartment are nasty. They chase me to my car in the mornings, they poop loads of lovely in front of the entry doors and the start squawking every morning around 5:30. But still: They have every right to be there. I'm going to hone up on my geese-talk so I can get them to run away if animal control shows up.

P.S. If your brother would graciously permit it, please post a scan of those drawings.

Sra said...

I think I've got a couple of the paper dolls tucked away somewhere. I'll dig them out and ask him if he's ok with the world seeing them :)

Loralee Choate said...

I like geese, so I'm glad that yours came back!

The Scoop said...

Ha, what a cute little couple of geese! I am so glad they did come back. Good for them!

The Scoop said...

Ha, what a cute little couple of geese! I am so glad they did come back. Good for them!

Sra said...

I think I've got a couple of the paper dolls tucked away somewhere. I'll dig them out and ask him if he's ok with the world seeing them :)

The Over-Thinker said...

Sometimes I wish I still had the inhibitions of a child. Just you wait, one day they will come back to me and you'll see me skipping along the street singing the Chimney Sweep song from Mary Poppins. Or maybe I'll just go buy some crayons.

On geese...
The geese that live in/around the pond outside of our apartment are nasty. They chase me to my car in the mornings, they poop loads of lovely in front of the entry doors and the start squawking every morning around 5:30. But still: They have every right to be there. I'm going to hone up on my geese-talk so I can get them to run away if animal control shows up.

P.S. If your brother would graciously permit it, please post a scan of those drawings.

feed the world with PEZ said...

The whole situation speaks volumes about how nature is so much more powerful than we are. People think that we have the power to kill the world and it just shows that we are merely an inconvenience.

When we finally kill ourselves off or starve to death or die from a some massive plague. The Earth and all the rest of the creatures will just go on like nothing happened. New species will evolve and the cycle will start over. May be geese will the be next intelligent beings. Of course they won't waste their time worshiping that dork David Archuleta... he he he

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