For every person out there driving and hating it, there’s another one who wishes they could still do it. When I did the CB handle piece, I got some really cool stories, from some really neat people. One in particular piqued my interest, and I had to learn more.
Tammy Reed started driving trucks before she actually had a license. When she was growing up, her family broke and sold horses, and transported cattle. After she turned 18, she started a regional livestock run and began her college education. During that time, she was actually accepted to LSU for Veterinary Sciences, but two weeks before school started she decided to stick with the truck and go full-time at it. Tammy hauled everything from cattle to baby diapers during her time on the road. She’s driven a cattle hauler, flatbed, step deck, van and pretty much anything else you can think of.
She chimed in on the Facebook page when I asked everyone for their handle:
“My first one was Mudslinger for 20 years, then after an incident in Southern Arkansas it got changed to Cat Killer.”
If you follow along at all, you’ll know I couldn’t leave it at that. I had to know why this seemingly nice lady was called “Cat Killer.” She went on:
“I was headed to Texas and ran over a cat on I-30 close to Prescott, Arkansas. One of the other drivers hollered over the CB that I ran over his dog. I had some really good friends who owned the CB shop across from the Love’s [in Prescott], and she heard us talking about it. The drivers talked about me running over that dang cat all the way to Texas and back to Arkansas for almost three days picking on me. My friend at the radio shop told me when I got back, that with all the commotion my handle had to be changed to Cat Killer. I guess I earned it.”
Tammy enjoyed her career on the road until injuries from all the years of breaking horses and working cattle finally caught up with her. She’s unable to drive these days — her knees and back have forced her into an early disability retirement: “I miss it. I always thought I would be in the truck until I died, and I almost did a couple of times. Broke my heart when I had to tell my Peterbilt goodbye.”
She doesn’t regret a minute of it, and still keeps up with the industry through the trucking pages and magazines. “Even though I can’t drive anymore,” she says, “I’m glad I chose it as a career.”
So next time you’re in Prescott, Ark., give a shout out to Cat Killer – she may just be listening.