Believe it or not, cats can be taught to do tricks. They can even be taught to use the toilet. Doing so requires patience and skill, both of which I lack, so our cats are pretty much as they came out of the can. They do have two tricks: eating and sleeping. They do both very well. We seem to acquire cats which are strong minded and not about to do a trick for anyone. Nacho will play with a pencil and is an excellent eight-pound guard animal, staying with me and lying between me and anyone who would do me harm. So watch out! If you want a piece of me, you’ll have to deal with a piece of a fighting mad dilute tortie/Siamese mix.
My brother once had a cat that he wore on the top of his head like a hat. (Our cats don’t like to be picked up, much less worn as a fashion statement.) I was thinking about this when I was trying to remember if we had had any cats who would do tricks, and it put me in mind of the popularity of the Davy Crockett Disney TV series, with Fess Parker as DC and Buddy Ebsen as Georgie Russell, his sidekick. (I need to do a piece on sidekicks. There don’t seem to be many around any more, and I miss them. Batman and Robin, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, Wild Bill Hickok and Jingles, the Cisco Kid and Pancho, Huck and Jim, Han and Chewie…you get the idea.) Anyhow, Fess Parker wore a coonskin cap on his head, which is pretty strange if you think about it, although if the one you owned got messed up, you’d just shoot another coon and turn it into a hat. Parker’s model didn’t have the head on it. I think John Wayne’s did when he played Davy in the movie The Alamo. Or maybe that was Daniel Boone. I forger who played that. Anyhow, every kid I knew would have killed for a coonskin cap, which is pretty weird when you consider that you’d be wearing a dead animal on your head. Granted, they didn’t have many sartorial choices on the frontier and couldn’t exactly trip on over to their local MLB store and buy a Nationals hat.
So, we do live in better times. I just wonder if Davy Crockett could train his cats.