One of my favorite sports since coming to the farm is harassing the barn cats. It was easy in the beginning of my residence to get the cats to run. All I had to do was pounce and woof at them, and the chase was on.
Kittens are kind of dumb; they didn’t realize that I was eighty plus pounds of canine fury. The cat kids would waddle up to me rub on my legs making purring sounds, and I had to be careful where I set my paw down to keep from squishing them. They would cuddle up next to me while I was snoozing under a shade tree keeping watch over my equine charges. So, I became the kitten babysitter whenever the mother cat was out chasing field mice, sneaking up on birds, or catching frogs. Right! Mom was out playing and I was stuck with the kids.
Well…the whole kitten sitting thing destroyed any intimidation factor I had with our barn cats. On occasion a stray cat would wander in and I could get a good chase going.
Tom and I were on our way back to the house from feeding the horses their late night meal when I saw a black cat wandering though the front paddock. “Woof, scram, woof, you don’t belong here!” The chase was on, and as I got closer the strange white stripe and bushy tail became evident. The black cat lifted its bushy tail and sprayed me right in my face. “Eww yuck!” I rolled in the grass trying to rub off the smell.
Water is made for drinking or for swimming, not for baths. I spent the night on the porch, and the first ting in the morning I was on the horse wash rack being scrubbed with a strange concoction, of soap, baking soda, peroxide and something the vet recommended that I had never encountered before. As much as I hate a bath, it did help with the odor on my coat—or so I was told. My sense of smell was all messed up! About to make a grab for the black cat, my mouth and nose got the brunt of the assault. Not much helped my breath, and everything tasted weird.
Tom, along with some words I can’t repeat, told me not to chase skunks. Skunk? It looked like a cat to me. The long hair cats have bushy tails. “I mean give me a break you guys, I never saw a skunk before.” I defended my self to the taunts of “skunk breath” from the barn cats.
At a horse show five days later, I was sacking out in the tack stall that Tom and Jackie had set up the previous evening when a young Labrador Retriever came by for a visit. Not quite a year old, he was running around socializing. His long leash dragging behind him, he stepped through the door of the stall where I was tied. Tail wagging he came closer to introduce him self. I stood up to great him; he took one whiff of me, sneezed, turned around, and bolted down the aisle between the stall rows, yelling, “Run! I just saw the biggest skunk in the world!”
How the heck did he know the skunk smell? Maybe he’d had a similar experience, but how humiliating for another dog to call me a skunk. Take it from me guys, stay away from those polecats. It can sure mess up a dog’s social life.
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See you next month.