Sippican Cottage

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A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything

Languor; Then, Who Knows?

Every night I hear the coyotes ranging around the swamp. They make a dreadful sound. There’s nothing of the quaint forlorn Hollywood howl to it. They sound like landgoing sharks ripping things to pieces and exulting in the spray of foam on their muzzle. And every night Momo the cat looks at me, and begs to be let out.

Momo was feral. he came out of those same woods, years ago, and it took my wife a year of patient coaxing to get him to set foot in the house. He is as gentle as any kitten despite his wildness, and has allowed two children to tug on his tail without protest now. He has that rarest of attributes for a cat- gratitude.

But he goes out. The other cat sleeps on the cushions all night, and Momo goes into the night. Every night I figure he won’t come back. Every morning he’s at the door.

We smoke. We ride motorcycles without helmets. We skydive. We drive and eat sandwiches simutaneously. We swim in oceans filled with sharks. We climb mountains. We minister to the dreadfully ill and infectious. We climb trees. We ingest things we bought on a streetcorner. We drink from a still. We join armies, sometimes out of patriotism, sometimes on a lark, and kill and risk being killed in turn. We put on helmets and collide for amusement. We reach under the mower. We pump gasoline into our car with the bald tires with a cigarette dangling lit from the corner of our mouths. We pick fights with strangers in bars. We fight with strangers when they pick fights with us. The gutters need cleaning. We travel to the moon.

Momo goes out.

4 Responses

  1. Sippican:

    Does Momo’s challenge to the coyotes have any thematic relation to your ongoing battle with the loathsome Freder Frederson over on Althouse?

    Keep up the good fight. Frederson, with his dogmatic insistence on strict state regulation of everything, is a perfect example of the left at its most rigid. I visualize him as resembling the dour face of Max von Sydow in one of the more bleak and despairing films of Ingmar Bergman.

    Good luck to you & Momo.

  2. By the way – I don’t remember any coyotes in Marshfield where I grew up (decades ago). Are they a recent arrival in S.E. MA?

  3. tjl- That is an interesting supposition. I hope it is evident that I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m not allowing myself and family to be used as political furniture to achieve the opposite result of what I need.

    Momo goes out. I go out.

    As to your second point: You’re right about the coyotes. They are recent arrivals, and weren’t here the scant 12 years ago when we moved here.

    About 10 years ago, a ballot initiative was voted in, narrowly, that purported to ban leg hold traps. There were lots of pictures of stray dogs on the television caught in leghold traps and other heart string pullers.

    What the initiative did was change the composition of the fish and wildlife board from hunters to “environmentalists.” Nothing would be trapped or hunted much now.

    The coyotes came in a few years later. They took the pets, and the bunnies, and the ground hogs, and most everything small and available.

    It’s the law of unintended consequences writ large.

    The wolves will come, sooner or later.

  4. Life goes on, right Sippican? What else are we gonna do?

    P.S. Momo has a bit of the rotund mid-section; very cute. Yet, what loved pet does not?

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