Good Kittens Make Good Neighbours

In another installment of “Weird Things I Saw For Sale”, I came across this ad the other day. When I saw the picture, I thought it was strange, because apparently you’re not allowed to sell pets on Facebook Marketplace, but then I saw the description and realized that this was, in fact, NOT a pet but a very skilled little feline who is worth every penny of his $123.00 price tag.

Now, it never occurred to me that you could use a kitten for this purpose, just like it never occurred to me that you should hold a kitten like it’s an ice cream cone, but then I gave it a little more thought. I came up with this clever quiz for you to demonstrate how much a kitten has in common with a sheep/goat fence. You need to read the items on the following list and decide whether they apply to kittens, sheep/goat fences, or both:

1) Can be used to keep out sheep and/or goats
2) Adorable
3) Comes in a variety of colours
4) Might have fleas
5) Needs lots of maintenance
6) Enjoys the outdoors
7) Potentially electrified
8) Poops in a box
9) Hisses if you try to cross it
10) Vomits on your rug
11) Kills birds and small rodents
12) Very long
13) Metal or wood

OK, let’s see how you did.

Exclusively kittens: #8 and #10. Exclusively sheep/goat fences: #13. Both: All the rest.

Now, you may be saying, “I don’t think—” but I’m going to interrupt you in order to explain.

1) “Can be used to keep out sheep/goats”. According to the ad, this kitten CAN be used to keep out sheep and/or goats, and I take the word of the expert who owns the kitten and not some blog reader who owns a sheep and/or goat farm, KEVIN. Also, the ad says it’s a TEMPORARY fence; otherwise, using a kitten as a sheep/goat fence would be very unrealistic.

2) “Adorable”. I have seen MANY adorable sheep/goat fences in my time. In fact, just the other day, Ken and I were driving around the countryside and he said, “Look at that cute fence” and I said, “We should stop and take a picture of it” and we did, because it was adorable.

3) “Comes in a variety of colours”. I mean obviously sheep/goat fences don’t come in as MANY colours as kittens, but they come in several shades of gray or brown, so that counts.

4) “Might have fleas”. I said “Might”.

5) “Needs lots of maintenance”. Fences and kittens are both high-maintenance what with their potential for rust and needing to be amused constantly.

6) “Enjoys the outdoors”. This is obviously true of both because sheep/goat fences live in the outdoors, which they wouldn’t if they didn’t enjoy it, I would hope, and kittens are always making a run for the door to get out of your house.

7) “Potentially electrified”. I said “Potentially”. Also, what do you think makes a kitten’s fur stand on end? And have you ever touched your kitten and gotten a shock? I rest my case.

8) “Poops in a box”. I don’t think sheep\goat fences defecate, and if they did, I can’t see a farmer providing them a box to do it in. Although you never know with farmers.

9) “Hisses if you try to cross it”. This one is predicated on the sheep/goat fence being electrified. In which case, it’s true of both. It’s also true of the Canada Goose, affectionately known as the Evil Lake Chicken.

10) “Vomits on your rug”. This could never be true of a sheep/goat fence because you wouldn’t have one in your house with access to a rug. Unless you also keep sheep and/or goats in your house, and then it would be like a baby gate or something, and I still can’t see it vomiting on the rug, although the sheep and/or goats might. But if you’ve ever owned a kitten, you know they do this all the damn time, and especially when you have company over for dinner, and right as you start eating, the kitten comes in, makes an unearthly yowling sound, and pukes on the rug. Kittens have impeccable timing, which they also have in common with sheep/goat fences. I should have put that on the list.

11) “Kills birds and small rodents”. This is also predicated on the sheep/goat fence being electrified. It also depends on the voltage. Ken has touched electric fences before but he’s not home right now, so I’ll ask him later if he thinks it could electrocute a field mouse. Update: Ken says that the voltage probably wouldn’t kill them but would give them a good jolt, so I’m changing 11 to “Wounds birds and small rodents”.

12) “Very long”. I’ve seen long kittens. Fight me.

13) “Metal or wood”. There’s no way I can stretch this to make it apply to kittens, at least not the living kind, so I’m giving number 13 to sheep/goat fences.

Overall, as you can see, kittens and sheep/goat fences DO have a lot in common, so I think the person who posted the ad should be asking a hell of a lot more than $123.00. A much better deal than the ad for used rocks at a dollar a piece.

(On a personal note, I woke up on Tuesday morning to an email telling me that I’d been nominated for a Best of the Net prize for my story in the Ekphrastic Review titled ‘Landscape With The Fall Of Icarus’, which you can read here if you’d like, although a lot of you already have. It was as unexpected as a kitten being used as a sheep/goat fence, but it made my day.)