Roy's beep

Monday, April 16, 2012

lot of a short tail of short tail

I guess I let the cat out of the bag.

The spring of 65 was different as I was nineteen out of school and as they say foot loose and fancy free, whatever that means. There was a bunch of us that kind of hang out together trying our best to see just how much trouble we could get into.  We all had jobs, mostly part time, so we had a lot of time to run around chasing girls, fishing , hunting, racing and some time chasing each other. We all had pet name or nick names. Cliff short for Clifford was called the nose. He had a nose on him that some years later he would get surgery shorten. Then there was john he was called doggie, he drove an old dodge truck that someone “I won’t mention any names” had replaced the necessary letters on the hood of the truck to spell dogge thus doggie. There was the chief, Ed chow a full bold Ute and he would let you know about it. One other was Nathan Gore but I will let you guess his nick name.

It was the first week in June we found some girls to go camping with us and we all headed up to the porcupine dam. It was remote and secluded, a place where you could go skinny dipping, get drunk, and have fun, kick up our heels a bit. John worked a Safeway store and got hold of a keg of beer.  There is a ravine on the north side of the dam that opens up to a sandy beach and is about the only place you can camp at the dam.  Cliff had brought a couple of the big buckets of Kentucky fried chicken and all the trimmings, the leftovers from work. He worked at KFC. So he would load us up with chicken.  We built a big bone fire and were having a big time goading the girls to going swimming in the buff, we all had fun.  The girls were a little worried about the cries of a cougar up the ravine from camp and I was put to the task of taking care of it.  The cries of a cougar in the dark can unsettle you a bit.

I was known for my way with wild animals, so with a lot of encouragement form my buddies I hike up the ravine to the spot where I could see the cougar in the mouth of the old mine that had been dynamited back when they built the dam. I could see it was a young cougar it had not lost its spots, and it looked to be about four months old.  I look around for the mama, but it was not to be seen. I was about to shoot it, when I had the wild idea of catching it.  I ran back down to the camp and got a rope, and the bag of chicken gizzards, that we were going to use for bait the Kokanee salmon love them. I went back up to the mine and sat down and started to talk to the cat that was just inside the opening. I threw some gizzards to him and he came out to eat. I could see he was very thin and had not eaten in a while.  I feed him some more and he came closer. I reach out and touch him expecting to lose my hand but it did not attack or shy away. So I pick him up and continued to feed him gizzards.  I took him back to camp where he and I was the hero’s of the evening. When thing settled down in camp the kitten was a sleep on my sleeping bag. We spent four day and night up there at the dam fishing and hunting for rabbits which I feed to the kitten.  It followed me everywhere and it was hard to leave him up at the dam. Every time we went to the dam that summer he would come into camp and we would feed him.

Things change the next summer  about the last or July we had gone up to the dam and found a bounty poster on the cougar that the ranchers had seen up there, some said that it was killing cattle. There was a five hundred dollar bounty on the big cat.  We all knew where to find one and it would be an easy five hundred buck. We were on the hunt for the cat. When we got site of him we could see he was coming to meet us at camp. I knew it would be his end so I shot toward him off.  My buddies would shoot to kill, at least that what I believed. My aim was not that good, and I hit him about the middle of the tail.  He ran off to hide and nurse his tail which is now about a foot shorter. We recovered the piece of his tail and the fellows were all sorry that we would betray the friendship of the cat.  But he now has a name Short tail. For year after he would still come to camp to be feed, and would stay about twenty feet away. He is gone now they don’t live but ten to twelve years in the wild. I never heard of him being killed.
 Thank you for coming by god bless

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