View Full Version : Cat Lady

01-01-2015, 10:43 AM
Two cats sprawled in the sunlight on the floor of the porch of the white country house, and another one was stretched out on a cushion on the porch swing. A fourth cat looked out through the screen on a front room window. One of the cats on the porch was a chocolate dun color. I had tied trout flies with domestic cat hair in the past, and I preferred muskrat or wild rabbit. I knocked on the screen door, I hoped loud enough, and then turned and watched the water slide in silver braids over the rocks in the stream at the foot of the lawn. I heard footsteps coming toward the door and then heard a woman’s voice. “It’s a man, coming to my house. Hello, Mr. Man. What can I do for you?” She was slim and tall, with long curly blond hair in a ponytail. She wore no shoes, dark blue jeans, and a long sleeved chambray shirt that was a size too large. The sleeves were turned up halfway to her elbows. She had freckles on her cheeks and her neck, and her eyes were the surprising color of blue chalk. I guessed she was ten years younger than me. “I came to ask if you’d let me fish,” I told her. “I could park down at the road, but I’d like to fish upstream through your property.” The woman brushed loose strands of hair away from her face with her left hand. “Oh, no, don’t do that. Farmers go by with their big tractors. You don’t want your car to be hit by one of them. Leave it right where it is.” My car was parked in the middle of her driveway, and I said, “My car is in your way. Let me move it so you can get out, if you want to.” “Oh no,’ she said, “I’m not going to go anywhere. Come in for a cup of coffee. I just made some.” She smoothed the front of her shirt against her torso with her hands. I resisted the invitation to coffee with “I appreciate the offer, I really do, but I’d like to fish before it gets any hotter."

She watched from the porch as I pulled on my waders at the car, and strung the heavy fly line through the guides of the little bamboo rod. I walked across the grass and she waved and called, “I hope you have good luck.” At the foot of her lawn I caught two ten inch trout in the pocket water, with the woman watching from the porch. I moved upstream behind the lilacs before I looked again toward the house, and she was out of sight. A few caddis flies buzzed over the water, and the trout were watching them. I used dry flies in the pocket water, and rough hackled nymphs just under the surface in three long pools. The near bank sloped gradually into the water with a gravel bottom. The far bank was a steep bluff, and at the three pools there were cliffs right down to the water, and rocks had fallen from the cliff faces into the stream. The water was blue-green and deep along the cliff faces. I fished for a little under three hours and caught some trout, all browns. Most of them were ten inchers, but I caught two of fourteen inches in the pools, and I saw two larger ones move from tailouts, up into the deep water along the cliff faces. It was a good morning of fishing, and by early afternoon the sun was warm, and I started back to the car.

I was pulling off my waders at the car when I heard the screen door open and then close, and the woman called out “There you are. I’ve been watching for you.” Her hair was out of the ponytail and spread out behind her head in a broad, curly wedge. She wore leather sandals, crisp light linen pants, and a white sleeveless blouse with a light blue windowpane plaid. The top three buttons of the blouse were open. Her freckles ran down her neck and into her shirt. “How many did you catch? Did you have a good time?” She came down off the porch with a smile. “Come in and have some lunch. I made sandwiches for us.” She had set two places at the dining room table. I sat and ate a sandwich from a cream colored plate. I had a glass of water. The woman offered me a beer, a cup of tea, some fresh fruit. “No thank you,” I told her. I had taken advantage of her hospitality too much already. “Not at all. Oh, not at all,” she said, and smiled and leaned forward in her chair. I told her I had to get back to town, thanked her for the fine lunch, went out to the car, got in to start the engine, and turned around in the driveway. I braked at the end of the driveway and glanced in the rear view mirror. The woman was standing on the porch. She waved as I turned right onto the asphalt toward town. It didn’t take long to work through the gears.

01-02-2015, 12:14 PM
Three short, nuanced paragraphs sparked a much more involved set of events in my imagination; not unlike how a woman's sensuality is correlated less with what is revealed and more with what is not revealed--but what is suggested.

01-02-2015, 03:34 PM
Aloha Ernest, you are married, correct? Mems.

01-02-2015, 09:11 PM
Yes, Mems. Married to my first wife for 40 good years and counting.

01-04-2015, 08:48 AM
Great story, and thanks for sharing!
(Where is she? Oh! I mean the stream...)
Mike B

01-05-2015, 07:30 PM
Thank you gentlemen for your comments on the story.

And Mike, the stream is in the Driftless, a green and golden land in SE Minnesota, SW Wisconsin, and NE Iowa that was missed by the last glaciation. It is a land of narrow, deep, wooded valleys, small towns and family farms, and thousands of miles of small spring creeks.

01-10-2015, 08:58 PM
Temptations temptations....nicely told Ernest. :thumbup: