Old Mack’s Tales

July 25, 2010

Of Rats and Cats

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ron McKinney aka "OldMack" @ 7:45 pm

Our Cats Like Rats

The rats in our hood don’t stand a chance with our Cally out hunting every night.  Cally is a calico; her natural camouflage is perfect for the summer grass in the orange grove behind our yard.  She deposited dead rats in our side yard every night last week.

Our other cat is a feral black and white named Oreo.  Oreo, since delivering three kittens which are still nursing, has become a scavenger instead of a hunter.

The aroma of Cally’s Friday Night Kill lured Oreo into the side yard.  Oreo sunk her teeth into that dead rat and ran into our utility room—perhaps to show her kittens what real cat food looks like.  I stuck my hand in a plastic shopping bag and went out to take the carrion away from Oreo and her kittens.  She snatched it up by the scruff and ran out the back door.  We had a brief fight over the carcass, which she was determined to keep.  I won and flung the dead rat over the fence into the grove.  If Oreo wants to eat the damned thing she knows where to find it, or sniff it out.



Filed under: Uncategorized — Ron McKinney aka "OldMack" @ 5:26 pm


A week ago A.J. came to our house in the ’89 Volvo I recently gave her. There was something wrong with the driver’s window she said and led me out to the car. The arm rest and door panel had been removed. The window was open and out of the molded track. She couldn’t figure out why the manual crank wasn’t working. Someone had tried to fix it and botched the job. It was probably that Dalton kid she went to high school with back in the ‘80s whose father had died and left the kid his Volvo repair business—the senior Dalton was a plumber, not a mechanic; he once installed a rear crankshaft oil seal on my car and I left a trail of oil all the way home, where I removed the tranny and put in a new seal myself.

A.J. stood behind me as I knelt on the concrete driveway pointing out the problem and telling her what was needed to fix it.

“See that red washer behind that clip? It holds one end of the scissors mechanism that raises and lowers the glass. It’s split. Stop at a parts store on the way home. Take that Mylar washer in and have them match it.”

She said she would. I disconnected the scissors and worked the glass into the molded slots fore and aft, raised the window by hand before reconnecting the lift mechanism, while she watched and listened to my lecture on how it worked.

After she left I sat in the Lazy-Boy with aching knees; they kept me awake half the night.

Last night A.J. drove in a tropical downpour from her house to ours with a black plastic garbage bag stretched over the upper part of the driver’s door. She hadn’t replaced the Mylar washer; the window had fallen down inside the door and was out of the molded rails.

“It looks like the crank mechanism is worn out. Take the damned thing to a body shop and have it fixed.” I barked.

After raising the glass again I propped a stick under it to hold it shut. These old knees couldn’t take any more knealing on concrete.

” Don’t slam the door and it may get you home dry. For God’s sake don’t drive around with a garbage bag on your door; you’ll get a ticket or have an accident.”

I sometimes wonder who fathered our 37-year-old child and how she managed to become a Professional Engineer.

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