Monday, February 16, 2009

The Legend of the Maine Coon, or Why You Shouldn't Smoke Weed Every Day

Retelling a tale told twice before, for the purposes of the blog.

Where I live, during the previous summer and fall, the apartment complex had been plagued by a variety of wild animals. An individual residing herein had asked me, due to my "country" upbringing, to identify some footprints and spoor, which were hardly necessary as there were more than enough sightings to determine that the twin menaces to the sanctity of our garbage cans were a rather angry and unfriendly stray cat, and a rather surprisingly active young raccoon.

My inquisitive friend, whose consumption of marijuana defies description, had discussed with me various options for the removal of said wild animals, most of which were ludicrous but not memorable. During a particularly interesting exchange, where I helped him to remember the defining characteristics of raccoon tracks, I made a joke about the alleged folktale origins of the Maine Coon, a breed of house cat known for its impressive size. For those of you who are averse to clicking links, there's an old folk belief that this particular cat breed had developed when feral cats had bred with raccoons in the New England states, during the early days of our great nation.

My drug-addled and determined friend was uninformed on this particular point, so my joke about the necessity of separating the cat from the raccoon (so as to prevent the breeding of a "super cat") was taken completely literally, and treated as the authoritative gospel truth, which I later was to discover. My off-hand comment paid dividends in the world of comedic raconteur gold.

A day or so later, I'd been approached, as many times before, by the friend to whom I'd shared the legend (in jest) previously. During the course of the intervening days, he had apparently done a great deal of research on the matter, bypassing all the obvious impossibilities that prevented the verity of the legend itself. The exchange went (roughly) as follows:

"Stephen, have you seen that fucking cat around any more? Or that raccoon? I think I'm going to do something about it. You know anyone who wants a cat?"
"No, sorry man. I'll let you know, though, and--"
"Dude, do you know what happens when a cat fucks a raccoon? Do you know what you get?"
(at this point, I'm assuming he's joking, as he heard about this obviously ridiculous tale FROM me just a day or two prior)

"No," I replied... "what do you get?"
"BIG fucking cats, dude. like huge and shit. You ever heard of the Maine Coon?"

At this point I feigned ignorance exactly long enough to get into my car and drive off to work, stifling a laugh until it became appropriate.

So what's the lesson here? That cats can't really breed with raccoons? Or that weed really does affect your brain?

I leave it to my beloved reader to decide.