A Cowboy’s Faith: Demise for those varmints

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“The rain must have brought out the ’possums.”

That’s sure the way it seemed after catching another cat food stealer in the live trap.

Just after the rains finally started, an opossum started showing up to eat out of the cat food pan.

Inquisitiveness or greed got that one after he finished off the pan and walked into the cage snare for more.

Uncertain exactly what Mr. Opossum’s demise was, but the foreman took care of getting him out of the steel cage.

Then another one of those pointed nosed ugly varmints figured out where the cheap easy tasty food was, too.

Obviously Garfield and Lioness, the two cats who’ve decided to stay around and work for a while, are on full feed. They’d have to be, or there wouldn’t be food left over in their barn pan after suppers over.

Well, sometime during the night, that second ’possum also walked right into the baited cage and the gate snapped shut.

His cousin, maybe a sibling who would know, sure didn’t give any warning about the hazards of snooping around free food. Both were surely sorry for being such gluttonous freeloaders. Leftovers in the cats’ pan would have been enough for one meal, likely better than they’d find in the wild.

It’s not just at the ranch those varmints are showing up. There’ve been more scampering in the roadside ditches, and several others weren’t “playing ‘possum” in the middle of the highways.

Certainly, wildlife visits are another of the perks of ranch life. Sometimes, it doesn’t seem that way though.

Those dang rats used to thrive under the portable farrowing houses, giving large births, making such a mess. Poisons, traps and other attempted means of control were largely to no avail as populations grew. Extermination of the menaces could only be realized when the sheds were moved.

Now, fortunately, the two cats, survivors of probably hundreds through the decades, do their work well. There are no rats or mice around the barnyard, but those mice still get into the ranch house sometimes. An assortment of traps eventually gets them, too.

A number of raccoons have made ranch visits through time, but they’ve not stopped by of recent.

Reminded of Zechariah 9:8: “I will set up defense against invaders, so there will be no more damage.”


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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