What do Hollister, California; Sturgis, South Dakota and Lyons, Nebraska have in common? These small communities have all been taken over by gangs. In the case of the first two, by thousands of motorcyclists who invade every year, in the latter, by a clowder of feral felines.
Unlike the Homo sapiens’ get-togethers, the current situation in Lyons only involves about 125 cats that are roaming the streets, but with a human population of just 811, the felines are having an impact.
“They just overrun the place, and now you’ve got them in your garbage can and your garden,” Lyons police chief Bryan Dunn told WOWT. “They’re tearing things apart. They are little demons.”
Chief Dunn is heroically trying to keep Lyons from succumbing to the horde of demonic cats. So dire is the situation that the town has posted a job for another police officer.
Like Hollister and Sturgis, Lyons welcomed their visitors with visions of making money off the felines’ vices. Pretty soon the town’s hot spot, the Fallout Bar, was advertising specials on catnip shots and silver vine cigars. Things quickly deteriorated from there.
Cats were getting the zoomies, racing around town either on their four legs or their Harley’s. Others were using everything in town as scratching posts. And of course, these are feral cats who were already over-sexed with no inhibitions. It was a recipe for a cat explosion.
Lyons was beginning to resemble the fictional town of Agua Dulce, Arizona in the B movie, Savage Dawn. A hamlet of terrorized towns folks, looking for a savior from a vicious biker gang. The saviors turned out to be Lance Henriksen along with wheelchair bound George Kennedy. Tour de force performances worthy of leaving them off your actor resumes.
Casting director: “I see here Mr. Kennedy, you won an Academy Award for Cool Hand Luke. I think you would be perfect for our movie. Wait, your credits show you were in Savage Dawn. Can you explain that?
George Kennedy: “Oh, that? That must be a joke played by my cat. He likes to type silly things on my computer and must have gotten into my resume file. I don’t remember that movie.”
Casting director: “No one remembers that movie Mr. Kennedy. I actually don’t see you fitting in our picture.”
George Kennedy: “But you said I was perfect for your film.”
“Casting director: “We just wrote that part out of the script. If we have something else we think you would be a good fit for, we’ll contact your agent. Bye.”
George Kennedy: “But….”
Casting director: “Security!”
George Kennedy died at 91. Officially his cause of death was old age, but the hidden truth is an interviewer asked him a question about Savage Dawn and that did him in.
Back to Nebraska.
The savior of Lyons is Kathy Robinson who works with the nonprofit group Working Cat Project.
Like a pistol-toting sheriff in the old west, Robinson is looking to rid the town of its scourge. Unlike a shootout at the O.K. Corral, Robinson is trapping her quarry to spay and neuter them.
“I’m guessing they’re intending that we should shoot them instead of spending the money on the spaying and neutering,” volunteer Annie Christensen told the station.
The citizens of Lyons are most appreciative of Robinson’s efforts.
“She came here on her own to help, like a gift I needed,” gushed Benju and Cassandra Sahlstrom.
Unfortunately, Robinson is only addressing the reproductive problem of the cats currently in Lyons. Like Hollister and Sturgis, Lyons is getting a reputation as the in-place to be for felines.
Cats are deliberately acting up in their homes to the point their owners look to ditch them. The felines say, “No problem, just take me to Lyons, Nebraska.” So, with a flood of drop-offs and cat bikers roaring into town, Robinson has a hopeless undertaking.
I mentioned this to our cat Chester who was very excited about becoming a biker cat.
“Buy me a motorcycle so I can ride my hog to Lyons,” Chester said enthusiastically.
“You don’t know how to ride a motorcycle,” I informed my Hells Angels wannabe.
“I’m a cat, that means I have great balance and eyesight,” Chester proclaimed. “I bet I’d do better on passing a motorcycle driving test than you.”
“You might, cat, since I’ve never been on one,” I said. “But you don’t like loud noises and your hog is going to growl quite a bit.”
“I’ll wear ear plugs,” was Chester’s comeback. “Besides, I don’t see you driving me to Nebraska.”
“Very perceptive, Chester,” I quipped.
“Lyons is the Mecca of cat revelry. Would you deny me a pilgrimage there,” Chester said with sad eyes in an attempt to pry sympathy out of me.
“You want to go to Mecca,” I asked, waiting for the tabby’s tantrum to start.
“No, Lyons, you imbecile,” Chester yelled. “There’s a big article about that place in Cat Fancy. It says Lyons and the Fallout Bar are experiences every cat has to have on their bucket list.”
“I thought the only things on your bucket list were eating, sleeping and chasing your tail,” I said. “Besides, if you tried to ride a motorcycle, you might kick the bucket.”
“Then buy me a plane ticket to Omaha and I’ll hitch a ride the rest of the way to the promised land,” Chester demanded.
“One-way I hope,” I said.
All I got back was ‘the stare’. After a minute of silence, my cycle squid spoke.
“Two-ways, tiddler,” Chester snapped. “I plan on coming back. Do you think any cat could last more than a few months partying twenty-four seven in Lyons? I don’t have a death wish.”
“I didn’t say you did have a death wish,” I said. “But I think you’re out of your league going to Lyons. Besides, wouldn’t you be worried about running into that Kathy Robinson person?”
“Been there, don’t that,” Chester said. “I go snipped years ago, so, no concern there.”
“Alright then, Chester,” I began. “I’ll get you a ticket to Omaha and you can get yourself up to Lyons the rest of the way.”
Chester jumped in excitement and ran to get his PayPal account information. I gave him a good brushing and he licked himself clean. He was one handsome cat ready to party.
I drove Chester to the airport and let him out and we agreed on a date for his return.
