Kattell is able to
indulge his passion for dog chiefly because he lives alone and his wants are
tin-plate simple. For years he worked for a dog food concern, and his wages
were chiefly in trade.
canyon-hopping, the chief entertainment at Borco comes from the rattlesnakes, a
breed of arrogant pioneers who claim prior rights to the entire high desert.
You might think 50 or more big dogs roaming freely would drive the rattlers
out. Nothing of the sort. They do not propose to be driven out by anyone, and
are quite as hardy and prolific as anyone's dogs.
About 3 one recent
morning Kattell was awakened by his pack in full cry. What's more, the cries
were around and under his cabin. He listened some more, and then he heard the
familiar clicking beneath him. He took flashlight and hoe and crawled under the
cabin. A fat and sassy rattler was coiled there, hissing its defiance and
daring just one dog to come within range. Kattell did crawl within range and
dispatched the serpent with a good forehand stroke, to the immense satisfaction
of the audience.
Pack rats once
found a way into the trunk of his car and devoured a new sack of meal stored
there. Kattell resolved to teach them a lesson. He caught a scrappy rattler and
put it in the trunk, along with a supply of water and the hope it would soon be
dining on pack rat. The next day, starting a long trip, he was moved to have
fun with a filling station attendant. "I want to show you something,"
he said, and opened the trunk. Nothing. Kattell immediately began a meticulous
search of the car, but no sign of the anti-pack-rat force.
The next night,
returning home from his trip, he switched on the dome light and reached into
the back for some forgotten item. He didn't reach far. There was the rattler,
curled on the back seat, buzzing with indignation that the journey was
Sitting in front
of his cabin of a summer evening, the harsh peaks now soft and blue in the
distance, Kattell concedes that he has let a hobby and sport possess his life.
"But how else," he muses, "could a man like me, living all alone,
have so many friends?"
dogs as friends?"
people I meet because of the dogs. The people who come up here to see me and
the dogs. The people who invite me to shows and meetings. The people who
At Kattell's feet,
Roger Bright listened intently while at a greater distance a circle of collies
watched both Kattell and Roger to see what it all meant. Kattell reached over
and stroked Roger's handsome mahogany head, briskly rubbed the soft, tuliped
ears. "It gets to be a chore at times, but it's still fun. Eh,