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Tales of Billy Tom
July 28, 2010
5:59 pm
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Cousin Sheryl
Walton, WV
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Pull up a chair and sit down beside it, this one might take a spell……………

When I was a young-un, I had this cat named Billy Tom (who happened to be a female, but my dad named her).  This cat had more personality than most people and was constantly doing things that amused and enlivened our existence.  Well my fastidious housekeeping mother (you can eat off the floors at her house to this day and she is almost 70, for Pete's sake), actually left a sliding kitchen window open for this cat to come and go at will right over top of her kitchen sink!  The window was open 24 / 365 for Billy Tom.  This is how highly regarded this cat was in our family.

Well, Billy Tom liked to catch things but would almost never kill them.  The cat would just bring the little creatures into the house and LET THEM GO (usually).

My dad is a very light sleeper.  If ANYTHING happens in the house at night, he hears it.

On the other hand, my mother is a very sound sleeper.  You could probably park a fire truck with screaming sirens outside her window at night and she would never hear a thing.  My mom is 5-foot, 2 inches tall and weighs about 120 pounds soaking wet.  My dad calls her “Big Mam.”  (He is obviously referring to her personality and not to her physical person.)

One night, my dad hears Billy Tom leap from the windowsill to the counter, THUMP, and then to the floor, THUMP.  All the while, the cat is making that little chirping noise that mother cats make to call their kittens, “Prrrtt,  Prrrtt, Prrtt” coming down the hall to mom and dad's room.  The cat jumps up on the bed between mom and dad.  The cat walks up the bed, gets to the top and crawls under the covers between them and goes all the way to the foot of the bed before depositing the “present.”  Meanwhile, Dad is lying there, keeping quiet, and letting the cat do whatever it wants.  My poor mother sleeps on, oblivious to the drama unfolding.

The cat nonchalantly leaves the bedroom, returns to the kitchen and starts munching on Little Friskies.

Dad gently lifts the covers to discover a “fortunately” dead mouse, lying against mom's leg.

Dad gently nudges Mom and says, “Big Mam, wake up!”

Mom:  no response, zzzzzzzzzzzz

He tries again, “Big Mam, git up.”

More zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

He gently leans over and whispers in her ear, “Billy put a mouse in the bed.”

Mom:  SCCCCRREEEEEEAAAAAAMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!

 

This is only one of the many Billy Tom stories that have become legend in our family!

Aren't pets wonderful!

cool  yes

May the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past. – Irish Blessing

July 28, 2010
6:05 pm
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Cousin Sheryl
Walton, WV
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Well, it's time for another “Billy Tom” story for the amusement of all and sundry!
 

This one is just a little amusing but I am saving a really hysterical one for later in the year when the weather gets blaahh and we'll all need a pick-me-up.

Well, an ancient relative of mine died one time who happened to be the owner of one of those fancy, old pump organs that folks used to have.  My uncle who lives in Texas wanted this organ but could not come until summertime to fetch it.  So, my folks said that they would get the old organ out of the abandoned farmhouse and bring it to our home for the winter.

We brought the organ in the house and dusted it off.  It was a monstrosity of a late Victorian artifact complete with darkened finish, curlicued woodwork, spindles and little shelves for knick-knacks.  Billy Tom, the cat, sat back and watched this activity with eyes glowing and tail twitching.  When we stepped away from the organ, Billy sprang into action.  With one svelte leap, she landed on one of the shelves and began climbing all over the organ, listening, twitching and showing much excitement!

My dad said, “I'll bet there is a mouse nest in the bellows.”

So he proceeds to pull the organ away from the wall and unscrew the back panel.  YEP, there were MICE.  A whole nest of them!  They went in about 10 different directions!  Billy sprang into action, catching first

one mouse and letting it go and then another (and so on).

Mother ran for the broom and I ran for the throw pillow.  I think Dad just stood and laughed!

Billy continued to catch the mice, play with them a little and let them go.  What a helper – -NOT!

Mom managed to dispatch 2 or 3 with the broom.  But this is where I got to shine with my “throw pillow” skills.  Throw pillow, you ask?  Well, Billy had brought in so many critters that I had become very adept at “critter killing” with a small, square decorative pillow from our living room couch.  Mom had the furniture arranged in such a way that the long, front wall of the living room was almost bare.  Mom herded the mice with the broom so that they would run along the baseboard along that long wall.  With a snap of my wrist, and calculating for mouse speed, throw pillow speed and trajectory; I would send my lethal, polyfill missile hurtling toward the hapless mouse.  Snap – I would break the little critter's neck and then we could dispsose of the carcass.

Well, to make a long story short, we killed all the mice without much help from the great black-and-white hunter, AKA – Billy Tom the Cat.  But, at least the silly feline let us know that mice were in the bellows.  I think the cat should have waited to catch one and put it in the bed with mom again!

