01 June 2009

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright,

In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

I was sitting on my porch, reading. SGT B was sitting on the other side of my porch, reading. The sun was down, darkness had settled over FOB McSleepy. Since we were reading, my porch light was on.

One of the laundry gals who lives across the way stepped outside and headed in my general direction. There's a very nice porta-jon next to my area, and the quickest route there is either across my porch or the porch of the first sergeant who lives behind me. The laundry gal, seeing my porch occupied by NCOs, altered her path to cut across the first sergeant's vacant porch. Then she stopped and switched back.

"Can I cut through here?"

Sure, I replied. Public property, cut through any time!

As she crossed my porch, she looked at me, shame and terror in her eyes.

"I'd go back there," she indicated the first sergeant's porch with her chin. "But there's cats back there. I don't like cats."

She hurried on her way. I looked at SGT B, he looked at me. We sat there perplexed until Laundry Gal finished in the porta-jon and trooped back through. Then I had to ask.

She doesn't like cats, I asked? As in, afraid of cats?

They're not even cats, SGT B pointed out. They're kittens.

I was, until last night, unaware of the threat that very small kittens pose to America's Fighting Men and Women. I knew combat deaths have dropped off significantly here in Iraq, but I wasn't aware that we were losing Soldiers primarily to suicide and, after that, to kittens.

But, admit it, they are kinda scary.

With twenty razor sharp points before they even open their mouths, they're like wee little demonic tigers. And while you may be able to escape one of them, rumor has it they hunt in packs. And, due to their feline grace and cunning, they retain the element of surprise, particularly in the dark.

Note how that one is lurking behind a piece of webbing?

I have also heard that their whiskers ooze poison, ala the greater weever fish, and that, possibly, kitten tails have spikes cleverly concealed in the fur.

...When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb, make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright,
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?