Guard Cats – In the Interest of Harmony

In the pic they’re patrolling in Placitas, New Mexico.  But it’s the same here.

Good morning readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

There’s a rich-people kind of house up the hill, a quarter-mile south of me.  It sits on 90-odd acres of land, has a barn worthy of the name, and it’s been sitting vacant during all the years I’ve been here.  Vacant, but for sale.

But a couple of weeks ago a couple of strangers pulled up in front of the cabin on a four-wheeler with side-by-side seats.  It’s the first time I’ve ever had an unexpected visitor here except Gale or Gale and Kay.  Naturally I scrambled out to find out what they wanted.

Turned out he’d just bought the place and wanted to introduce himself to his nearest neighbor.  That done, he left saying they’d be moving in soon.  Friendly exchange.

Then yesterday I went up to Gale’s and he was there.  They’d just done their moving into their new home.  He and Gale were discussing things and I sat down for a quick cup of coffee before going on about my business.

I’m hoping you won’t shoot my dog.”

Is it a chicken killer?”  Thinking whatever danger there was to his dog probably came in the form of dead chickens.

“It’s never been around chickens.  It’s a mutt, a rescued dog, part lab, part herder, part pit-bull.  What killing it’s done was cats.  I had a lot of feral cats on the last place I lived.”  He paused.  “I know you have cats down there.”

That gave me pause for thought.  While I was thinking, he added, “If you see him, he’s gun shy.  Just fire into the air and he’ll run away.”

I’m a man who has a huge respect for how badly neighbor problems can intrude and make life a hell for both neighbors.  But I’m also aware that animals can cause neighbor problems lightning-fast.  Quicker than almost anything else.  For instance, there’s almost nothing that will piss a man off worse than killing his dog, no matter what the dog was doing at the time of demise.

“Tell you what.  I’ll make sure my cats don’t come up here killing your dog if you’ll make sure your dog doesn’t come down here killing my cats.”  Seemed a fair enough proposition to me.  I pretty much figure if my cats go up there attacking his dog, anything on his place, he’s welcome to shoot them, but it would be more fitting if he came down here and put a bullet between my eyes.

He expressed a concern that his dog might mistake me for a cat, saying that since I’m around them I’d have their scent on me, but I assured him that wasn’t a concern.  I’ve never met a dog I couldn’t stand off.  And I shouldn’t have any reason to be around this one.  During my years here I’ve only set foot on that place a couple of times.  Once because of cows, and once challenging some people who were up there loading things into a truck.  I just politely asked if they had permission, and noted the license number of the vehicle.

The man’s 74 years old, seems a nice guy.  Ex-pilot.  And if we need to talk we  probably will enjoy most things we might discuss.

I surely hope my cats don’t go up there attacking his dog, though, because I’d expect him to shoot them. 

Old Jules


21 responses to “Guard Cats – In the Interest of Harmony

  1. Nice post and thanks for bring in the CCR Jules. You know, you bring back a lot of memories into my brain for processing ……………….. Have a great weekend and Gracias.!!!

  2. Seems to me that if a neighbor has a killer dog, he would expect that dog to be shot on sight. Not that I would be on the look out just to kill a dog, but when my critters are in jeopardy because of this neighbors disregard for his neighbors well being and worldly possessions, I would shoot his dog.

    • Hi Billy Bob. Thanks for coming by for a read. I gathered the man wasn’t thinking of his dog as a ‘killer dog’, but more as a pet he didn’t want someone to shoot. Pet owners tend to arrange their priorities more along the lines of, “This one’s important because it’s my friend, whereas, those ones aren’t all that important, because they’re not my friends. If an important one kills an unimportant one, it’s regrettable, but the unimportant one should have been more careful.” At least in my own experience that’s what I’ve observed. Gracias, J

  3. My tom cat ran off two dogs who had our two female cats up a post. I laughed so hard, it was a sight to behold!!

    • Hi DizzyDick. I’ve had cats of that persuasion. With the right cat and the right dog[s] it can play out that way. On the other hand, my landlord in Grants, NM, had a back yard with a 10′ high concrete block fence. His daughter rescued homeless cats and made pets of them back there. On day someone left the gate unlatched and loose dogs came in, killing 17. The daughter was heart-broken. Loose dogs on the property had a way of finding their destiny in surprising ways, thereafter. Thanks for coming by. J

  4. Great piece, Jules. Then again, I’m biased when it comes to cats. Which makes me think that perhaps yours can take care of themselves. The way you speak does lead me to wonder, what kind of cats does he have up there? (Tom Waits has an interesting song with a similar title). If it does get hairy, may I suggest introduce the two kinds? Perhaps a good mutual sniffing will do the trick for everybody’s sake. You guys bring up guns the way city folk just walk away from trouble, talking under their breath and grinning. Not worth wasting time worrying, they say. But I kind of picture, by your prose, you sitting in front of the house, thinking and keeping watch over those lucky felines. They’re certainly in good company. Hope all works out fine. All the best. Wesley

    • Good morning colltales. The cats are a bit long in the tooth to be working out on dogs that should have been somewhere else. But I suspect they’ll be okay. It’s going to be a bit inconvenient, though, trekking up to Gale’s until I know the dog’s staying home. The remark about me, maybe smelling like a cat and being mistaken for one has me thinking I’ll be packing a .45 every time the possibility of nearing that property line on the way to Gale and Kays takes me into the target of teeth in my leg opportunity vicinity. Glad you came for a visit. J

      • Hahaha. No, I was referring to a mutual sniffing between cats and dogs, if at all possible. But it won’t hurt you being careful out there. Amazing sequence of commentaries; you’ve really stricken a nerve with this one. Keep it up. Best. Wesley

  5. From my experience I’d put money on the cats winning any kind of confrontation. I’ve had several cats that made the dog damn sorry he’d stepped out of line.

    • Good morning Carrie. I’m hoping nobody has to put money on one or the other. The exercise of good sense on the part of the man up the hill and on my own part ought to take care of everyone staying home enjoying himself. Gracias, J

  6. I did hoot on reading this…. But, I think you probably know that quite,a few blokes would also get as riled if someone levelled their cat. I mean, cats can be murderous things, but against a half lab dog? That there would be a lot of feral cats against one angry dog to justify shooting off skywards even… euch. Don.t envy you mate: this could be a great friendship or an ominous development! Hope it comes to nothing other than the odd henpecking skirmish. Better still, suggest the dog man gets a couple of spayed / neutered cats of his own to be ratters and mousers and educate his dawg that they aren’t walking furr y cans of dawg food… Just sayin’ 🙂 gracias!

    C x

    • Good morning Clarissa: Thanks for coming by for a visit. Education’s almost always a good thing if it’s designed to provide a clearer view of reality. Gracias, J

  7. It’s a dog-eat-dog world, and the cats will do just fine taking care of themselves.

    • Hi Dave: Likely if they need to they will. Meanwhile they’ve got a protector and provider who’ll take care of it. Thanks for coming by for a read. Gracias, Jules

  8. In my youth my family lived on a rural ten-acre spot. No dogs ever came inside our fence, thanks to my famous hunting cat. One day he brought home a whopping big black rat snake. A month later it was a single ear from what had to be a German shepherd. Crazy thing didn’t have enough sense to fear.

    • Hi Ed. Good seeing you this morning. One of the things on this reality we live in that needs some adjustment is the rates animals age compared to humans. You had a cat you could have had for a friend your entire lifetime in a well organized universe. Gracias, J

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