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The Cat Herding Chronicles
a true engineering story ...

by Joe Snoy

Once upon a time, there was a cat-manager (aka cat-herder) who worked at the Waterton Catery. He had 16 cats to herd - 4 LM cats and 8 Northrop Grumman (NG) cats. The LM cats looked just like the NG cats and the NG cats looked just like the LM cats. The cats were of all sizes and shapes - some big and fat and some not so fat, both males and females; but the cats liked to eat as all cats certainly like to do. Frequently the cat-herder herded the cats out to lunch which the cats enthusiastically enjoyed. Most of the 16 cats had been raised by the US ARMY, but a few came by way of the NAVY and the cat-herder himself was of Air Force origin.

Being older and more experienced than most of the other 100 cats in the area, these cats were wiser, disciplined and responded more easily to herding. The other cats were litter-upon-litter of younger software-developer cats and were prone to wandering in all different directions - without discipline and very difficult to herd. The 16 cats frolicked in a big, special room called the SCIF which stands for Special Cat Information Facility where they had plenty of "mouse activated" electronic cat-toys. The cats loved playing with the mice and spent hours and hours "mousing around" with the software-developer cat's discarded toys (aka software). Being much older, wiser and disciplined, the special 16 cats were a joy to herd.

Sometimes a "trickster" (aka customer) would show up and get all the 116 cats into a frenzy - usually requiring long hours of mousing around again and again with the developer-cat toys that the trickster said were "not good enough". The trickster was fond of throwing all the cats new, strange cat-toys (aka requirements) which baffled the cats.

Frequently the cat-manager herded his special cats to a terrible place called Ft. Hood (a giant catbox) to mouse around again and again with newer software-developer cat-toys. At Ft. Hood the special 16 cats met the trickster's own herd of green-colored, very young "fighting" cats who responded well to the older cats and both played with the the newer cat-toys. Despite the trickster's constant antics the special cats taught the "fighting" cats how to play with the cat-toys and eventually the "fighting" cats took the cat-toys to an even bigger catbox (called Iraq) where the toys were appreciated.

As time wore on, there were fewer and fewer new cat-toys to frolic with and the cat-herder had to release his cat-friends one by one - very sad. Shortly thereafter the cat-herder retired from cat herding at the Waterton Catery.

And then the cat-herder became a Weasel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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This page last modified 12 November 2006.