There is a commercial on television of late where what presumably is a zoo keeper shown throwing meat to lions. Big lions. The kind of lions that make me think, “If they didn’t have claws I would really like to touch them.” But alas they do have claws, and teeth, and strength enough to rip limbs off prey. But still, I would like to pet them. Run my hand along their warm fur. I wouldn’t want to wear their fur as a coat. That just doesn’t appeal to me. But like little cats, these big cats got me to thinking…

Why are there things in our existence that are seeable but untouchable? My favorite animal is the hippo. I just think little hippos are adorable. They of course do grow up to become full grown hippos that swim under water in rivers and grab their prey by the legs and drag them under and eat them. Hippos are the most notorious of the jungle animals. But the baby hippos are cuties. However I don’t have that touchy feely feeling about them like those huge cats. I have to move on to where I am going with all this.

We just acquired a pack of kittens. Nine in all, a nice round number. I really like kittens and cats. Guess that is why the commercial with the big lions grabbed me. These kittens were a bit on the skittish side but I knew after a few days of warm Trina affection, uh, along with gobs of food and treats they would come around. I’m good at taming but I know food does more good than my, oh so warm and lovely, “Here kitty kitty.” True to form the little balls of fur have started to calm down. All except for this one fuzzy little guy. Of course he is the one I really want to pick up. Why is that? Nine to choose from and the one I have set my eyes on runs at the mere sight of my big old clod hopper feet coming towards him? I just want to hold him and give him what I call squishes. Squishes are not what it sounds like. I don’t squish until their eyes nearly pop out. Thankfully I out grew that when I was two. I just want him to know he is safe and loved. But that little bugger runs away with his tail just a flicking at me. Like “Ha ha ha, I have this beautiful long black fuzzy hair and I can out run you old lady.”

I have resorted to underhanded tactics that I have acquired over my many years of kitten taming. There is the warm milk mixed with the food and when they are all lined up slurping I can have my pick of the litter. (Pun intended.) But this Fuzzy Wuzzy was having none of that. He out waited me. I felt sorry for him not getting any warm goodness so I just walked away. I tried the left hand wiggling while the right hand grabbed but the little guy must have eyes in the back of his head because he scampered away just before I was ready to grab, again.

I know he wants to live here. He bellies up to the bar each morning with his long black furry kitten coat. Just flaunting it in front of me. Until yesterday. I finally beat the little critter at his own game. I was aloof, unresponsive to his taunting little kitten meow. I let him think I was in no way interested in grabbing him and squishing him any longer. I sat on the back deck on my favorite tree stump log, that I brought home from the forest from a vacation long ago, and let all the kittens do kitten stuff while I just sat. Watching and waiting. Then he came closer, closer. I had had just enough caffeine to give me the edge…

Like a big cat myself I flew into pounce mode. I had him! I was the victor—no he was, he had twenty claws and many, many teeth and let out a growl that came from the tip of his tail. Holy cats and kittens Batman was he ever a handful. But years of kitten taming has taught me that if you hold kittens by the nap of the neck, like their mothers do, you can put them in what I call “neutral” and get the upper hand. So neutral it was. Worked like a charm. Now Fuzzy is my friend, until tomorrow, when we start all over again with, “Don’t touch me!”

Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Share your thoughts and opinions with her at