One month later Chester came home looking like Bill the Cat from the old Bloom County comic strip.
I tried to get him to tell me how his trip went, but he couldn’t summon the strength to formulate a complete sentence, even if that sentence was one word. That told me what I needed to know.
If you like to party with debaucherous cats, head over to the Fallout Bar in Lyons, Nebraska and order yourself a catnip shot or two. Just don’t get too crazy, because there may be another Kathy Robinson out there who specializes in hystero-oophorectomies and vasectomies.
Have fun and keep the rubber side down.
Watch Your Step
If you’re a cat, there’s nothing funnier than a large dog afraid to walk down the stairs because a feline flopped on one of the steps and isn’t budging.
If you’re a cat, there’s nothing funnier than two large dogs afraid to walk down the stairs because a feline flopped on one of the steps and isn’t budging.
Such is the case of two golden retrievers named Douglas and Morgan. They live under the same roof as an orange tabby named Cinnamon.
TikTok user janetb posted a video of the three having a standoff on the stairs of her home. Douglas and Morgan are both much bigger than the cat, but they’re mortified to walk down the stairwell since Cinnamon is chilling on the top step. While the dogs are starring at Cinnamon, the cat is looking dispassionately straight ahead with his back to his canine friends.
As the video plays, janetb can be heard telling the dogs that Cinnamon, “does not care.” But you know and I know the cat cares very much about this doggy impasse.
Cinnamon’s cool ‘I don’t care look’ is really his way of shouting, “Screw you dogs. I’m king of this house, so don’t mess with me.”
Why would two big dogs be afraid of a cat? If you search the internet, you’ll see a simple explanation; at some point a cat scratches a dog and that changes the whole dynamic of their relationship.
It’s easy to say that was the case between Douglas, Morgan and Cinnamon. At some point, the dogs thought the cat would be a pushover but Cinnamon proved them wrong.
I mentioned this to Chester and expected him to agree, but he didn’t.
“You people are always looking for a simple answer when things are more nuanced,” Chester said, sounding like a college professor lecturing freshmen taking English 101.
“Take a closer look at the video,” Chester continued. “Do those dogs look like they were scratched by Cinnamon? No. Do they have the fear of God in their faces? Yes. Why? Don’t try to figure it out my mental midget friend. The answer is easy to read on their faces. Those mutts are gambling addicts and they owe their bookie cat a lot of dough.”
“Why would dogs go to a cat to place bets when it’s legal here,” I naively asked.
“Because your stupid human society still has a severe prejudice against cats and dogs doing business in your world,” Chester said with a little bit of venom in his voice.
“Sure, you call dogs man’s best friend [cough] or cats as some quaint lap dolls to pet, but do you let us in a casino to wager on the big game? No! So, we ‘house pets’ have to go the old school route and use bookies.
“In almost all cases, dogs are the gamblers and cats are the money handlers. That’s because dogs naturally show fearlessness; like any longshot will come in a winner. They’re also aggressive and bold so laying large wads of cash means nothing to them. It’s all about the action.
“Dogs quickly and thoughtlessly will chase losses. It’s a downward spiral of despair,” professor Chester said.
“I had no idea,” I said earnestly.
“And do you know the single biggest reason for these losses,” Chester asked. “It’s because dogs can’t stay away from betting underdogs. They all think they have an edge on sports knowledge. Moneylines, parlays, futures and even prop bets, these maniacal mutts can’t help themselves from going with underdogs.
“What are the odds of Alabama losing to the Hellen Keller School for the Blind in football? One hundred quintillion to one and that one is if the Crimson Tide’s bus breaks down? Those daffy dogs would look at that ‘one’ and lay it all down on the blind team because the payoff would set them up for a lifetime on easy street.
“Now those canines owe their dog houses and more to the cats. Of course, they don’t have nearly enough currency to pay off their debts. That’s the terror you see in Douglas and Morgan’s faces. They’re so scared I wager there are several piles of dog poop scattered around their home every time they run into Cinnamon. That cat has friends who are more than happy to break a few dog legs.”
“Have you seen any of the home surveillance videos on the web where dogs are sneaking into their owner’s wallets and purses for cash. It’s never enough. Very sad.”
“What can the dogs do to get out of their jam,” I asked.
“Some have tried Doggy Gamblers Anonymous,” Chester said. “But dogs are too stubborn to listen to someone’s advice. You can teach them to sit, roll over and play dead, but when it comes to trying to get them to admit they have a gambling problem, they just bark up the wrong tree.”
“If that isn’t working, is there anything else the dogs can do,” I said.
“Glad you asked,” Chester said. “I have a new business that allows dogs to change their identity by eliminating any paper trails, moving them to undisclosed locations and in some cases, altering their physical appearance. That last one has to be done smartly. You’re not going to change a Chihuahua into a Great Dane, but you can transform it into a
“If these dogs don’t have any money, how do they pay you,” I asked.
“Kibble,” Chester replied. “You can trace money, but you can’t trace kibble. My clients know how to get their paws on that stuff and I don’t pay taxes either.”
“How do you live with yourself, Chester?”
“I’m a cat. It’s easy,” Chester said dispassionately. “Besides, one dog’s torment is another cat’s treasure.
“Now if you don’t mind, I have to take a call from a whimpering Whippet who thought the underdog University of Indianapolis Greyhounds could beat the Pittsburg State Gorillas in the Division II football playoffs. This is going to be a long talk.”
2 thoughts on “Intimidators”
Where does Chester get all of this arcane knowledge?
I catch him on the computer a lot. Fortunately, he hasn’t fallen for all the disinformation out there (so far).
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