Paterfamilias: Black Panther

Life is good in Yellowbush!

The hunting pages are festering about whether or not black panthers exist in East Texas. Well, I guess I might as well jump in, and just set the record straight.

About ten years ago, I was on the east side of the ranch, fixin’ fence and such, towards the end of August, and it was hot, and humid. I had to walk in the last two hundreds yards, so when I finished, I had that walk ahead of me. I had to carry a small role of that sorry gaucho wire in one hand, and my fencing pliers in the other.

The green briar was thick and I was struggling, I won’t lie. Well, I broke through the briars and vines into a small clearing and low and behold, on the other side of the clearing crouched a black cat. It was nowhere as big as a cougar, which the biologist say have no black gene, but about twice the size of a big house cat. When it charged, I know it must have ran and then jumped at me, but it was such a blur, that it just seemed to leap and was certain to be on me. I reacted by throwing what I had in my hand, I’m right handed, which was the wire I had rolled up. The role was loose, and as it came out of my hand, it kinda spiraled, like a slinky, and as the cat jumped, it flew through those rings, right towards me. Well, it seems that one of the barbs on the end of that wire caught in my glove, causing those loops to tighten around the airborne cat. As you can imagine, the cat was taken by surprise, as was I. When the cat landed, she took off to my left, at a flat out run.

Still tangled in the wire, her straight line turned into a circle. Round and round that cat went, keeping me off balance, and twisting that barb into my glove and tightening the glove so I couldn’t get it off.

That cat went faster and faster, soon, it’s feet were hitting ground ever ten feet or so, then fifteen feet, then just once or twice the entire circle. Finally, that cat was airborne, again, just flying round and around. Then, just I was about to fall out from dizziness, and at the zenith of the circle, the barb broke free.

The last I saw or heard that black cat, she was flying over the tops of those trees still tangled in that wire, headed for Uncle Ralph’s swamp. Several years later, while coon hunting in that swamp, we shined a tree the hounds treed on, and spied the skeleton of that cat, still tangled up in that wire, hanging from a big limb. I’d of crawled up and got it, if it hadn’t been icy.   Everyday is Saturday in Yellowbush.  

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