6. Snails delivering mail?
Tigger was up on the window sill over my bed watching Telephone company workman across the highway. I heard him making little sounds and went to find out what he was up to. He is almost always up to something! I leaned on the sill with my head next to him and watched for awhile to see what interested him so.
"Whacha doing?" I finally asked him.
"Just watching those guys across the street. It looks like they are tying a really big rope to that pole the way you tie rope to my climbing post. Are they doing that so I can play with it?"
"Not really. Actually, it isn't a rope
at all. It is a cable so we can get phone calls."
"We don't need one. We already get phone calls." he replied.
"But they need to help other people be able to get calls, you know. Did you know that my computer is hooked up to a cable too?"
"Why? Does your computer get phone calls too?" he asked.
"As a matter of fact it does. I get e-mail on my computer."
"I thought we went up to Altamont to the Post Office to get the mail." he said.
"Well... we do but we also get mail on the computer. Not everyone has computers you know. Some people have to send and get mail by snail mail."
"Snails deliver the mail?" he asked, obviously trying to picture a snail delivering mail. "I bet it is slow."
"No. They just call it snail mail because it is so slow compared to e-mail." I explained.
"Do snails mind that? Don't they get their feelings hurt? It would make me mad if they called it cat mail."
"I don't know. I never really thought about that. I don't suppose they do feel very good about it." I said, trying to think of some way to get his mind off all that and change the direction of our conversation. These conversations always seem to take such odd twists. "Oh look. There is a yellowjacket on the window sill."
"They are wearing jackets in this heat?"
"No, no, no... that isn't what I said. They are called yellowjackets, it doesn't refer to what they are wearing. They have yellow stripes... I guess that is where the name comes from."
"They don't have jackets? Why would they say jackets in their name?"
"Forget about jackets." I said,
"OK... OK... What about the yellow.... uh... whatever?"
"Well, I just wanted to point them out to you. Thought you might be interested. There is one thing about them that you should know. Bees, hornets, wasps and yellowja... uh... whatever, all sting. If you see one up close don't try to bite them or swat them with your paw. Stings really hurt. I know, I have been stung many times."
"Why? Did you try to bite or swat them?"
"No. I disturbed their nests or something like that. I didn't do it on purpose of course."
"You should have told them that and they may have understood."
"You might be right, I may try that next time." I said and desperately looked for some other subject as the two first ones didn't seem to work out too well.
"Why would you disturb their nests?" he asked before I could distract him.
"Well, once I ran the lawn mower over the opening to a yellowja.... uh.. whatever nest and they got mad and I got lots of stings. They really hurt!"
"I don't blame them. How would you feel if someone ran a huge lawn mower over your house... which happens to be my house too? I bet you would get mad."
"I can't argue with that. I would not like it at all if someone ran a mower over my house. Maybe I should have been more careful."
"What made you think I would be interested in yellow... whatever in the first place." he asked.
"You are a smart cat you know. I thought you might be interested in entomology." I replied
"I thought you said yellow... whatever, not entomology or whatever you just said."
"I did. Entomology is the study of insects and yellowja... whatever are insects. I just thought you would be interested. Aren't you?"
"Do they have anything to do with cats?"
"Birds or mice?"
"No, I suppose not."
"And I thought you knew what cats were interested in..."