Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Origins of the Kracker Cats: Little Clyde Texaco gases up Wasilla

Clyde in a tree.

Thunder Paws had been with us for a little over one month. I was down south, in Maine. It was June 26, 1992 - Rye’s birthday. I called home, to wish him a happy one.

“Dad,” he announced. “Guess what I got for my birthday?”

I made a few ridiculous guesses, all of which were wrong.

“A cat!” he said.

“C’mon, Rye, what did you get?”

“A cat. Well, a kitten.”

“Rye! Please! Do not tease me! We already have two cats. Your mother would not get you another cat. C’mon. What is it, some kind of cat T-shirt? A cat on a cup? What is it?”

“It’s a cat, a real, live, purring cat. Mom didn’t give it to me. Courtney did. Mom likes it. She says it’s cute.”

“You really got a cat?”

“Yes. Are you mad?”

“Yes. Happy birthday.”

I could not wait to get home, and when I did, I found that Rye’s birthday present still did not have a name. The kids were referring to him as “the gas station.” I had not been around the kitten long before the pungent aroma surrounding him told me why. In those early days, he gassed often, and with great potency. So we started to call him “Exxon,” but this made us think too much about oiled otters and seabirds.

We changed the name to Texaco. “I think he looks like a ‘Clyde,’ “ Rye observed one day. Thus, the kitten took on the name “Little Clyde Texaco.” This was a lot to say, so we usually settled for Clyde.

He didn’t give a damn what we called him, just so long as we put out food, which he consumed in copious quantities, this Little Clyde Texaco, our gas station.




The ballad of Little Clyde Texaco and Rye

A fearsome duo these two:
Little Clyde Texaco and Rye.
When they swagger down the street,
the eyes of big, tough, men grow wide.

Out of respect
and fear,
these hard guys step aside.

Good mothers run and hide,
and shout to their daughters:
"Get inside!"

When they see these two coming,
young children are set to running.
The children run! run! run!
Run straight to Rye.

"Hey, big kid," they plead, with pleading eyes.
"Can we pet your kitty?
Please, oh, please!
Let us pet your kitty!"

"Yea, sure," obliges Rye. "Why not?
Just don't pull his tail.
Clyde don't like no one
to pull his tail."

10 comments:

Gandalf and Grayson said...

Hello, Little Clyde Texaco. You sound like you have lots of wonderful stories to tell! Do not worry, we will not pull your tail!

StandTall-The Activist said...

Darn Clyde is cute! How come no one gave me cat for my birthday? I could heart the person for life!

Daisy said...

I loved the little Clyde Texaco ballad!

ps: Fill 'er up!

Zippy, Sadie and Speedy said...

Clyde, your adorable. Sorry, yoor very handsome...we like yoor balad too. Did yoo out grow yoor little gas problem, Sadie sorta did.

Eric and Flynn said...

Clyde is cute. We wouldn't pull his tail, we wouldn't want to chance getting gassed.

Margaret Cloud said...

What a nice ballsd, Little Clyde Teaco you are very cute. What did you see up the tree? I am wishing you a Merry Christmas.

Grahamn Kracker said...

GG: Oh, yes, there is an abundance of Clyde stories!

Standtall - If I had been nearby, I would have given you a cat.

Daisy - Thank you. Now I am a balladeer.

zss: Yes, I am happy to report that Clyde outgrew the gas problem - but sometimes he farted, anyway. It never embarrassed him, either.

Margaret: We still wonder what he saw.

StandTall-The Activist said...

That I would have loved wholeheartedly. I captured Molly! I will blog about it 2mrw. Thanks a lot for your support GK. They are seeing the vet next week for their neutering appointment. I can't wait!

ML said...

Little Clyde Texaco is so cute. Loved his ballad, too.

Grahamn Kracker said...

Standtall - This is the best news that I have heard in awhile! I'm so glad! Scruffy pets to Molly!

ML Thank you. I have written many things over the years, but I believe that was my first ballad.