We have three feral cats that live on an around our front porch. They're not interested in having much to do with humans except for the twice-a-day free buffet. They line up and meow like domesticated cats, but, reach down to pet them and you'll hear more hissing than the Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup.
Oh, they're not that bad, but they are standoffish. Even after years of dedicated congeniality on my part, they are reluctant to get involved. Frankly, can you blame them? I mean, geez, we know how humans are, right?
Anyway, this morning, as I sat at the computer desk, a rage of flashy movement caught my eye. It was on the other side of the window. This time. The inside animals were happily dozing.
When I stopped typing to focus, what I saw was one of the front porch cats trying to saunter across the driveway as if nothing was bothering him. But, in reality, he was being "escorted" by a mockingbird. And the bird was casually dive-bombing the black cat -- sort of a "keep it moving, buddy" flight pattern, as if the bird were the neighborhood traffic cop and the cat had slowed down to rubberneck a wreck.
The cat, Moriarity, was in no hurry. Once he crossed the driveway and was padding toward the porch (and breakfast), the bird peeled off and left him alone. And nature was at peace again.
IDLE THOUGHT: When I say "idle thought," trust me, it's idle. Anyway, as I type this, a guest on the Today Show is explaining how to raise children to Matt Lauer. I've been watching the Today Show since the NBC Peacock was black and white and it occurs to me that you almost cannot watch a morning show in America without getting advice on child-rearing, handling delicate family relationships and making the world a better place through parenting. Year after year after year -- hasn't anybody been listening? The big difference between the world in the 1950s and the world now is if you can't get parenting news on TV right away, you can go to the Internet.
One thing about having a home office is you get to watch a lot of staggeringly bad television if you want. It's like being a prospector. You keep sifting through the channels because you simply believe in your heart that somewhere there's a nugget you're missing. You are, however, consistently wrong.
WINE ON THE ROOF: It's time for the fourth annual Wine on the Roof celebration at the East Lake Pet Orphanage -- it's a fun event that honors folks who work in animal rescue and on behalf of animal issues. The honoree this year is Elaine Munch of the Metroplex Animal Coalition -- she's a tireless worker and all-round pretty swell person and she'll be receiving the LaBella Kindness to Animals Award. It's named in honor of the late Dallas radio personality and animal fan John LaBella.
Wine on the Roof begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday May 7 at East Lake Pet Orphanage. Tickets are $50. There's a silent auction. Proceeds benefit the non-profit adoption arm of East Lake Veterinary Hospital at 10101 E. Northwest Highway. (For reservations call Katie Brown at 214-349-ELPO. For a look at great adoptables, click on www.welovepets.net and go to the adoptions page -- Hazel the Beagle looks positively "Hollywood.")
This is a pretty fun evening -- it's a happy crowd of animal fans relaxing and trying to talk each other into fostering one more dog -- I'm kidding about that last part. But I could almost swear I have heard "negotiations" between people with extra animals and people with extra space!
HERE'S A CHANCE TO SEE THE SITE: Some folks in Grand Prairie are just a bit excited about this dog park thing, we hear from Linda Shearin, one of the spokespeople (is that a word?). Put this on your calendars: Paw Pals of Grand Prairie has scheduled its "Spring Fling" from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday May 7 at 2222 W. Warrior Trail -- that's, as they say, "in conjunction with" the Prairie Paws Adopt-a-thon.
The idea is to raise support for an off-leash park for Prairie dogs -- I guess that ought to read "dogs in the Prairie." Anyway, the day will include obedience demonstrations by the Dog Training Club of Dallas County and exhibitions by other dog groups. (Check out more info at https://groups.yahoo.com/group/gpdogpark/ .)
JUST WHAT WE NEED: Texas A&M, already at the top of my list for cloning cats in an era when the rest of us are begging people to spay and neuter, has now cloned a horse. If they've cloned the front end of a horse, you know what that means. Look around. Do you really think we need a new way to make more of the rest of that horse?