May 25, 2000 — “Cats,” the subject that won’t go away. “Cats,” the title of the play I hated in Boston. “Cats,” how to keep them off of cars — the most tenacious cat topic of them all.
Several weeks ago we related the success of the Tom Vigours of Winona in opting to spend $1500 on garage doors, only to discover their cats were also tracking up their neighbor’s car.
One caller suggested the best solution would be to put the cats in the garage, shut the doors, park the new Volvo outside and it and the neighbor’s cars would be free of cat tracks.
Several others mentioned how a garage door could be used as a guillotine for cats with a little practice and patience, but I have been advised that is not an option at our house.
Then I got the call — the answer we have all been waiting on for years in order to put the final chapter to this saga.
Rita Parker Stewart, who lives west of Bruce on Highway 32 in the Ellard Community, left a message with Jo Ann that she had picked up one of those croaking frogs, like they have at Cracker Barrel and other stores like WalMart and Lowe’s, put it on her car and it really worked.
I had almost forgotten about it until she approached me at dinner one night recently at Blaylock’s Bait Shop and Barbecue, where I used to take the Faulkner Scholars when there was a Calhoun tour.
Jo Ann was out of town, baby-sitting in Tupelo, and I had visited with a number of folks and finally ended up with Brooks and Edna Earl Collins, when Rita came in.
She asked if Jo Ann had told me about her discovery, and I asked her if it were still working.
“Perfectly,” she said, and I made a note to confirm the claim with her husband Billy Jack, until she convinced me.
“Did you glue it to your hood, like one of those ornaments cars used to have?” I asked.
“Of course not,” she said. “I just put it off the car on the carport steps.”
She went on to explain that their flock of guineas had been coming into the carport every day to look at them though the glass door and in doing so always left a lot of poop on the concrete.
The frog scared them away, also, she claimed.
I looked at Brooks and asked if he thought it would scare off a black bear, but he didn’t want to talk about it.
Rita proceeded to tell how she had used one to dissuade the dogs from marking certain areas, and to keep them from wading in her new goldfish pond
Brooks told me to advise Jo Ann they might do a better job of keeping the armadillos out of flower beds than I have done — by a long shot.
I see one of the frogs every time we go to Glenda Aron’s Garden Room for lunch, for there was one at the front door to appropriately alert her that guests had arrived.
It was something of a start to hear, “ribbit-ribbit” from the motion sensitive gadget.
So, daughter Deanna who was visiting Saturday and I went by Glenda’s to see about getting a frog, but she had never sold them she said. She also said the one she had been using had laryngitis, even after getting new batteries.
Jo Ann was putting the pressure on, so I asked Deanna to get a couple for us and Glenda, and one for herself if she wanted it.
I also asked granddaughter Jo Ellen and her friend, Rob, to pick up a couple in Tupelo. As we all know this kind of plan works not at all, or too well.
We ended up with five frogs — Deanna decided she didn’t want one after having it for two hours.
Dubbed Freddy Frog, made in China, the bigger than two hands green plastic amphibian with characteristic features, including two yellow stripes down the back, has only one major difference from the real thing.
The center of his mouth, from where the sticky gelatinous tongue usually projects, is the motion sensor that starts the “ribbit-ribbit.”
The price from the super store was much lower than the specialty store, but one of the frogs from Cracker Barrel did have an attachable lily pad, but didn’t have the yellow stripes.
Disclaimer: We make no claims whatsoever having to do with the success or failure of this project. If you have any complaints about any of the suggestions please write to Rita Stewart.
However, in the interest of science and good column material I would very much like to have a copy of any correspondence to her regarding this subject.