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Chris Crawford I am pleased to announced a long time member has agreed to help and mentor others in photographic technique. As he has long done so, perhaps this forum is a bit overdue. Christopher Crawford has been a professional artist and photographer for 20 years, most of that time spent documenting life in northern Indiana with his photographs and the stories that he writes to accompany them. In addition, Chris also creates tutorials where he teaches photography techniques, film processing, digital editing, film scanning, and printing. Ask Chris your technical questions, or to critique your photos. You can see more of his tutorials at http://crawfordphotoschool.com

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Sneaky (cat!)
Old 06-01-2019   #1
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Sneaky (cat!)

Near then end of last year, a cat started coming around my house in the middle of the night. He was very skinny and always hungry, so I started feeding him. He was extremely affectionate, and my son and I.


We thought he was a stray, and named him Sneaky, because he kept trying to slip in the house every time we opened the door, and he became very good at it. He's a very clever kitty.














A couple months ago, I found out that he belongs to someone who lives in the small trailer park across the street from my house in Fort Wayne. Also found out he has fleas. I started flea-treating him, and stopped letting him in my house, but continued feeding him.














He is finally gaining weight. He comes over every day now and spends most of his time sleeping on top of my car or hanging around the yard.
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Old 06-01-2019   #2
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He is trying to get me to come out and feed him in the photo above.







"The Cadillac CTS is the world's finest CAT TREE. Its dual overhead cam V6 and unique styling give your feline master the power he needs and the luxury he DESERVES."


Sneaky often sits or sleeps atop my car while waiting for me to come out with food.







I was grilling some STEAKS, and Sneaky was on the car, waiting for his share! He ate good that night.
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Old 06-01-2019   #3
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A few weeks ago, I went and knocked on the door of the trailer where Sneaky's real owners live. A man and woman live there together. The trailer is crappy and really rundown. The guy answers the door wearing a T-shirt with a big marijuana leaf on it, and he reeked of pot. I told him his cat was starving and had fleas, and he acted like it was no big deal (he was pretty high. I doubt he remembers my visit). I went home and my son says to me: "Dad you smell like you just smoked a ton of weed!" I didn't even go in the damned trailer, I ended up smelling like marijuana from standing outside the trailer talking to the pothead loser who lives there.


So, these idiots can afford drugs, but don't care about feeding their cat or taking care of his health (fleas). They also have at least 6 other cats and a dog in that trailer. That's more than you're legally allowed in Fort Wayne.


My son and I have adopted Sneaky. Once the fleas are all gone, he's staying with us for good.







A couple nights ago, I was outside photographing the sky, while Sneaky sat on my house's AC unit and supervised. After my son came out, Sneaky went and began rubbing his legs.










Yesterday morning, around 6am, I was out playing with Sneaky when he suddenly darted under my car. I heard a loud squeaking, and a shrew ran out. He spent the next half-hour tormenting it until it died. While working on the shrew, he paused for a minute to catch a moth, which he instantly ate! He did NOT eat the shrew, however. It was purely murder for fun
























He is extremely cuddly and affectionate. He still eats like he's starving. I've never seen a cat attack a food bowl and gulp down food as fast as he does. He's used to going without or competing with 6 other cats for scarce food.
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Old 06-01-2019   #4
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Chris--thanks for taking care of Sneaky! Let him inside in cold weather!
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Old 06-01-2019   #5
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Chris--thanks for taking care of Sneaky! Let him inside in cold weather!
Paul



Fleas will be gone before winter. Right now it is warm outside all the time in Indiana.
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Old 06-01-2019   #6
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Sneaky adopted you and your son, not you and your son adopted Sneaky. Sometimes cats are smarter than their previous owners. You are lucky to have him (or her ?). By the way, I never saw a mouse in my neighborhood when I had Colby.

Great photos of Sneaky, I could never get a good one of Colby.
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Old 06-01-2019   #7
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Chris,

You know what they say - dogs have owners, cats have staff...

Lucky cat.

