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home : lifestyle : lifestyle today   August 1, 2014

7/29/2013 10:44:00 AM
The cat and the semi

Nancy Dinelli-Prill

One of our kids has driven us nuts because from little on, this kid would intervene in situations, none related to anything that had to do with this kid and it has gone on into this now 50 or so adult.
From here on in this column I will refer to this person as “the kid,” not wanting to pinpoint any one of the three, there by getting myself in trouble with “the kid.”
Having said all that, happenings such as picking up a stranger on the highway and bringing them home, not knowing who they were or what and completely numb to the dangers involved. The same went for stray and strange animals. Once a goose was brought home, not to even mention the cats and dogs.
The Kid now lives in their own home and some of the tales I’m told makes my hair stand on edge. Absolutely no preaching, no explaining, no pleading has done a thing to change the need to help others, with no thought of safety for ones self.
When a new neighbor moves in, the first one at the door is The Kid not knowing if they are friend or foe. In the world today, I’m always thinking of caution, but The Kid was brought up on in a farming community, not in a big city where things are different and less friendly.
Through the winter, I listened to the happenings and at night I would lay awake with worry and wonder what I could do to get safety sense to this person. Finally, my statement to The Kid was, “someday a cat is going to be in the middle of your street with a big semi barreling down on it and you are going to run into the road to save the cat and the semi is going to run you over.”
As the year progressed, I would get a call about some, after the fact happening and I would listen and in the end say, “another cat and semi story.” Another call and another answer, “a cat and semi story.”
Then about a week ago, there was something going on in the neighborhood about a dog that needed taking care of and I shuddered as I heard the story because The Kid didn’t need another dog. I listened intently and asked, “You didn’t, did you?”
“No,” was the answer, “and that is why I’m calling you.”
“The Kid” was reinforcing this would end up another “cat and semi story.”
I took a deep breath of relief and was amazed after all these years a “cat and a semi” got through to a person who didn’t seem to think of the outcomes of choices that were not always the best.
Once in a shopping center parking lot, a woman was struggling trying to hold on to her baby and unload her shopping cart.
I watched for a bit and was about to go over and help her by either holding the baby for her or unloading her groceries.
I started over when I saw “The Farmer” give me the “cat and the semi” look.
I reasoned the woman could have, first put the baby in the car seat where it would be safe and then unload her groceries. I would have been happy to take the empty cart to the rack.
I reasoned the woman could have called foul, if I helped with the baby or the groceries, because in today’s world, you just never know.
Here is the interesting comment The Kid sent in a note to me after the high profile trial in Florida last week.
“If the guy in the car had called my Mother, she would have told him ‘the cat and the semi’ story and he would have stayed in his car.”
I think I learned from “The Farmer” to call for back up when help is needed. For instance: When a stranger would come to the farm and had run off the road or some such thing, “The Farmer” always called for a tow truck. He felt if he did some damage to the person’s vehicle he would be held responsible. In this day and age with all the drugs that are out there, you just don’t know who you are dealing with.

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