The Washrag Brigade controls 775 N. Ashtree Way, a normal looking home on the outside. Every morning when the last human leaves, the Brigade mounts its stealthy attack.
The Colonel is a large gray striped tom cat from the shelter. Named Satchel because he can be carried with one arm like a piece of luggage (aka Gray Cat or Big Guy). A savage warrior in another life, Satch stocks through the house yowling in displeasure when the water bowl is empty or he wants out. A brutal leader, he slaps down other members of the Brigade with a single snap of his long paw. Sure of his position, he spends most of his time basking in the sun. In the winter, he reigns from on high by seeking out the printer. He is an indoor/outdoor ruler with an electric collar to keep him in his boundaries. Left to his own devices, he would be fox bait in a heartbeat.
Captain Violet, the rat terrier weighing in at 12 pounds (aka The Terrorist) is an unstoppable force of energy. Bred to be a tireless working dog, Violet would like to challenge the rat terrier killing record of one terrier killing 2,501 rats in a seven hour span in an infested barn. Fortunately or unfortunately depending on your species, no rats available at Ashtree Way. Violet came from the shelter with a note that said, “This dog only knows how to run away and is incapable of love.” The first day at Ashtree, Violet ran away. After participating in mucho grande dog training, Violet knows “place”, “sit”, “stay” and “wait”. She will not walk on a leash, whines in the car, has a voracious appetite gobbling down any tidbit on the floor, and has gone through the front screen door chasing other dogs. Her bark is BIG, comparable to a power saw–a deafening 110 decibels, more frightening than a giant enraged German shepherd. An inside dog with a short smooth fur coat, she must be ordered outside to go potty. She can jump four feet from a standing position and frequently does so at doors and windows. Despite these flaws, she loves her people. She fiercely attacks vacuums and lawn mowers having to be locked up when these snarling beasts sneak out of closets and garages violating her territory.
A part-Siamese white cat with pale blue eyes, Angel (aka White cat, Little Kitty, and Devil Cat) reports directly to the teenage Queen Bee. Queen Bee found white kitten at the shelter while on a Girl Scout expedition. Little Kitty comes to Queen Bee like a dog. She sneaks up under the table during dinner and sits on Queen Bee’s lap (though this is against house rules). She snuggles in Queen Bee’s lap watching TV, purring loudly. This is the Ying of her personality. Her Yang personality is devilish. She will sit with others purring contently and then bite without provocation. When the male college person chatters through his teeth over the upstairs rail to the couch below, she chatters back communicating in some other-worldly language (ut-ut-ut-ut-aa). An inside cat, she eats rubber bands and scotch tape, tearing strips off packages and entire rolls.
Shani, a large mini collie with a tawny coat, is the only purebred on the team. A mother’s day gift, she comes from a ranch in Council, Idaho. She is extremely shy and is frequently bullied by the Captain and Sergeant who routinely steal her food. She comes when called, sits and stays on command and follows behind on a walk without a leash. Young men visiting Ashtree like to pet her head and tell her how soft her fur is. She spends her days outside guarding the yard, always alert for trucks, horses, foxes, and quail. When foreign critters encroach, she runs along fence sharply barking. She gets car sick so seldom travels. A delightful pooch outside, inside she is happy follower, causing all sorts of unexpected damage.
Next Week—Part 2, Adventures of Washrag Brigade