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Old 06-01-2019   #8
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Wonderful photo essay. Thanks Chris.
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Old 06-01-2019   #9
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I enjoyed that. You must feel proud that he adopted you.
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Old 06-01-2019   #10
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Beautiful kitty. Great story. Thanks for sharing.

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Old 06-01-2019   #11
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Thanks, everyone. Sneaky is a great cat. He's outside now waiting on dinner, We're grilling chicken and he's keeping an eye on the grill!
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Old 06-01-2019   #12
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Nice cat story.
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Old 06-01-2019   #13
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Sneaky is a smart cat as well as a handsome one. He chose his new servants well!

Nice story and pictures Chris. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-01-2019   #14
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Good on you Chris. Good on you!
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Old 06-01-2019   #15
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The thing about cats (which I love) is that they have a tendency to adopt a person and then stick with them if well cared for. It looks like this cat is a beauty and will do that with you.

I used to live in a small block of townhouses and a neighbor several houses removed, owned a Burmese cat which adopted me after my own cat died. It somehow seemed to have an instinct that I was open to a relationship with the cat. And when I was in the back yard hanging clothes out to dry I would frequently see the cat which had sensed me jump onto the fence top and make its way to me from 30-40 meters away. It thought nothing of approaching me to say hello, then climbing the stairs, wandering into my bedroom and making itself at home on my bed. Which was OK by me as it was pretty, friendly and clean and I was happy that it had the free run of my house. In that case the cat was well cared for by its owners and only stayed with me when it wanted a "holiday" but I was certainly a kind of adoptive / foster parent. In fact I suppose I was a kind of "cat AirB&B".

Many people who have never owned a good cat believe that cats are not people friendly like dogs. I know they are wrong - a good cat is a treasure and there is nothing better than having a cat sit on your lap and purr. Cheaper than a therapist!

My present cat (a Tonkinese) is quite superb - loving, friendly playful and oh so vocal when she wants to communicate, which is often. As I write this she is sitting on my desk beside the computer grumbling that I am not paying her enough attention. Which is one of her other endearing but sometimes slightly annoying habits. Still, far better this than a cat which avoids contact with its human family.
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Old 06-01-2019   #16
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Chris, if you can give the cat a bath, Dawn Ultra is death to fleas! My vet uses it for washing all the animals. Near as we can figure, the Dawn strips the flea's exoschelton of it's oils and the fleas dehydrate and die.
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Old 06-01-2019   #17
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Chris, if you can give the cat a bath, Dawn Ultra is death to fleas! My vet uses it for washing all the animals. Near as we can figure, the Dawn strips the flea's exoschelton of it's oils and the fleas dehydrate and die.



I've heard that. Problem is that Sneaky has LONG SHARP CLAWS and my experiences with cats show that bathing them qualifies as a suicide attempt.
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Old 06-01-2019   #18
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Good story... We've found that there IS a way, Chris, and it involves trust and a hand-held shower head up-close and personal!
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Old 06-02-2019   #19
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I've heard that. Problem is that Sneaky has LONG SHARP CLAWS and my experiences with cats show that bathing them qualifies as a suicide attempt.
I would use the cowards way out. That is, a systemic anti flea liquid, a few drops of which is applied to the back of the cat's neck where it cannot be licked off and is absorbed into the cat's system.

As for washing the cat. I tried that once but got fur all over my tongue. (Thank you Steve Martin)

Seriously though, unless the cat is filthy I wonder if washing is necessary if you follow the above route for dealing with the fleas. On the other hand most cats I have met adore being brushed which is a way of helping them groom themselves especially long haired cats like upir adoptee.
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Old 06-02-2019   #20
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I would use the cowards way out. That is, a systemic anti flea liquid, a few drops of which is applied to the back of the cat's neck where it cannot be licked off and is absorbed into the cat's system.

As for washing the cat. I tried that once but got fur all over my tongue. (Thank you Steve Martin)

Seriously though, unless the cat is filthy I wonder if washing is necessary if you follow the above route for dealing with the fleas. On the other hand most cats I have met adore being brushed which is a way of helping them groom themselves especially long haired cats like upir adoptee.



