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Opinion: Bowled over

by CHRIS PETERSON
Editor | December 13, 2023 2:00 AM

So I was eating some ice cream out of a cat dish the other night. I know what you’re thinking, are you having marriage troubles? And my quick answer, my pat answer, is why no, at least not any more than normal.

Then, why, pray tell, were you eating ice cream out of a cat dish? I didn’t realize it was a cat dish, I thought it was just another bowl on the counter and it turned out to be a cat dish.

“That’s a cat dish,” my wife grumbled as she glanced at me while pouring a cup of tea. My wife grumbles at me quite a bit, which is usually deserved.

I finished my ice cream and put the cat dish in the sink. 

“Dishwasher’s empty,” my wife grumbled again.

I opened the dishwasher and put the cat dish in it.

I’m not sure why my wife even likes that cat. She took it to the vet the other day and it threw up in her lap and then pooped all over her before they even left the driveway.

But I digress.

A clean cat dish is the same as any other bowl, I suppose. I didn’t get a hint of cat food taste. Not that I’ve ever eaten cat food. Growing up on a dairy farm, I’ve tasted a lot of cow poop, a fair amount of diesel fuel and a little Atrazine, but never cat food.

My grandmother always fed the dogs out of the same bowl. It was nothing fancy — a jug cut in half. She put table scraps in it and a little dog food and that’s what the dogs, Irish and Hogan, ate.

My grandparents had Irish setters when I was a kid. They were very nice dogs. Irish setters are bird dogs, but as near as I can remember, they never chased a bird and no one ever took them hunting.

They were good at laying on the porch and they had soft fur and liked to be petted. When they died my grandparents got another Irish setter named Mike, but he was dumb as nails and wouldn’t stay out of the road. Seemed like he was getting hit by a car every other week. My grandparents lived on a backcountry road that saw a car maybe five times a day back then.

Somehow Mike managed to survive the car collisions for several years. I tried to hunt with him, but all he did was run way ahead and get burrs in his hair. He never pointed a pheasant, never retrieved a duck. My uncle had a mutt named Buster who was much smarter. She had setter and collie and a bunch of other stuff in her and had a penchant for chasing raccoons. We hunted quite a few over the years, but she had one flaw, as once the raccoon went up a tree she ran back to you, which is the exact opposite of what a good coon dog is supposed to do. The dog is supposed to stay at the tree and bark.

But it was still fun. Most of my youth was spent hunting and fishing and then I moved to Montana and I haven’t hunted yet (though I’m thinking of getting a blackpowder rifle if I can find one at a good price) and I hardly ever fish.

I think I stopped because I no longer find hunting and fishing as challenging as photography, which is still pretty much hunting, except you have to get even closer than you do with a gun.

The boy likes to fish and when he’s having a hard time catching one I’ll take the rod and give it a whirl. I still have the knack and even caught a few memorable cutthroats this year and quite a few grayling, which are becoming one of my favorite fish.

Still, I didn’t eat a one of them. Like I said when I started this ramble, I prefer ice cream in my cat dish.

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