A Cowboy’s Faith: Ranch hunters worth cost

buchmanhead“Where’s the cat?”

That’s been a common question around the ranch in recent months, but actually a frequent concern for nearly 44 years.

Lots and lots of cats have come and gone. There’ve been so many we have no inkling of remembering which was which, what they looked like, and certainly not their names.

Yet, each one found a home, and a part of the ranch, for the time here, usually short lived.

Haven’t ever bought a cat, and have sometimes been without one extended time. But, we’ve always provided ample high-priced cat food, perhaps too much, too often.

Some got cat fat, very lazily sleeping much of the time, instead of taking care of intended business: keeping the rat and mouse populations caput.

For that profession, likewise there’ve been good and bad. Some spent most of the time hunting, stepping proudly as bringing in their prey, and savoring consumption.

Sparrows, other birds we appreciated, snakes, sometimes even fish, have been their supper. When it’s a squirrel or a rabbit, especially a baby one, we feel remorse, but isn’t any way to reprimand that working cat, certainly.

Well, the last cat was a black and white tom, which she named Black & White, and we all knew as such. A wild cat, not a wildcat, it took a long time to get B&W tamed, yet never completely, really. With coaxing, B&W could be touched, sometimes petted and held, depending on the day and mood.

B&W was a great hunter, but for some reason developed an ear fungus. Despite doctoring, we don’t want to know how much cost; the ear would not heal, and perhaps was his demise, uncertain.

But, B&W started tomcat prowling, who knows what, and was around less and less, until he hasn’t been seen for weeks now.

There are seven one-third-grown kittens in the front stalls. Quite the mess, they’re so cute, sweet, cuddly. Wonder if any will be hunters, how many, how long?

Reminds us of First Kings 18:19: “Make sure the special pets are there.” Then, First Samuel: 24:4: “Quiet as a cat,” as Job 24:6: “The cat scavenges for food.” So, Second Samuel 19:34: “It would be worth the cost.” Yet, Exodus 10:2: “Don’t toy with them like a cat with a mouse; so they know their savior.”


030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.


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