The Flying Cat

Some years back, sometimes further back than I care to mention, things happened. Things that at the time hurt but now they bring laughter to some, and pain to others. Most of the pain was brought on me and laughter was at my expense. I was the little brother the one that often times got left out. My older brother Randy and his friends would always saddle-up and ride off without me too many times to count.

When I was about seven Randy and some friends were going to the River to check on some cows for Daddy. I got my pony saddled and I was ready to ride along. However, as all you younger brothers know, I was “too little,” “to green” and “in the way!” But if it was to fix a watergap or help with a windmill, by all means I could sure tag along.

The gall of my older brother to turn my horse out and tell me that  I couldn’t go was fighting words… to turn a feller’s horse out and not even tell him that was a lower than a snakes belly in a wagon track!

After a heated discussion and me pleading my case the outcome was the same. The jury of his peers had made their verdict that I wasn’t cowboy enough to tag along.

Randy was a good cowboy and had been taught just as I was by the Old Timers; My dad, Ole Shorty, Blackie,  Harlon and Uncle Bill. But none of those old timers were present at the time to stand in on my behalf. Randy took his catch rope off the horn of that ole saddle and told me I coud get out of the gate and let them by or get roped and drug out of the way. Now I been roped before and tied upside down in a tree naked( that story will be at later time, not quite over the scars of that one yet) so I made a hasty retreat to the loft of our barn and began to plot Randy’s demise.

Now, like I said, Randy was a good cowboy and a sure enough good bronc rider. He had bragged many times to his buddies about never being bucked off. Well his winning streak was soon to be over, that perfect record was about to be tarnished or should I say sabotaged!

I didn’t know what I was going to do and was thinking of someway to get even when I heard our ole tomcat a howlin’ over near the widow in the loft. It was like a light turned on, things become as clear as a buggy horse without blinders. Randy and his buddies had to ride through the hallway of that barn to reach the pasture on the other side…the perfect opportunity to get even!

Have you ever seen a yeller tomcat in flight? My aim and that cat’s precision were as good as any B-52 bomber in WWII. I picked him up by the tail and with the strength of David aiming for Goliath, I spun that ole yeller bomb around and around to warp speed and sent him on is way. Now I don’t know if you have ever thrown a cat at any time in your life, but they will sail pretty good and they look for the nearest thing to grab ahold of to soften their landing.

Now ole Yeller with claws as sharp as pitchfork tines, had his sights set right on the hindquarters of Randy’s trusted steed Domino. Domino didn’t like cats at any time in his life and he sure didn’t like surprises, especially from behind. Well ole Yeller hit his mark true and what happened next was history in the  making, twice. First, Randy getting bucked off and second, ole Yeller’s first bronc ride!

For awhile it looked like Randy might make the qualified ride and ole Yeller might give up the ghost. But the harder ole Domino bucked the higher Randy’s butt came out of the saddle and the deeper ole Yellers claws dug in. To say the least it was two of the best bronc rides I had ever seen at one time, especially on the same horse simultaneously.

Well Randy finally hit the dirt and ole Yeller was the winner by a few seconds. Randy’s pride was really the only thing that got hurt that day, and of course a few scratches to Domino’s rump.

To this day, Randy never knew what really happened and he always disliked that ole Yeller cat after that. I got revenge in some small way and saw history in the making. And when someone asks me who I think is the best bronc rider I had ever seen, I just smile and say ole Yeller.

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