Sep 15 2015
What happens when you want to get rid of a family pet?
You ditch the dog (or cat) and tell the kids, “We sent him to live on a farm, in the country.”
That’s fine… unless you already live on a farm.
Well, you try to foist your beast onto someone else’s farm.
That was my plan for Toulouse, our bully barn cat.
Toulouse is a 2010 model, acquired in a package deal with his sister, Olive. As I recall, we got those kittens around Halloween; Toulouse was coal-black like a panther, and Olive bore orange stripes.
Both have proven to be avid hunters, but Toulouse is a true hitman. Year ago, when voles invaded the yard, Toulouse dismantled their tunnels and devoted two straight days to rodent eradication.
Toulouse: “be the vole, be the vole…”
Unfortunately, this summer, our black panther added Frog to his list of prey.
(Frog was also adopted as a kitten with her brother, 11 years ago. She was named by the cat lady’s daughter, who desperately wanted a pet frog. The name stuck. The kid called her brother “Cool,” but we opted for “Mel” instead.)
Pictured: Frog & Mel, wrestling on the deck, 10 years ago.
Our cat colony has existed harmoniously until a few months ago, when Toulouse turned on Frog. After repeated beat-downs, Frog disappeared from the scene. She simply vanished.
And Toulouse moved along to beating up Mel.
That’s when I announced: Toulouse has gotta go. I posted a Facebook plea and a few folks stepped up to take him. But they lived nearby and I worried that he might be hit by a car while hiking home again.
Life got busy and project “panther placement” was shelved. I didn’t have time to deal with feline relations.
But now I have an update:
Frog has returned! She floats between our property and the neighbors’, and has staked out the back pasture and the culvert beneath the driveway — territory less traveled by the black panther. She still visits our barn to eat, but only when Toulouse is out hunting.
So for the time being, the cats — Mel & Frog, Toulouse & Olive, and odd-ball Felix appear to be coexisting.
And I’ve turned my attention to evicting another barn dweller:
Oh Possum 2.0.
Here we go again…