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The Wag: Between bird and vittles, Mr. J is a frustrating feline

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Puppy Stout, Columnist

Puppy Stout brings his column, The Wag, to the Williamson Herald from The Tennessean where it has appeared for well over a decade. We are delighted to welcome Pup. He will regale you with his adventures in his own voice. His mom, Vicki Stout, helps him paw the keyboard at times, but it IS Puppy Stout doing the talking, aka barking.

Oh, dog, we have a situation at our house with Thomas Jefferson Cat, aka Mr. Jefferson. 

It would seem some nice little bird has built a nest on the grapevine wreath on our front door. We discovered it one morning coming in the door as the bird flew away. As a rule, we never use the front door, so it’s anyone’s guess how long the nest and bird have been there.

Mr. Jefferson saw said bird fly from the wreath as Mom, he and I were coming in that morning. The cat looked like a deer in headlights — that bird was so near, and yet so far, and fast. Mr. Jefferson fancies himself the great gray hunter, and, truthfully, he is. That cat brings untold numbers of deceased chipmunks and moles to the kitchen doorsteps ... all as gifts to Mom. Unwanted gifts, might I add.

I digress.

So, the hunter refused to come on in with us that morning. He insisted on staying on the porch, lying in wait for the bird. But Mom would have none of that. She went out and hauled him in.

Rinse and repeat. The same thing every day. She finds him loitering on the front porch, stalking his intended victim. Every day, Mom brings him in. They both are stubborn as mules. Mr. Jefferson intends to outthink Mom (it can be done), but to date, she has thwarted his efforts. She is intent on keeping that bird safe. 

Lucky for that little winged creature.

But the battle of wits does not end at the front porch with the bird. It has extended to the kitchen, where Mr. Jefferson is refusing — flat out refusing — to eat the new food Mom chose for him. 

Truthfully, it smells great to me. Very fishy. Just what you think a cat would love. Not this cat. He is a very picky eater. He turns his nose up at wet food. He will eat fresh salmon or chicken that Mom cooks for me. Actually, salmon more than chicken. But he has drawn a line at his bowl on this new food.

It is unacceptable. End of story.

Mom has coaxed him to try it. He refuses. She’s trying to wait him out, but she told me in confidence that she is about to fold. If so, we will take it to Williamson County Animal Center for kitties waiting for a fur-ever home to enjoy.

And his bowl will be refilled with the Purina dry food he prefers. He’s very set in his kitty ways.

Miss Daisy’s Kitchen

Speaking of kitchen, I must bark to you about the chicken pot pie from Miss Daisy’s Kitchen in Franklin. 

Mom says it is the best on the planet. Every time she gets one, she shares a bit with me. Oh, dog, I am a fan! Of course, Miss Daisy has a slew of other things Mom loves. 

Miss Daisy is a personal friend of mine. She usually comes out to the car to visit with me when we stop by.

She told me this last trip to tell my readers that if they mention my name, Puppy Stout, when they come to her place, she will give them a discount on whatever they’re buying. OMD (oh, my dog), get your mom on over there. Miss Daisy’s Kitchen is at the corner of Mack Hatcher and Hillsboro Road, next to Cool Cafe.

Tell her Pup sent you.

Wags and woofs,



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