I share my yard with a small tom cat, that I adopted from a neighbor kid, that was beating the sh!t out of him when he was a kitten. Over the years he's done a great job keeping the mice and snakes out of my house and garage. I feed him, scratch his ears and rub his belly in return for his yard maintenance work. He's never allowed in the house, but slips in when I've got an arm full of stuff. I boot his butt right back out. He knows the routine, we've been friends for 7 or 8 years.
My son drop off his two bird dogs, "for a year" while he builds a new house. They came with a pair of nice kennels but I can't stand to see them locked up all day, so I pull the pin and let them run the yard (it's a big yard) for an hour or so every afternoon. One is a vizsla and the other a drahthaar. Neither dog has ever been around a cat, on any kind of social basis.
I know my old tom, he's dodged the neighborhood dogs for many years and has kind of got things figured out, when it comes to the dog wars round here.
On Saturday I let the dogs out, the drahthaar made a bee line for the cat's food bowl, on the back porch, like she always does. She's a pig. She inhales her food, then tries to get at the vizsla's, if I don't lock her out of the other kennel, and then makes damn sure the cat's bowl is empty, when ever I crack the door on her kennel.
The minute every bowl of food on the property has been cleaned out, which takes a full 30 seconds, she's off to hunt the cat. On Saturday I was distracted and before I know it, I hadn't seen the drahthaar or 4 or 5 minutes. I called her and she came. I let the two dogs run for another 15/20 minutes then put them up.
Sunday morning, no cat. Never touched it's food. Monday morning, not cat. I 'm thinking. Damn dog, killed my yard cat. Tuesday morning, no cat. I'm pissed but thinking, well, dogs kill cats, what do you expect. Should have put the cat in the garage while the dogs where out. Can't fault a dog for doing what dog's do. My own dang fault. Should have taken better care of my ole friend.
It's fall, when the field mice come calling, looking for a place to spend the winter, and me with no cat. Damn dogs!
This morning, I leave to tweak the muzzleloader, one last time before the pending deer hunt. Get to the range. Too windy, so I head home. As I'm heading up the sidewalk, I hear my old buddy, bawling for something to eat. I'm mean, he is really howling, like he hasn't eatin in three days.
Hot damn, the cat's back.
I got lucky today!
Figured you'd want to know.