Topic: "Carolina Cougar(2)"
When Sam's father and step-mother could no longer maintain their own residence, and they were unable to care for the one creature that shared their every day existence, another waif found his way into the Shire. Mr. Beau Neau, re-named of course, is the largest domestic cat on record, and he is all white. He entered the Shire as Rocky, the Italian Stallion, was preparing for his last encounter with Apollo Creed. Mr. Beau Neau has assumed the mantle of House Champion, and he has adapted his territorial concerns from an all-interior existence to include the entire fenced backyard of the Shire.
The population of ground and underground creatures has been adversely affected by this territorial imperative. Given the size of the feline it is actually a good thing that there are no Thompson's Gazelles or Water Buffalo wandering into the Shire.
Most interesting is the avian contingent. There has been no indication of interest in the winged visitors to the Shire. Sydney, the cockatiel, who was a companion of Rocky, senses that Mr. Beau Neau is not worthy of his trust however, and keeps his distance beyond the vertical capacity of the feline passing through his flight patterns. Perhaps the visibility of the all-white cat is a factor in the judgment of the birds, and in the concomitant concerns of the cat himself. Why fight it if your adversaries know where you are at all times?
Mick, the Wonder Dog, is Master of all he surveys, but he is totally subject to the influence of a new and entertaining game with Frodo. After dinner, and once all light has departed the Shire, Frodo catches the eye of Mick, the Wonder Dog, and he utters the phrase "Let's Go Get the Kitty." Paws and toenails flash upon the slippery surface as the dog-door is thrown open to allow the exit of the intrepid hunter. The white cat is a visible target despite the darkness, and only the evasive maneuvering envied by fighter pilots around the world allows Mr. Beau Neau to choose a route back through the dog-door which leaves him free from the slobbering of a guided canine missile.
Mick, the Wonder Dog, ends the game with the contented laugh and smile which graces the countenance of a world-class athlete savoring victory.
There is a tolerance between ageless combatants who each recognize that the Shire is their home, and that it is to be shared. Frodo is reminded of the poem "The Creation," which found its' way into every public-speaking exercise ever presented by pre-matriculates. How many times, he thought, does God say "That's Good"? One would think that Frodo would have counted the phrase in at least one such competition. Counting blessings is an activity that quiet nights and venerable companions bring to mind in the Shire.