The ranch cat was an old gray Tom named Hanse, in honor of Hanse Smyth, then Sheriff of Uvalde, and owner of a nearby ranch.
Hanse the cat lived in the big barn, and it was his duty to keep the barn free of rats, mice, weasels,-and hopefully-discourage snakes from taking up residence there.
Sometimes Hanse favored us with a visit to the ranch house, walking stiffly past Buff and Duff, and daring them to interfere. They pretended they didn’t see him. Hanse considered his visits of great importance, and expected a special treat.
There was always plenty of meat, so after he ate, it was his habit to take a nap on the sunny end of a couch on the screened front porch. As he started through the door from the kitchen to the living room, he literally met Kazan head-on—they ran smack into each other—Hanse fell backward, spitting and yowling, every hair standing straight up– he didn’t wait for me to open the kitchen screen door, but climbed it and refused to come down. When I finally got him down he streaked back to the barn, spitting and snarling all the way. It was plain to see what his opinion was of people who kept coyotes in the house!
That was his first visit since we had acquired Kazan and Scotty, and he didn’t know they were there.
They had both been asleep, but had heard me talking in the kitchen to Hanse, and I guess thought I was talking to them.
Kazan had such long legs, he was always loping way ahead of Scotty, who, at that stage, was about as broad as he was long, and bounced along like a rubber ball. So, it was Kazan than ran into Hanse. And, Hanse didn’t need anyone to tell him that was a coyote.
Kazan yelpe and stopped so suddenly he skidded into Hanse as he fell backward—and no doubt Hanse thought he was being attacked. Scotty just sat down and studied the situation, pricking up his ears with great interest.
As long as we were at the ranch, Hanse never came to the house again, believing, no doubt, that it was overrun by cat-eating coyotes.
The barn was his Kingdom, where he reigned supreme, and no coyote dared enter. He had his own bowl, which was filled with warm milk night and morning when the cows were milked. He was sleek and fat.
When he came out of the barn at times to greet us, he kept a wary eye on the house, expecting, no doubt, to see coyotes burst out of every window and door.