Feline angler nets a scolding with latest catch

Susan Manzke
Tracking every move of Blue Fish in his angular beta tank  is Barn-E.

I purchased a Wisconsin fishing license for the 2022 season. I had one last year, but sadly never used it. This year will be different.

When I go walking along the road after a rain, I often find nightcrawlers escaping their soggy homes. Too bad for them that in seeking higher ground they have wiggled into a death trap. On the road, they will either dry up or get run over. This is where I come in. I try to relocate them to a spot where they can survive—if I was going fishing I might end their lives on the end of a hook.

Today I’m not talking about that kind of fishing. Instead, I’m going to write about my cat, Barn-E's fishing tales.

Ever since Barn-E discovered my beta fish in its tank on the kitchen counter, he has tried to corner that fish in its watery home.

Many times, I’d come into the kitchen to find Barn-E waving his paw at the tank, encouraging Blue Fish to move. It was like a game for the cat, but I don’t think the fish cared for the game.

Once Barn-E swiped at the top of the little tank. By accident, he caught a corner with a claw and pulled the top off. I quickly recovered the fish and sent the cat into another room with a string toy. I then relocated the fish to a more secure spot in the kitchen.

Barn-E and his big brother Car-E go a few rounds in their latest wrestling match.

One evening, as I visited with a friend on the Internet, I heard my two cats running up and down the stairs. Car-E was chasing Barn-E. Even though they are just cats, it sounded like a herd of elephants was in the house.

I ignored their playful exuberance and continued to visit with Joyce.

I heard the sound of something hollow falling in the kitchen. Again, I didn’t move. I was sure the cats had overturned an empty bucket I had used for mopping the floor.

Eventually, I went to the kitchen to reheat my cup of tea. To my horror, I found that the beta fish tank had been tipped over. Water was everywhere!

Dry towels were thrown on the floor—both to right and left of the counter. A pile of get-well cards was soaked and went straight into the garbage.

As I mopped up the water, I kept a lookout for the fish. It wasn’t there. I guessed the cat had eaten it.

To say the least, I was perturbed. Barn-E’s fishing expedition had had the worst conclusion ever.

After cleaning up the counter and the floor, I went into the living room to catch the evening news and weather. That’s when I heard Barn-E. This time the cat was playing in a cardboard box. Usually, he likes to curl up in the brown wrapping paper that was crumbled in the box. Not this night.

Perched on a favorite chair, Car-E and Barn-E  enjoy a timeout from their constant antics.

Barn-E was scratching through the paper, looking for something. You guessed it. Barn-E had brought the body of the fish into the next room and was playing with it like it was one of his toys.

I retrieved the fish’s body. It was in bad shape, surely dead. But then I felt the tiniest movement.

Quickly, I deposited Blue Fish into a glass of freshwater. There was a sliver of hope.

Blue Fish didn’t survive. Without any fanfare, I buried him at sea, meaning I flushed him.

I am not fishless. Three fish are living in a ten-gallon tank in the living room. Barn-E does watch them swim, but surely he can’t push the large tank over—at least I hope not.

Daily adventures with my cats continue. Most of the time they make me laugh, but I wasn’t laughing after the demise of Blue Fish.

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165;;;