I'm using the flea medicine that goes on the cat's neck. The veterinarian told me that it takes three months of treatment to completely break the flea's life cycle. Even if I kill adults on the cat, there are still eggs that will hatch later.

I have a weakened immune system so I have to be careful about disease. I don't want fleas in my house; I can't afford to get rid of them if I get my house infested, and I can't afford anymore medical bills or getting severely ill again. Last year, I almost died from a lung infection.
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Old 06-02-2019   #21
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I'm using the flea medicine that goes on the cat's neck. The veterinarian told me that it takes three months of treatment to completely break the flea's life cycle. Even if I kill adults on the cat, there are still eggs that will hatch later.

I have a weakened immune system so I have to be careful about disease. I don't want fleas in my house; I can't afford to get rid of them if I get my house infested, and I can't afford anymore medical bills or getting severely ill again. Last year, I almost died from a lung infection.


I can understand your concern in this event Chris. I am sorry to hear about your condition. I am not sure what to advise in your situation other than that perhaps washing the cat is a lesser of two evils. While cats can get used to being bathed and some even grow to enjoy it somewhat, cats that have never been washed will undoubtedly a problem. Cat fleas do not live on humans but can bite them and might transmit some diseases I believe. So you would be wise to take precautions.
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Old 06-02-2019   #22
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I can understand your concern in this event Chris. I am sorry to hear about your condition. I am not sure what to advise in your situation other than that perhaps washing the cat is a lesser of two evils. While cats can get used to being bathed and some even grow to enjoy it somewhat, cats that have never been washed will undoubtedly a problem. Cat fleas do not live on humans but can bite them and might transmit some diseases I believe. So you would be wise to take precautions.



I've been in very poor health all of my life. Its one of the reasons I have struggled to earn a living so long. I don't want the cat scratching me up, either. I'm on blood thinners to keep from having another stroke. I probably shouldn't be adopting a cat, but I love cats and this one is too awesome to turn away.
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Old 06-02-2019   #23
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Congrats on the cat! Cats are such a delight. I miss the one we had when I was a kid and hope to have one around again at some point. Unfortunately it seems like there are less and less places where it's ok to let a cat roam outside, without people thinking it's a stray, and keeping one inside is cruel.
Be careful, if the cat goes back to its old home or even just has contact with other animals, it may bring back new fleas! Combing with a special flea comb should help catch them, but might be hard work with this furry beast.
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Old 06-02-2019   #24
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I've been in very poor health all of my life. Its one of the reasons I have struggled to earn a living so long. I don't want the cat scratching me up, either. I'm on blood thinners to keep from having another stroke. I probably shouldn't be adopting a cat, but I love cats and this one is too awesome to turn away.
I certainly share your love of cats. They are remarkable creatures. Fortunately cats are quite clean animals especially if they are indoor cats. But unfortunately there are some diseases they can still pass on such as toxoplasmosis.

It is possible to cut down the risks from them scratching by the simple expedient of clipping their nails regularly. My cat is quite relaxed about that process though this may be because she is familiar with it and understands that it is quick and pain free. Never the less I make a point of making a fuss over her, speaking softly and sweetly etc while performing the ritual and this seems to help her relax greatly.

Unfortunately cats also seem to have a factory installed internal switch when being stroked or held that can turn them from being a sweet little love bug to a raging maniac instantly - though usually only for a couple of moments. This can result in bites or scratches which have never much worried me much but which could be a problem for you given your condition. But once you get to know your cat and its body language I have found it is possible to observe the subtle behavioural changes that tell you this might be imminent thereby allowing you to avoid it happening.

If you think you could have troubles having a cat then think about these poor guys if that were to happen with their "cats".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlXjoPtTGT8&t=48s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2D6OlmTWqo
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Old 06-02-2019   #25
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We also have cats, two now. The are great individuals and really work hard for their food. Sometimes they leave their catch at our front-door. They catch mouse and rats all night! We have also eight dogs and some farm animals (cows, sheep, horses and hens), as we live on a small farm. Some of the dogs and one of the cats are friends, they can lay together in a sofa and cuddle! But my hunting dog (dachshund) likes to chase the cats!



