Al Batt: Naming our mouse relocation program

Published 6:10 pm Tuesday, August 29, 2023

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Echoes from the

Loafers’ Club Meeting

Hot enough for you?

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No, I wish it were hot enough to melt the soles of my shoes as I walked.

Well, at least it’s not a dry heat.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me. When I asked to do something my mother considered stupid, dangerous or both, she answered in the negative. I’d protest that Tommy was going to do it. She’d say, “If Tommy jumped off the bridge, would you?”

I’d reply, “Just once.”

A window to my world

I replaced the bad windows in our house. When I say I replaced them, I mean I hired someone to do it. I look out windows a lot. What’s the point of having them otherwise? It was easy to remove the old windows. I grew up replacing storm windows with screen windows and vice versa each year. The windows didn’t jump at the chance for change. Dynamite worked wonders. Out with the bad, in with the good, and the new windows are working. I can see out of them. Windows make us happy—a fellow will work himself to death to get an office with a window. Windows are a playground for the eyes.

Feline forename

We needed to name our cat. It was an orange kitten when it signed the papers and joined the family. Now it’s started a mouse relocation program—catches them in the basement, brings them upstairs and sets them free. I thought it was a male because most orange cats are males, but she wasn’t. I suggested Nehi as a moniker. Nehi is pop. Nehi has orange soda.

The favorite beverage of Walter “Radar” O’Reilly, company clerk on the TV series “M.A.S.H.,” was Grape Nehi. Sunkist and Crush, other brands of orange soft drinks, didn’t sound right. Nice, as in “Orange You Nice,” was an epic failure, even though calling “Nice, Nice, Nice,” was attractive. I thought LRC might work. It’s an initialism for “little round cat.” My wife suggested Pinky because of its pink nose. I didn’t agree. I thought of Pincus Leff, known as Pinky Lee, host of an Emmy-nominated children’s TV  program “The Pinky Lee Show.”

How do you decide things? Flip a coin? Play rock, paper, scissors? We voted. I lost in a landslide. The vote was one to one. Pinky she is.

The good plasticware

What had happened to that $2 million in small bills I’d put in my glove compartment?

I found enough to pick up a couple of takeout orders. The cashier took my money and asked if I had silverware.

I replied that I’d had silverware ever since the day I got married. The lady from Missouri behind me in line laughed until she snorted.

The cashier gave me some good plasticware, “Just in case.”

The lady from Missouri snorted again.

Nature notes

A squirrel barked from a tree. It was hopped up on acorn juice and angry because I’d filed a restraining order against it, which said the squirrel must maintain a distance of at least 100 feet from my bird feeders.

I wished upon a chickadee as I watched a mini-murmuration of starlings. It was Daylight Starling Time. An American kestrel called “killy, killy, killy.” Falcons are more closely related to parrots than they are to hawks and eagles.

I watched a sit-and-wait predator, a green heron at a spot where small fish and/or frogs are. The heron remained unmoving until it shot its head forward to grab prey with its dagger-like bill. A green heron sometimes picks up bait with its bill—a twig, feather, leaf or insect. The heron drops the bait into the water and waits for the fish to come to investigate.

It’s a seasonal convergence—the common nighthawk migration in the sky on a warm evening in late August. They are 10-inch long, dark birds with long, pointed wings and white wing patches. They feed on flying insects while on their way to winter in South America after nesting on flat, gravel rooftops in cities.

Donald Mitchell, a noted hummingbird bander plying his trade at the Henderson Hummingbird Hurrah, said his favorite flower to attract hummingbirds is the cardinal flower, which is easy to grow, is tall, grows in soggy areas and tolerates shade. The hummingbird plant he favors for growing in a container is salvia.

Meeting adjourned

“You don’t have to move mountains. Simply fall in love with life. Be a tornado of happiness, gratitude, and acceptance. You will change the world just by being a warm, kind-hearted human being.”—Anita Krizzan.