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Old 07-01-2008, 11:05 AM   #11
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Kingwood
Default The Day The Cat Blew Away

John Shelley

Several years back I was pretty caught up in competition pistol shooting. Long range metallic silhouette shooting to be exact. That probably has something to do with not having any money or hearing today, but it was fun at the time.

Every weekend usually found me competing in a match somewhere and I did it enough that I got good enough to participate in some matches on the state level. My next door neighbors, Delbert and Big Sally (names changed to protect me) got interested in it too and we often traveled together to some of the meets.

In 1986 we qualified to shoot in the state match and I traveled with Delbert and Big Sally to Sweetwater, TX to participate in the International Handgun Metallic Silhouette Assoc. state tournament. Competition consisted of several individual classes as well as team competition. My brother and I as well as Delbert and Big Sally made up our team.

My brother and I made reservations at one of the local motels in Sweetwater for the weekend, but Delbert had a brand new pop-up camper trailer and was dying to try it out, so he and Big Sally elected to stay in an RV park next door to our motel. Big Sally had an old cat that had just had kittens and nothing would do but to take the cat and the kittens along!

Now Big Sally was a sweet gal but let’s just say she was a little on the large size. Maybe about a pound or two lighter than a baby elephant! No way would there be room in the trailer for Delbert, Big Sally, the two kids and the cats – so Sally went out and bought a small 2-man dome tent to house the cats on the trip. She set the tent right beside the trailer and put the cats in there with water, food, and a litter box. Life was good if you were one of Big Sally’s cats.

On the second day of the tournament, we took a little break at lunch time and went back to the motel for eats and a nap. Delbert and Big Sally fixed lunch in the trailer and checked on the cats. The cats were fine. They had all they needed to eat and drink and a house of their own. Sally loved those cats.

Well, about the time we finished lunch, one of those frequent West Texas thunderstorms rolled in. Lots of lightening, loud thunder, and gusty winds. No big deal – unless you’re a cat in a tent that someone forgot to stake down!

You guessed it. The tent took off – cats and all! That thing was rollin’ down through the RV park like a big tumbleweed. With the cats inside! And right behind it was Big Sally. She was waddling down through there like a big ole fat duck, waving her arms in the air and squalling like she was beat! “Heeeeelp! Somebody help me!”

She chased the thing about a hundred yards ‘til it finally got hung up in a barbed wire fence and stopped. Big Sally caught up with it and flipped it right side up and unzipped the door. There was cats, and cat food, and cat litter, and cat crap all over the inside of that tent! The cats were flippin’ out! They was all fluffed up like a Richard Pryor afro, hissin’ and spittin’ and carrying on like wildcats. Some was even stuck to the ceiling!

Big Sally finally gathered up all the cats and Delbert and I drug what was left of the tent back up to the trailer and staked it down.

In spite of the near tragedy, it turned out to be a pretty good weekend. Our team won 3rd place in the shooting competition and Big Sally won 1st in the 100 yard dash!
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