September 2, 2015

Dan's Huntin' Partner

Valentine aka "Meowy"

This has been a prolific year for squirrels. And with pecan season at hand, the pecan trees are loaded with them - both pecans and squirrels. It's actually hazardous to walk to the goat shed because the squirrels drop so many bitten or half-eaten pecans that they can hit you in the head. Or maybe they're throwing them at us. I swear I can hear a diabolical squirrely laugh when those pecans fall.

Most of our cats have figured out that squirrels are fast and hard to catch. All except Meowy. She's on auto-hunt 24/7 and she's fast too. Plus she wants to catch one sooo badly.

Tracking a squirrel

One day Dan said that if we didn't do something about all these squirrels we'd have no pecan harvest. So he got out his .22 and bagged a couple. Well sir, Meowy figured out real quick that with Dan's help, she could get some squirrels! They'd fall from the tree and she was on them. In fact, that was the only way Dan could find them when they fell in the tall grasses and brush.

The next day, when he got out his .22 again, Meowy charged to the pecan trees and waited for him. Now when she sees squirrels, she runs up to Dan and begs him to go hunting.

Scanning for squirrels

The only problem is that she doesn't retrieve them. Instead, she grabs them and runs in opposite direction. But since he knows where she is he can find them. He's offered the heart and liver as reward, but she'd rather go chase down another one.

So our freezer is getting loaded with pecan-fattened squirrels, and Meowy is one very happy cat.

54 comments:

Renee Nefe said...

Win-win! Glad that she isn't bothered by the gunshot. I think that Lilly would LOVE it if we shot the squirrels from the trees for her...but the neighbors might get upset with us (something about there being some ordinance or law against shoot in city limits...but no one enforces the fireworks one!)

PioneerPreppy said...

And all was well until one squirrel fell on Meowy. Then her name was just ouwy......

Harry Flashman said...

My cats hunt squirrels but never catch one. Sometimes they do catch chipmunks, alas.

Jayne Hill said...

Aww, bless ....

My gamekeeper neighbour has gundogs - you have a guncat :-)

Leigh said...

I'm guessing folks see fireworks in a different light than guns! In fact, I hesitated posting this because I figured it will offend someone. They'll let me know about it, I'm sure.

Farmer Barb said...

I have never heard of a cat that partnered with a person before!

Erika Keller said...

That is one great partnership!

Quinn said...

Piper has been shouting at squirrels since she was a pup, but leave it to a kitty to figure out how to actually DO something about them! Great teamwork, Meowy and Dan :)

Lynda D said...

What does squirrel taste like? Nutty? LOL I imagine that you get the same reaction to killing squirrels as we do here for killing cute little rabbits or kangaroos in plague proportions. Hello! They are food.

Caroline J. Baines said...

I just love this story! Go Meowy!

Penelope White said...

Y'all eating squirrels over there?

Perry said...

This is so awesome, please post an update if he teaches her to retrieve them!

Ian H said...

Leigh, in respect to your camera, try leaving it on automatic, engage the image stabilization and see what happens. If you are on sports, it can tend to be a bit blurry at high magnifications. Hope this helps. Your email link isn't working.

Mama Pea said...

Sure sounds like Meowy has settled in to her new home and loves it . . . in a big way. Seeing how she's reacted to squirrel huntin' with Dan (!), you have to assume she has an adequate amount of intelligence in her little kitty head!

The small red squirrels we have here can get to be a destructive nuisance and we've been forced to live trap and "relocate" many in the past. We were just commenting on how few we've seen this year when our nearest neighbor mentioned that the squirrels have been so bad at his place this year that he thinks he's shot about a hundred of them. Ooops. Explains our lack of squirrely population.

jewlz said...

She looks like she's loving it! My cats partnered up with the shitzu... When we were in town, they'd knock things off the counter for the dog to eat. Now we've some land, they kill mice, possum, rabbits etc, and bring them to her. SMH!

Sandy said...

Leigh,

Squirrel makes for some really good meals.
I think it's adorable Meowy loves the hunt, and makes sure to notify Dan the squirrels are out. Meowy Patrol!!!!

Renee Nefe said...

Just saw on the Facebook page for my town that some idiot kid is driving around shooting and people and things with a pellet gun. sigh! I sure wish parents would parent their children here.
and yeah if the parents are driving up to Wyoming to buy illegal fireworks and shoot them off illegally in town, why should the kids worry about the legalities of shooting pellet guns??? we so need our own island...soon our own planet!

DFW said...

Smart kitty! Ours haven't figured out that it's useless to chase them but one almost got one Sunday so I guess they'll keep trying.

Becky said...

She is a smart cat! Growing up, our neighbor's big tomcat would eat squirrels!

Susan said...

What a cutie! We have way too many squirrels, too. I keep catching them chowing down at the chicken feeder!

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

Funny kitty! Sounds like Coco trying so hard to catch bunnies and birds! Nancy

kymber said...

