We had this mangy tomcat
Can’t say he was much good
He filled his days with leisure
Enjoying bachelorhood.

He lost his tail to coyotes
Or maybe a bullet one night
He looked just like a bobcat
Spoiling for a fight.

As a mouser, he was useless
Thought mice was what ya teased
He travelled ‘round the country
Spraying where he pleased.

One day my buddy Greg and I
Were sipping us a brew
When Bob peeked in the backyard
Then sauntered his way through.

Out loud I pondered methods
To keep this tom on track
Greg sharpened up his pocketknife
And said, “Just grab a sack.”

I found this piece of burlap
And wrapped him in a squeeze
We’d cure his urge to wander
As quickly as ya please.

But then ol’ Bob got active
‘bout like a mountain lion
It was clear our operation
Was somethin’ he weren’t buy’n.

I saw my buddy dripp’n
In a coat of feline pee
But there weren’t no time for laugh’n
‘cause next he turned on me.

And then this furry gauntlet
Of teeth and pee and claws
Tore hide without no mercy
From my knuckles to my jaws.

He shook himself to freedom
And left us there to cuss
Then looked back from the barnyard
And laughed at both of us.

It took a box of Band-Aids
Patch’n wounds that were my fate
While Greg found him a garden hose
And did a fumigate.

Now if you’re handy at the brandin’s
Let’s have a little chat
Go on and castrate bull calves
But get the vet to fix your cat.

Reprinted with permission from Bryan’s new book, Mountains, Mounties & Memories: Poetic Passages of a Diamond in the Rough by Bryan J. Smith.