Some people hate dogs and some people hate cats. Some people hate other people, but I was raised better than that, so I just hate cats. Every whisker, fluff of dander, claw, fang, litter box and scratched up sofa is an abomination as far as I am concerned so when Polar, my golden Lab, took to killing cats, I didn’t mind.
Polar would go with me to the chicken house each morning to help me pick up dead chickens. No joke, Polar was the smartest Lab I have ever owned and it was one of the easiest things I ever trained a dog to do. She took to it just like she had taken to swimming. I would walk along with her at heel. The chickens would move out of our way; all except the dead ones, that is. I would point to the deceased and say ‘Fetch’ and in no time she learned what I wanted her to do. Lord, I loved that dog.
Once outside the poultry houses, Polar would smell around for cats, which were plentiful. You see, there are always thousands of mice around a chicken house so a cat’s natural food supply is abundant and a cat is no stranger to snatching every stray biddy that might escape. It is when a cat makes its way into the poultry house, and one has a house full of small biddies, that the most damage is done. They will kill far more than they can eat and once they learn how to get in the poultry house you have a battle on your hands. As far as I was concerned, a dead cat was a good cat. Upon spying a cat, Polar would run it down and tear it apart faster than a banker will foreclose on a friend; no quarter given. That is, until she met The Cat.
Wildcats, the real ones with the short tails and razor sharp claws and fangs, were once rarely seen in these parts but now are here in abundance and they discovered my poultry houses. They found the pickings pretty good but usually did their hunting at night when no one was around. By morning they would have made their way back to their den, so Polar had never seen one.
It had been a rainy night and the wildcats were late in making their rounds. An old boar cat was late in trying to make it back to his den and Polar and I, rather than starting our chores in the poultry house, were heading to the back pasture to check on a new calf.
The route we took meant we were sure to unknowingly cut the old cat off far short of his usual resting place. He spotted us and had to take cover quick. Polar, as usual, was running ahead of the pickup and came across the cat’s fresh scent. It led to an old brush and stump pile. I could tell she was all excited so I figured she smelled a house cat. I got out and walked up to the brush pile, which Polar was circling faster and faster getting more and more excited with each pass. I saw the wildcat at the same time Polar did and there was no command in the dog training book that could be shouted loud enough to stop her from charging the cat in his lair. All she saw was a cat that needed killing.
Polar was on the cat, or maybe I should say, the cat was on her. I really couldn’t tell who was on whom but I can tell you Polar looked out at one point in the melee with a quizzical wide-eyed look on her face as if to ask, ‘What kind of cat is this?’
I shouted to Polar, “Turn him loose Polar, turn him loose.” Polar looked out again as if to say, “I would if he would let me!”
The cat finally let go and Polar charged out just as fast as she had charged in.
Upon returning from the vet and healing up for a few days, Polar stuck to picking up deceased birds. Thenceforth, Polar got on well with the feline community and let me know if I wanted a cat dead, I could dang well kill it myself.