52 TRUE STORIES OF OLD
"Maria, Maria, come over in my yard!" thus showing that he
laid claim to ownership of the place. But everybody has had
the same experience with cats that I have outlined in the foregbing,
but what everybody has not had is the extreme delight
that I had in turning the table on the cats and giving them
an experience of their own and furnishing them a new sensation.
One bright, moonlit night I was awakened by the two cats
who had gotten under my bedroom window and were using the
most outrageous language to each other, in tones that would
almost wake the dead. I searched the room for something to
drop on them, for they were directly under the window and I
could not have missed them. While I was making a fruitless
search and wishing for a stick of dynamite, it occurred to me
that my boy had purchased some large firecrackers the day
before and had some left over. I went to his room and was
fortunate enough to find one. It was not the great cannon
cracker, but was the next size and the very thing I wanted.
I lit a cigarette so as not to disturb the cats by lighting a match
when I got ready to fire my cracker, pinched off the fuse, stuck
it .to the light and dropped ito I will say here that if any
gunner in the army or navy could cut a fuse as accurately as
I cut that one, his fortune would be made. The cats 'were in
the midst of the most animated discussion and were just on the
verge of blows. As I turned loose the firecracker I heard one
say to the other: "You liar, you!"
Then the firecracker reached a point about four inches from
the ground, directly between them, and exploded. I can't
describe what took place. Each cat thought the other had shot
at him. There was no scramble nor anything like that. There
was plenty of action, but it resembled lightning more than
anything else. There was a high board fence about ten feet
behind one of the cats. He simply turned a back handspring,
barely touched the top of the fence and was half a block up
the street before the flash from the firecracker had died out.
The other fellow went in the opposite direction and disappeared
behind the stable. I have seen in scientific Journals pictures
of flying bullets moving 2000 feet a second taken by instantaneous
photography. They looked like they were standing
still. I am willing to make a small wager that if one of those
scientists had had his photographic machine trained on those
two cats that night all he would have gotten would have been
two long streaks.
While I was nearly choked with laughter and also lost in
admiration over the record speed of the two cats, one of them
came sneaking out from behind the stable. He had evidently
thought the matter over and, finding he had not been hit by
Young, Samuel Oliver. True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young.. Galveston, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24646/. Accessed April 17, 2014.