The cat beast has been unbearable lately. He is incensed about the new kittens ( he rudely informed me of my misspelling after reading my journal over my shoulder). He has hissed and spat at them every time he sees them out. The barn manager has created a bed for them in an old tack trunk, which is too deep for them to climb out. The lid is missing so we can see into the bottom and watch them. The humans also take them out to play with when the horses are all in their stalls. They are cute little balls of fluff and very playful. The barn manager has named them Trick and Treat after some strange human custom. Trick is the solid black one and Treat is a light chestnut with stripes.
After the humans left this evening, and before it got too dark, we horses stood at the corners of our stalls and talked about the kittens and our humans. Trooper and I had our stall guards up, so we could see into the aisle. Pebbles has a stall door that is missing the grate, since one of the students tied her horse to it and then spooked it backwards. The grate has been removed, so Pebbles can stick her head out. Shorty and Lucky had to content themselves with peering through the bars.
While we were talking the Jack Rustle Terror dog came up and sat down outside of Pebble’s stall. This surprised me because he rarely talks to us, more often then not he is running around yapping and tormenting the cat beast or chasing the rattletraps down the drive way. He stood on his hind feet and looked into the kittens’ trunk, and I was afraid for them until he leaned down and licked their heads and yipped at them. They purred and seemed to enjoy his attentions so I ceased worrying.
We discussed their rather odd names and the Jack Rustle Terror Dog informed us that they were named after a human custom that involves going to different human dwellings and begging for treats. What strange behavior! I’m a rather accomplished beggar, but I can’t imagine going to another barn and asking a strange human for food. Shorty seemed very intrigued by the idea; I could see the greed in his eyes.
The dog yipped as he does when he finds something funny and then told us that his own name came from another human custom of chasing each other around and fighting over a ball. His name was Foot Ball. How strange humans can be, especially when owned by animals.
This led us to a discussion of our “registered” names and our barn names. My barn name is of course Tuffy, but my registered name, the one that tells my ancestry, is Coborr On The Spot. My grandsires were famous horses in the Arabian and Appaloosa breeds. I also have a smattering of Thoroughbred ancestry. Pebbles said that her barn name and registered name were not so different since her registered name is Sand Pebbles. Shorty spoke up and said his registered name was He’s Dun Magic, something that he gagged over every time he heard it announced. Trooper sighed and said his registered name was So Gallant. He despised it and liked his barn name much more. Lucky neighed and said he didn’t remember his registered name, and would probably have to wait until the next show to find out what it was. We all agreed that his human would probably use it at the next show and removed the mystery.
We heard some faint hissing and looked up in the rafters to find the cat beast staring down at us with disdain. The kittens huddled together and Foot Ball moved closer to them. The cat beast hissed again and Foot Ball yapped back at him, then he glanced around and asked us if we knew the cat beast’s real name. We were all blank, having never heard him called anything but Kitty, or various roan inducing words used when one of his “surprises” was found in someone’s tack trunk.
The cat beast yowled in a rage and hissed some more, which only set Foot Ball to yapping with amusement. He looked at all of us and said: His real name is Lollipop. We remained blank looking until Foot Ball explained that a lollipop is a human treat made out of sugary stuff, formed into a ball and put on a small white stick. He said the cat beast was such a fat kitten with such a long slender tail he looked like something round on a stick, so that is how he got the name. We all looked from the dog to the cat, each trying to picture the long rangy beast as a fat round kitten and I’m sure we all failed. He noticed our inquiring looks and hissed even louder, making threatening growls. He finally stalked off amid more threats and abuse. Foot Ball went off into a barrage of hysterical yaps and that set us off. I’m afraid we got quite noisy with our enjoyment of the cat beast’s ire; shameful to say the least. Shorty snorted several times and repeated “ Fat Lollipop”. I knew he was going to torment the cat with it. Well it was his hay manger at risk, so who was I to interfere? We finally settled down, each lost in his, or her, own thoughts, about humans and their vagaries. More later!
A great 3rd lesson
3 hours ago