On Yardfights

Note: For those of you who don’t know, nine years ago I wrote and published a book called Simon Says: Views from a Higher Perspective, available via in Kindle format by clicking here. The “true” author of the book is Simon Sharpe, Siamese Cat Extraordinaire, a very real feline who fancied himself a philosopher. And perhaps he was – during a particularly difficult time, he taught me an awful lot about life and resurrection. I “transcribed” his dictation for you. In the book, which includes wonderful pen and ink drawings by a friend of my nephew’s, there are 26 different “Simon stories.” If you like this one, I’ll post others. By the way, “M” is me, Simon’s human, and “Murphy” was his brother, a big gray and white domestic shorthair. And, believe it or not, the stories are true. VMS


Some time ago, Murphy and I were minding our own business outside when five members of a feline gang came over the fence into our yard. Since there were more of them, we knew we weren’t likely to win if a fight broke out. I ran one way and Murphy ran another to try and break them up. Two of them caught me, and in the fracas, I was bitten and scratched up. I hunkered down and “played dead.” Murphy managed to find a hiding place. Finally after strutting around for a while, the gang members left. Murphy came out to see how I was. I waved him off and limped to the door.

A day or so later, my tail – well, actually my tail “region” – started hurting. M noticed I was moving oddly and began investigating. Let’s just say that the cat who bit me hadn’t brushed, and I had two abscesses where the skin had been broken. M took me to the vet where, to my embarrassment, they shaved off the hair on my rump and stitched me up. I had to stay inside and endure the humiliation of having M put pills in my mouth and hold it shut until I swallowed, but the truth is I was a little shaky about going back outside anyway.

Finally the day came when it was all right for me to go outside. The hair hadn’t grown back on my rump yet, and I knew I was in for some teasing. I knew, too, that everyone in the neighborhood would find out what had happened, but I was tough enough to take it. It was more important for me to help Murphy reassert that we owned our yard. No matter how scared I was, the gang needed to know that they could not take over our territory. As expected, I was taunted, and M had to run the gang out of the driveway a couple of times, but eventually they got the point. No one has the right to barge into our yard and claim it as theirs by force.

M says there’s almost always a yard fight going on somewhere. She told me that in the 1930s and 40s, just about everybody in the world got involved in one that lasted four years after the US got in.

Power is a strange phenomenon. If you don’t think you have it, you want it and spend countless hours figuring out how to get it. If you do think you have it, you want more. If you get more, you know you’re bound to lose it because sometime somebody somewhere will hit on a workable strategy to take it away from you. Somebody has to be king of the yard, right?

Wrong. An obsession with power is not about superiority.

It’s about fear.

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