My best advice to you is to neuter the cat. Otherwise you will surely loose a male cat next spring when it starts to look for cat-ladies or get some small kittens from a female cat. Neutered male cats do not fight with other cats that much and never walk away. Male cats are cheaper to neuter than female cats. In my country it costs about the amount of 90 dollars in our currency. Ask the veterinarian about it next time, we use also to vaccinate the cats for cat-plagues (feline panleukopenia?). It could otherwise be very expensive to treat the cat (intensive care) if it becomes ill with this plagues. To put down the cat because you can not pay the veterinarian bill is usually not an option.



Do not forget to wash blankets (from the sofa or chairs) where the cat rests to get rid of the fleas. I think you can use the freezer also to kill the fleas on blankets! Leave it in the freezer over-night. Teach also the cat to use a sand litter box when inside your house. We do not want the cats or the dogs in the bedroom upstairs, so we close that part of the house for them.
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Old 06-02-2019   #26
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Chris,

Are you sure sneaky isn’t some sort of multi-dimensional alien being conjured up in a marijuana trip?

Lucky cat! (We call em $hit rats up here)

We have a few strays we flea treat year round but only feed/shelter in the winter.
A few have found permanent homes others prefer their feral lifestyle.

Flea Pro Tip: Vet-Kem Siphotrol Plus spray is great for spot treating areas and bedding. They sell two types. Dog and Cat (the dog is a stiffer blend and I would recommend) either is safe for direct application on the animal.


Here in Michigan pot is a state pastime and I would argue most of the fun/friendly people you meet here will be smokers. Including me! (I was medical for many years now the program has been disbanded since legalization)
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Old 06-02-2019   #27
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It's a cat. Well done.
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Old 06-02-2019   #28
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Great story with excellent photos Chris...someone is getting rescued here...
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Old 06-06-2019   #29
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Around 6:30 this morning, I went out to photograph an old 1958 Chevrolet truck that one of my neighbors has parked behind his house. Sneaky was hanging around and he followed me over there to supervise my work.
The truck had TWO birds trapped inside the cab, chirping loudly, and Sneaky took an immediate interest in them!

In the first photo, he is sitting on the edge of the road, looking past me at the truck. In the second, he is sitting on the hood of another truck the neighbor owns. The birds were in the blue one. I opened the door and let the birds escape after I took these photos.

Sneaky followed me back home and I gave him a bowl of wet food for breakfast.
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Old 06-06-2019   #30
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Neat looking cat, Chris, and I commend you for taking him in, despite the health risks. I enjoyed the pictures and the running story. There's a reason cats are so frequently photographed and I find them fascinating creatures.


I have a cat that was dumped as a small kitten in the parking lot where I worked. A co-worker found him and brought him right to me. He's a very affectionate cat, but he can be difficult, as well. Even so, over seven years later, we're bonded and committed to each other, we have our routines, and we have developed our communication. I'm 67 years old and I feel like I can't let anything happen to me because nobody wants Joey!


(By the way, cats don't eat shrews because it will make them sick. Or so I've been told.)



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Old 06-06-2019   #31
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Neat looking cat, Chris, and I commend you for taking him in, despite the health risks. I enjoyed the pictures and the running story. There's a reason cats are so frequently photographed and I find them fascinating creatures.


I have a cat that was dumped as a small kitten in the parking lot where I worked. A co-worker found him and brought him right to me. He's a very affectionate cat, but he can be difficult, as well. Even so, over seven years later, we're bonded and committed to each other, we have our routines, and we have developed our communication. I'm 67 years old and I feel like I can't let anything happen to me because nobody wants Joey!


(By the way, cats don't eat shrews because it will make them sick. Or so I've been told.)



- Murray



I didn't know they can't eat shrews. Good the cat knew! My grandpa had a cat who murdered EVERYTHING she could get her claws into, but the only things she ate were moles, chipmunks, and rabbits. On rare occasions, she would eat a mouse, too. Nothing else.


You should post a photo of your kitty. Here's another one I shot this morning of Sneaky:




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Old 06-06-2019   #32
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Cool story bro. Seriously though.. I love cats.
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Old 06-06-2019   #33
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Nice looking cat Chris. Enjoyed your story and hope you two can enjoy each other for a long time.

