After our disappointing foray into owning a cat we decided to get another one. We were determined to have a barn cat. In fact, I’d still like to have a barn cat. It just won’t be Levon. Levon shall be a house cat. And he shall be a family cat. And he shall be a Levon. A hysterical indoor cat.
A few days after burying BG under a big maple tree and planting some wildflowers around her area we decided to give cats another shot. Sweetbreads found a great looking male cat, very healthy, neutered, loves to climb, and fully clawed. We thought he could stick up for himself, get away if necessary and generally make it as a barn cat.
So we put him in a dog crate in the barn to get him acclimated to his new home, the barn. The dogs, goats and chickens were all around and they all took turns getting familiar with their feline friend. Sophie came and sniffed him, the big girls came and sniffed him, the goats got a little too close and realized they don’t really need to be curious about cats. And that was pretty much it. We let them live together for almost a week just to be sure they all knew that Levon was our cat and he was ok. Don’t eat Levon.
Somehow that message didn’t get through. A couple days after letting Levon out of the crate we were bringing the goats and dogs in for milking and Sheba caught sight of Levon in front of the house. Before we knew it she took off like a shot. I don’t think many people appreciate how fast these big Pyrs can be. When they want to track something down they haul ass. I once saw Sheba chase a coyote out of our back fields. It had to have had a 100 yard lead on her and by the time they got to the fence (probably a 400 yd distance) Sheba was right on its tail. They leap through the air with powerful bursts in between, it’s pretty incredible.
Until you see them chase your barn cat like that! Within a couple seconds Sheba was across the yard and Levon was scaling an oak tree. “Oh good, climbing skills come in handy, he’ll be fine”. Wrong. Sheba gets all four paws on the tree and starts climbing it too! Her huge claws allowed her to get a grip on the bark and fully extended she could almost reach the lowest branch where Levon was. We had caught up with her just in time to give her an ear-full, but Levon was terrified. Off to get the extension ladder to get the cat out of the tree. Poor guy jumped off us and ran into a sink hole for a couple days. Finally he emerged and we let him in, this time for good.
And now we will have that Elton John song stuck in our heads forever. Poor anticipation of a future outcome after naming him Levon on the day that Levon Helm passed away.
Sing it with me now, "And he shall be housecaaaat".