Chicken is the New Cat (Chicken People)

Jerri had 14 cats. She even referred to herself as ‘crazy cat lady’. Crazy cat ladies are often referred to by another word: single.

“You’ll never find a man”, I told her repeatedly. She proved me wrong. She married him the day he was released from prison.

These days, I seem to be surrounded more and more by crazy chicken people. People I thought were normal are obsessed with chickens. They name them, they pet them, they talk to them like the chickens are their children. I do understand some of the appeal; farm-fresh eggs really do taste better.

But then all kinds of crazy breaks out. There is a website called Backyard Chickens for those people to chat with each other. My friend, Linda, met a dude named Bobby on the site. Bobby apparently knew a lot, and anytime Linda had questions, she sought Bobby’s advice. They chatted frequently.
Eventually their conversations lead her to purchase some baby chicks from Bobby. It was all neatly arranged. She would meet Bobby in the Wal-Mart parking lot (because where else do chicken people meet?). There, they would consummate the deal.

Linda was anxious and arrived early. Finally, she would meet the man who knew so much. Her go-to guy. Her fowl partner. When the appointed hour finally struck, she was giddy to see the car Bobby described pull up. And out of it popped… Bobby’s mom.

Turns out, Bobby is 15.

But the deal was real, so biddies were bought, and no cops were involved.

I helped my brother tile his laundry room floor last summer. A Polish hen named Lucy supervised. She occasionally left a comment on the job we were doing but it cleaned up pretty easily.

That same brother and his wife spend their happy hours watching “Chicken TV”. That is, they grab a beer, unfold chairs in the backyard and watch the chickens. How exciting!

Another chicken friend was raising chicks in a spare bedroom. All fine and good until the grandkids show up. It was only after the kids left that Grandma Chicken – that’s what they call her, y’all – discovered the chicks had been freed from their box and had spent several hours with the run of the room.

Feathers everywhere were the least of the problems. The birds had pooped all over the treadmill. This, however, did not ruffle Grandma Chicken’s feathers. As she put it, “somebody ought to use that thing”.

This final piece of evidence I offer to prove that chicken people are slightly off-center will require you envisioning a middle-aged woman, naked, and losing it. This is the email she sent to me:

“We had a hawk attack yesterday. I got out of the shower and looked out the window to see my beautiful chicken, Chardonnay, being attacked.”

Pause for a moment and wonder how that chicken got its name. Continuing…

“I ran through the house and yelled, screamed and waved my arms when I got outside. Scared the hawk away, feathers were everywhere. Poor Chardonnay looked petrified. I picked her up, wrapped her in a towel, took her in the house and rocked her and sang to her. After 10 minutes she started talking to me and then she wanted out of my arms. She is fine.”

The chicken may be fine, but you, my dear, are nuts.

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