My cat Peyton:

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Old 06-06-2019   #34
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Nice looking cat Chris. Enjoyed your story and hope you two can enjoy each other for a long time.

My cat Peyton:
He's beautiful. I have always liked black cats. They look like little panthers.
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Old 06-06-2019   #35
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You can see one of the birds, a Robin, that was trapped inside the old truck I was photographing. Sneaky was very interested in it!

Later this evening, my son and I walked over to the neighbors to tell them that there were birds getting in the truck. Sneaky followed us. While I talked to the woman who lived there (her husband owns the truck), Sneaky jumped on top of one of their other cars and started staring with predatory intent at an OPOSSUM in her back yard! I grabbed him and carried him home. He doesn't need to start picking fights with opossums.

The neighbor told me that Sneaky often used to come to her place for food, but that he stopped coming around at about the same time that he began to hang out at my house most of the time. He chose us over several women in the neighborhood who had been feeding him before
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Old 06-07-2019   #36
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My late mother had a name for people who treated animals the way they treated Sneaky...white trash.
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Old 06-07-2019   #37
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My late mother had a name for people who treated animals the way they treated Sneaky...white trash.



White trash:

• Lives in a crappy trailer

• Drives a $50,000 car despite living in crappy trailer

• Smokes pot constantly

• Has 7 cats and a dog living in the aforementioned trailer, infested with fleas.


Yep, I think they've ticked all the boxes on that one
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Old 06-07-2019   #38
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My late mother had a name for people who treated animals the way they treated Sneaky...white trash.
There is a lot to be said for this. About maybe 3 years ago I heard something that made me think and which has pretty much informed my political and life views ever since. Someone (a usual suspect) was going on incessantly about "poor people" of the kind that might be called trailer or white trash trash and how they must be accommodated as they have no money and that is why they are as they are. Someone's unsympathetic but accurate response to that was something along the lines of "Of course they have no damn money - they waste it all on booze, illegal drugs, satellite dishes and big dogs." It turns out he was spot on in describing a large number of people living in certain suburbs - every house had a "pot" plant growing in the shed under a grow lamp, a satellite dish on the roof and one or two huge and very poorly kept dogs. Usually fighting dogs.

I happened to have grown up in a country based poor family having been adopted by them at birth but they were the old fashioned poor - good people who lived by a decent set of moral standards but who had not a lot of money. But they worked hard for what they had and seemed not to expect more to be just given to them. Too many these days feel no need to work - they are happy to spend money given to them by government programs on illegal drugs, whatever today's equivalent of satellite dishes are and big dogs just as that guys said all those years ago. While living in squalor and complaining that they are not living in a 5 bedroom mansion as TV teaches them is their due.

Whenever I hear about trailer or white trash trash I think about this type who I have very little time for because I know that whatever life has given or withheld from them, they have made their lot unspeakably harder by making poor choices, underpinned by having bad values. Again and again they make those choices. And I know that I (like many others) fought to escape the risk of falling into that trap by going to work, studying part time, getting an education and a useful degree, building a career and so forth - nothing surprising just the stuff we once thought to be normal. I kind of have an unpleasant regard for trailer trash and am pretty short on sympathy for them, partly because I fear that I could have all too easily become one had I made those same wrong choices in my youth.

In the mean time here is my little girl (which is also her name) who lives the "Life of Reilly" and both acts and is treated like a princess. If your Sneaky turns out half as sweet as this little girl your life will be improved immeasurably Chris.

Glamour Puss by Life in Shadows, on Flickr
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Old 06-07-2019   #39
farlymac
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Yeah, cats can wind their way into your life so easily. Have a good time with Sneaky, Chris.


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Old 06-08-2019   #40
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Peterm1, you forgot-
Smoking-average price around here is $4.39 a pack
tattoo's-they won't have any front teeth, but they've got hundreds of dollars in tattoo's
A jacked-up fuel guzzling 4 wheel drive pickup
At least 4 dead cars in the yard.
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