Hope you enjoy this little story.  Stay tuned for another random installment featuring Billy Tom.

 

laugh

May the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past. – Irish Blessing

July 28, 2010
10:29 pm
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MrsFuzz
Colorado
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Thanks for sharing!  Great stories.  It's amazing what animals add to our lives when we sit and think about it.  :)

Wearing cowboy boots does not make one an agriculturist….Having at least 3 varieties of poop on them does.

July 29, 2010
8:20 am
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blueberrylu
Michigan
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October 23, 2010
4:29 pm
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Cousin Sheryl
Walton, WV
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Well, here I am again with another tale to enhance “The Legend of Billy Tom.”

 

I have a series of tales (tails?) about Billy Tom and a dear friend of our family, an older gentleman named Ralph.

Ralph was a dear friend probably in his early 50's when this tale begins.  Ralph was a carpenter by trade and as such, he was frequently out of work between construction projects.  He agreed to help my parents build a new, double-car garage on our property.  He was also a Deacon in our church and a super, nice guy. So, he was frequently down at our house working on the garage or just visiting.  Ralph and my dad were best buddies so Ralph was always coming down to our house to visit or help Dad with projects.

 

Unfortunately, Ralph did not really like cats.  He was even slightly afraid of them. bug-eyed   He was very nervous around Billy Tom.

One fine late spring day, Ralph came to visit.  It was warm so he left the window down on his car to keep it cool while he was visiting.  Billy Tom thought the back seat of the car made a really nice, warm place for a nap.  Ralph came out and got in the car without noticing that Billy Tom was curled up asleep in the back seat.  Ralph still had the window down on the driver's side of the car.  When Ralph started up the car, Billy Tom awoke and went into instant “panic mode.”  (Billy Tom hated to ride in cars.)  While Dad and I watched, we saw Billy Tom jump up in the back seat and start running laps around the inside of the car.  That cat literally made 3 laps around the inside of that car, running SIDEWAYS along the door, the back glass, the other doors, across the windshield, past Ralph at the wheel and around again!  Tha cat was running at warp speed.  Billly ran so fast he was literally running sideways!  Dad and I saw it all.  FINALLY, on the 3rd lap, the cat shot out the driver's window right across Ralph's arms.  Ralph was hollering (I won't say screaming – he he laugh) but he fortunately stepped on the brake and not the gas so the car didn't go anywhere.  Ralph put the car in “Park” and emerged from the car, visibly shaking while Dad and I were trying not to laugh.  devil-with-tail   After a few minutes, poor Ralph regained his composure and was able to drive himself home.

Billy Tom disappeared to recover from her ordeal in the “terrible moving car.”

This was not the last Ralph/Billy Tom encounter.  Oh, NO!  There will be more to enjoy as I reveal the further episodes of “Cat versus Man!” 

Enjoy!

May the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past. – Irish Blessing

October 23, 2010
5:04 pm
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lizzie
Grass Valley
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Love it! I needed this today, thank you!!!happy-feet

October 23, 2010
7:32 pm
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wvhomecanner
North Central WV
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LOLOL! Great Story Sheryl !!  Cats just KNOW who's afraid of them and that's where they show up, I swear!

I love cats and probably have said this before, but even when I have had cats that weren't the lap/cuddle type they ALWAYS tried it with a visitor who was terriified of them. Weirdest thing devil

If common sense were truly common, wouldn't there be more evidence of it?

October 23, 2010
8:47 pm
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CATRAY44
By a lake in S. Michigan
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cool  Keep going, please!

October 26, 2010
8:35 pm
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Joelle
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happy-flower  MORE PLEASE, SHERYL!!

  "Be kinder than necessary, everyone is fighting some sort of battle."

October 27, 2010
6:10 am
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Paws_Bakery
Southern Ontario
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I have just come across these tales…LOL I love them… Keep them coming.

french   Hugs Cheryl

January 13, 2011
10:14 am
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Cousin Sheryl
Walton, WV
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Well, I promised a funny Billy Tom story when the weather turned blaaahh so I think the current meteorological situation qualifies.  (I have 10 inches of snow in my yard!)  cool

 

Earlier, I introduced you to our gentle friend, Ralph.  Ralph was our good friend who helped with projects and was a real pal to my dad.  Ralph was one of our church deacons.  In his role as Deacon, he was bringing our new pastor around to all the church members' homes to show the pastor where we lived and for us to get to know the pastor.  The pastor (who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty) was a smarmy individual who oozed artificial sincerity.

Meanwhile, Billy Tom (the female with the male name) had produced a litter of kittens.  All the kittens were given to good homes except one that we kept.  HER name was Billy Tom JR.  Or just “Junior” for short.  Junior was about 10 months old, so a fairly adult-sized cat.