Leigh - give little Valentine a big kudos from us. i have to admit, i keep hearing about people in the states eating squirrels???? ours are so small they simply wouldn't be worth the effort!!! we have little eastern red squirrels up here. can you provide a squirrel recipe? i would love to know how you serve them up but i am pretty sure they probably taste like, and would be served, similarly to how we eat our snowshoe hares. we love those...their meat is simply delicious.

again, glad Dan has a huntin' partner. we've got 2 lazy fat cats who let birds land on their heads and then our Frankie Blue Eyes who chases everything but doesn't catch much - bahahahah!

sending love. your friend,
kymber

Tewshooz said...

It's called Brunswick stew, Kymber. Back east where I am from, grey squirrels are big and fat and are good eating.

Leigh said...

LOL. That sounds exactly like something Dan would say. :)

Leigh said...

Our cats keep our chipmunk population under control too. Those guys burrow holes everywhere.

Leigh said...

Seems that people have certain classes of items that deem dangerous or evil, while excusing something else with the potential to cause just as much damage. There's a lot of prejudice against guns of all kinds, yet other object which also can kill are not considered. Sometimes people just don't make sense.

Leigh said...

Ha! That's exactly what she is.

Leigh said...

That's true, cats usually make slaves out of humans, not partners. :) I suspect Valentine is using Dan rather than vice versa, LOL

Leigh said...

It's a first for us!

Leigh said...

I take it Piper hasn't had any better luck with them than our cats!

Leigh said...

Ha! Actually squirrel tastes quite good. These especially are tender and tasty. If I didn't know it was squirrel, I never would have guessed it was squirrel.

Leigh said...

She is one amazing cat. :)

Leigh said...

Yup. Dan fed a couple to the pigs too, but mostly we've been stocking up the freezer.

Leigh said...

Dan told me today that she finally isn't running away with them, but she finds them and waits for him now. He thinks it's because she doesn't know what to do with them anyway, 'cuz they're as big as she is. So she lets him take them now. Her game on is the chase.

Leigh said...

Ian, thank you for that. I'm not sure why the email link isn't working; it has the correct e-addy and folks do contact me through it.

Everything on my camera is set to automatic. I'm not sure what the image stabilizer is, but I will look that up! I tried experimenting with some of the manual settings, but nothing came our right. My photos are very inconsistent in quality, and since I don't change the settings, I assume it the camera (but it's probably me!)

Leigh said...

I admit to relocated a critter or two (or three or ten) in my time. Then I wonder if our problem is now somebody else's. :)

Leigh said...

That is so funny! Our cats do have a bad habit of wanting to bring their catches into the house - live! We had to make the kitty door out only for that reason. I don't need critters in the house!

Leigh said...

Oh Sandy, and pecan fattened makes some very sweet meat.

Leigh said...

Who knows, maybe some day they'll surprise you!

Leigh said...

Now, that must have been one fast cat!

Leigh said...

They always eat what you don't want them too! We have tons of acorns too, but do they eat those? No, they want pecans. They also love our field corn, and trying to make a squirrel-proof corn crib continues to elude us!

Leigh said...

I have to admit I'm glad Valentine doesn't go for birds. Some cats love to catch birds but she'd rather get squirrels. :)

Leigh said...

Yup, folks here eat squirrels, but they are grey squirrels, which I think are larger than the eastern reds. Dan smoked the last ones and you never would have guessed that they were squirrel. As Tewshooz mentions below, Brunswick stew is a very popular way to fix them. Also, here are a couple of websites with dozens of squirrel recipes:

Just Game Recipes
and
Backwoods Bound Lots of exotic recipes there.

Leigh said...

They are fat and good eating indeed!

Jean said...

As a child I was always on the "helping hands" end of skinning squirrels after my 4 older brothers went squirrel hunting. Red squirrels were too small to bother with. We ate the gray and fox squirrels. My mother would cook them in a stew or potpie type of recipe.

One of our cats would catch squirrels and bring the leftovers to the door to share. Bless his heart!

Thanks for the trip down memory lane Leigh!

Leigh said...

Jean, at least it was good memories! I'm amazed at cats that can catch squirrels. They have to be smart and fast (or the squirrel has to be slow and stupid!)

Ed said...

I would pay good money for some pecan fattened squirrels!

Karen@ onthebanksofsaltcreek.com said...

I love cats and I love watching them stalk their prey. My hubby and I have fun watching the neighbors all white hair cat stalk things on our acreage. It actually thinks it can't be seen. Huge all white cat and it tries to creep up on critters and I've never seen it catch anything. We've nicknamed her the "great white hunter".

small farm girl said...

Squirrel dogs go for a pretty penny around here. Wonder how much a squirrel cat would go for. lol

Leigh said...

They are really good! We keep wishing they'd go for acorns instead, but they prefer pecans. :)

Leigh said...

Poor kitty, she probably never catches anything! That's okay for birds, but mice I like gone!

Leigh said...

Somehow I doubt the hunters would think it the same, LOL

M.K. said...

I've never eaten squirrel, but growing up in Mississippi, I knew people who hunted them. My sister-in-law was a rather good shot. She said it tasted better than chicken :)

Jake said...

Now you just relocate them to the freezer, and everyone's happy!