Friends of Barney of the Serengeti

Barney descending from his Throne Barney and the Capsule of Doom Click to enlarge photos

Contents: This page was created by the Friends of Barney of the Serengeti, a non-profit, nonsensical organization chartered with the task of sharing the joy and wonder of the famed cat. While it is perhaps unusual to establish such an organization while the exploits of the distinguished feline are still so new, the inescapable character of the cat himself necessitated immediate action.
Origins of Barney: Few men alive know the true nature of Barney. Those that learn rarely live to tell the tale, usually with fingers and toes so badly scarred that they are loath to share their hard-won knowledge. Mighty Barney of the Serengeti does not release his secrets easily.

Barney of the Serengeti was born April 1998, whereabouts unknown, and landed in the Tri-Cities Animal Shelter in Fremont, California. We adopted him into our house under the pretense that he was a she, which in retrospect probably contributed to his feisty disposition. The shelter had him labeled as a female, and at 4 weeks who can tell? We initially named him Sabrina, until at 6 weeks the vet noticed that little boy plumbing was evident on his person. We were flummoxed, and unable to choose a new name for many moons. The name Barney finally presented itself as the only option after much consternation and several beers. Now don't think of the name Barney in the same light as that popular purple pleistocene critter, think more along the lines of Barney Fife of Mayberry lineage. That's the spirit of this kitty.
Barney, The Myth: The mighty Barney is a still a youthful kitty at the time of this writing, yet his exploits are already entering into local lore. Soon word of his prowess will spread and small children will fear his name. Woe betide the errant butterfly that crosses his path, or the slug that lingers too long on the patio. Barney is a vicious predator of the open plains cleverly disguised in the form of a domestic shorthair feline. He is a mighty presence in the backyard, and the birds take heed when he is released from his lair through the mystical workings of the device known as a sliding-glass door. Barney doth rule from his perch atop the backyard fence.
Barney, The Cat: Barney is an interesting phenomenon around the house. He does a decent job at pretending to be an affectionate kitty, in an effort to fit in, but the role does not suit him for long. Soon cuddles and purrs are replaced by bites and scratches, then followed quickly again by licks of affection. Barney is clearly a complex individual, and has established himself solidly within the socio-economic hierarchy that is our household. To date he's caught 11 mice, although we think some of the catches might be repeats of the same mouse. His stalking and pouncing abilities are par excellence, but his bite-their-heads-off-in-one-fell-swoop skills need work. This is probably a result of his training methods. We've helped him hone his pouncing skills to a razor fine edge through the use of the Magic Red Dot program. Hey, if he can chase down a laser pointer dot he can catch anything. Although it's tough to train his ability to 'close the sale' after the pounce when all that is left on his paws is a dot of light. We'll have to work on that one, or just acknowledge that he'll always be more of a nibbler than a chomper. However, we don't measure his worth to the collective by his mousing skills alone - his ability to contribute and inspire simply by his presence alone is always enough.