Editor’s note: Jack felt compelled to tell you this story of Floyd so here it is.
Back in 2008, Becky and I needed a cat. We live out of town a good ways, surrounded by forest, and we had mice. Our golden retriever-mix, Buddy, wasn’t much of a mouser. I think they’d have to be swimming in his water dish before he’d care. So we decided a cat was the solution. We were getting tired of having to clean out the knife, fork and spoon drawer every other day. (Don’t know why mice like flatware.)
We needed a cat, but it had to be a cat who would stand up to Buddy. Two cats we previously owned had spent all of their time on top of the refrigerator or the piano because they were afraid of Buddy. So we paid a visit to ARF, then located near where the Town Baker is now.
“Well,” the nice ARF lady said, “we have Peter here. He’s a nice boy. He’d probably be good for you. But he won’t come down out of that little house now because Floyd’s out. He’s afraid of Floyd.”
She continued, “And there’s Paul up there, he has six toes on each paw. But he won’t come down from that perch right now because Floyd’s out.”
Becky and I exchanged a look. “Where’s this Floyd?” we asked.
“Oh, well,” she said. “His full name is Pretty Boy Floyd. He’s a bit of a handful. We placed him in a home once already, but they brought him back.”
“We’d like to see Floyd,” we said.
So, the lady called Floyd by pounding on the carpet with a fly swatter. (It works for some cats, she said, and Floyd was one of them. He came running.)
Pretty Boy Floyd turned out to be well named. He was a large, gorgeous, all champagne-colored cat with very faint tabby markings. ARF estimated he was 2 years old. “We’ll take him,” we said.
Floyd went home with us in a cat carrier, yowling the whole way. (Some cats just don’t like car travel.)
At home, I put Floyd’s carrier down in the middle of the living room floor with the door shut and left it that way for a good 15 minutes. Floyd inspected the premises through the slats. Buddy sniffed at him a bit, but didn’t seem concerned.
Eventually, I opened the carrier door, and Floyd came right out. He walked over to within 2 feet of Buddy, turned around, put his back to the dog and sat down. He never looked behind him. Buddy looked Floyd up and down from behind with a face that said, “This isn’t respectful!” After about 15 seconds, Floyd stood up and calmly strode off, without even a glance back at Buddy.
Never a problem from then on. No cat and dog fights. And mice didn’t stay long in our house. Floyd’s about 13 now, and a good bit heavier, but he still rules the animals in the house. Every few months, he sneaks out of the house when we’re not careful to check for him behind our heels as we exit, but he comes back fairly quickly — except for the time, recently, he got himself stuck 30 feet up a pine tree.
And he’s still a pretty boy, that Floyd.
Jack Clark, Co-publisher