Ralph and the new pastor arrived one late afternoon for their visit.  Ralph took a seat in my dad's rocker/recliner with his back towards the hallway leading to the bedrooms in our house.  The preacher seated himself in the armchair across from Ralph but also with his back towards the hallway.  Dad and I took seats on the couch facing the 2 men.  He and I could see down the hallway from our vantage point.

Well, the visit was going well, conversation was flowing and we were all getting along fine.  Ralph was comfortable in his chair.  The pastor had his arm draped over the chair arm, lightly scratching his fingernails rhythmically along the upholstery on the side of the chair.  Kind of a nervous tic and only semi-annoying.  Ahhh, but a very interesting sound to felines with good hearing.  devil

Enter the beasts!  Dad and I spied Billy Tom and Junior slinking down the hallway.  They hunkered down in semi-crouch positions while they stalked their prey!  (Imagine the “Jaws” theme.)  Billy Tom positioned herself behind Ralph in the ROCKER/recliner.  Junior circled around the back of the pastor's chair near where his hand continued to scritch-scratch on the upholstery.  Dad and I waited with baited breath and straight faces for the inevitable event.

1, 2, 3…….WHAM!  With a perfectly coordinated attack, the two cats sprang into action!

Billy Tom CLIMBED the back of Ralph's chair just like she was shinnying up a tree.  The cat's weight caused the chair to rock abruptly backwards in a whiplash fashion, pulling Ralph's feet off the floor.  The noise of the claws in the chair resembled a small buzz saw in high gear.  Ralph let out a YELP and turned pale as a ghost.

Meanwhile, Junior LEAPED at the preacher's hand and BIT him!  The little dickens even held on long enough for the preacher to SHAKE the cat off while declaring, “I Hate cats!”

I immediately jumped up to shoo the cats away.  Dad jumped up and said he would refill the men's coffee.  The cats had gone on their merry ways, satisfied with a good day's work at protecting the homefront from intruders.  I could see into the kitchen from where I had retaken my seat on the couch.  Dad was LAYING DOWN in the kitchen floor, SILENTLY laughing his head off!  He left me there to apologize for the cats and ran off to “refill coffee cups” and release his hysterical reaction.  (The traitor!)

Needless to say, Ralph handled the situation pretty well.  He was semi-accustomed to Billy Tom's antipathy towards him and I must say that Ralph recovered quickly from the shock to his system.

The preacher however turned out to be a DUD in both personality and pastoring.  Dad and I came to the conclusion that we should let Billy Tom and Junior screen all our pastoral candidates for  temperament before hiring.  It would have saved the church a lot of hassles!  laugh

 

So, if your church needs a new pastor, consider adding a mischevious CAT to your screening committee.  You might be surprised with the results!  devil-with-tail

 

Stay tuned for more episodes in the life and times of Billy Tom!

 

Stay warm and safe everyone!

May the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past. – Irish Blessing

January 13, 2011
12:00 pm
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SarahGrace
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I've so enjoyed my cup of tea while reading your stories!  Only thing better would be you sitting here with a cup of tea too while telling them!

happy-butterfly

January 13, 2011
12:17 pm
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I Wanna Farm
Michigan
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Your cats sound like my kind of cats! lol I love these stories. yes

Heather B.

Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it.
Mark Twain

January 13, 2011
1:37 pm
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Alanna
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I love your story-cats are really smart! They can weed out the “undesirables”.laugh

January 13, 2011
1:37 pm
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Alanna
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I love your story-cats are really smart! They can weed out the “undesirables”.laugh

January 13, 2011
1:38 pm
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Alanna
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I love your story-cats are really smart! They can weed out the “undesirables”.laugh

January 13, 2011
1:40 pm
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Helen
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laughcoollaugh

George Orwell - 1984
- Orthodoxy means not thinking--not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.

January 13, 2011
2:27 pm
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Ross
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I don't understand how but cats seem to be able to spot a cat hater at half a block away and think of ways to insult them.

January 13, 2011
3:02 pm
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Helen
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They can spot cat lovers, too, and cozy up to them laugh.  When I was a kid we had a female cat who was very stand-offish with everyone except me…and my uncle.  I mean, that cat hardly went to our immediate family, let alone strangers, but although my uncle didn't visit us very often, every time he did, she would climb into his lap and stand on his chest and just purr and purr…for reasons known only to herself.

George Orwell - 1984
- Orthodoxy means not thinking--not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.

January 13, 2011
8:42 pm
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Joelle
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happy-flowerCan anyone else see a comic strip here?

 These stories are so cute! Thank you for sharing them with us. It is amazing how we can see every move in our mind–well at least I can.

 What a nice way to end the day.

  "Be kinder than necessary, everyone is fighting some sort of battle."

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