Craig in Montana is Right

I haven’t kept my word about moving my online world back to the circus. More importantly, nobody wants to read a blog that starts out whining about not writing a blog. While this tiny ember of hope from the election, and real talk of vaccine development is something, 2020 continues to deliver its unmerciful bludgeoning.

There is this one thing I’m stuck on though, so I might as well get it out there.

I feel like I had this recurrent experience and I’m wondering if anyone can relate to it.

If you aren’t familiar, we had a little cat visit us a few months back. We adopted him and named him “Ronie” and he fit right into our little family. I called him Justin Timberlake, because his charisma was just too powerful to deny.

Anyway, one morning way after we let our guard down, Ronie went out in the morning and never came back. It sucks.

So this other event is connected to Ronie disappearing, and it’s this guy Noah.

We met him at our local low dollar golf course, the venerable Jake Gaither aka “The Jake.” Three of us were playing, and as usual it was all backed up and everyone was struggling to get any rhythm going. There was a single dude behind us, and someone suggested we should invite him to join us and do the right thing to tighten up the pace of play. Well, myself and one buddy said, nah, fuck that guy. Let’s just keep going, but then Paul, a real golfer and a gentleman, chastened us and we acquiesced to the invitation.

You see where this is going probably. Noah turns out to be this solid dude. Very Ronie-like in personality. Just a guy from Peoria, Illinois, which is a town name that really lends itself phonically to good story-telling. So Noah has this mighty swing that wooshes by like a freight train, and lord jesus when it connects it is a real thing to see. He’s got the golf jones real bad too, which is contagious, so after a round full of highlight shots from all of us we trade numbers and just like that Noah is in the crew.

This crusty crew does not excel at making new friends, and then just like Ronie, Noah waltzes right in like a breath of fresh air.
Then he left, just like Ronie. Tallahassee didn’t work out for him. Not this time. He’s back in Peoria hanging out on a real goat farm instead of our pretend one at the Jake.

I think this pandemic, and misery in general, creates a lot of movement. As the situation changes, anyone on a margin or edge, is bound to get disrupted and seek a new equilibrium. Until it’s your turn, others will rebound and ricochet off of you in search of that new level ground.

That’s what I think.



I drew this picture while spending some time at the local youth shelter, my old alma mater. I’m sitting with two of the nicest kids, and a staff person. She gets out the big box of art supplies and we all set out to draw something. I’ve got Ronie on my mind, and I’m thinking about how sad Melissa is so I start drawing this picture you see. About half-way through, this twelve year-old boy asks me what it is. I tell him it’s a cat. He says, it looks like an owl. He sees I am crestfallen, and quickly encourages me, “It looks like a cat too.” I ask him what he thinks I can do to fix it. He tells me, “Just keep making it look more like a cat.” He shrugs his shoulders unaware of his genius and returns to his mastery of illustrating anime hair. His advice got the above result.

I’m going to resist the urge to point out the obvious lesson in the homily, but it ain’t easy.


6 Responses to Craig in Montana is Right

  1. (Shhhh. Just whisper it in my ear.) And why is Melissa sad? Because Ronie left or because she missed having a big Thanksgiving? And Ronie looks sort of mean in your picture.

  2. Lisa and I had a cat named Woody, who disappeared one time, right after we moved. We were worried of course, until three days later there was his little face in the window. Lord knows where he’d been; probably not too far away so he could find his way back. But he knew where his home was and who his people were. He hadn’t just wandered up one day and decided to stay. I had brought Woody home from his mama at a very young age and made him mine, and then when Lisa came along, she made him hers too.

    Sorry about Ronie. Cats can be weird, for sure.

  3. I think some people…. like some animals…are just wanderers. It might be encoded deep in the crystalline structure of their DNA? I don’t know? I crossed paths with a stray dog once. A beautiful pure white mix of something. He showed up while I was eating my lunch and hung around all day and when I offered him the passenger seat in my old Volvo 544 he jumped in. He stayed with me for a few days. We had a good time hanging out, hiking on the beach and eating cool human food. I let him out of the car one morning at work and he just walked away. Didn’t not even turn to look back. Seeking something? I was sad but wished him well on his journey……………

  4. By the way, out for a ride on Sunday afternoon Nov. 22nd I saw a Jaguarundi on the old Port Leon Road in the St Marks Wildlife Refuge. Large; long tail, little ears. Tan brown, not black.