Wouldn’t I love to tell you that Jim and I gave up the rat race, bought ourselves a couple of Harleys and are going to tour the country. That is not the case. It’s tough to picture a Harley with a sidecar and our dog hasn’t learned to drive yet.
So one week ago today Jim’s dad was called by a neighbor who’d trapped two wild hogs on his property. We hooked up a couple of four-wheelers and drove over there. It was a long trek to get to the trap, and in it were two sows, 250 lbs. of prime hog.
Moving them from the circular trap to a truckbed pen was interesting. As you see, I’m taking photos, never got closer than a few feet away. They have to wire up extra cage parts (without being bitten) to make sure the hogs go through the chute and safely into the pen for transport.
We made our way back via 4-wheeler then hooked the hog trailer up to a truck and rambled through the countryside past signs for unique-named towns and a jumble of numbered country roads. Our destination was the local hog station. There, the hogs had to be unloaded into another chute individually, weighed and put in with other hogs until there are enough to bring to market.
They’ll be put on a big trailer and taken to be killed, processed, frozen and sent to France, where their meat is a delicacy. No, there is no “rehabilitation” for feral hogs. I know ferals and unless you get a kitten really young you’ve no chance. Kittens are cute but lethal. Here was 250 lbs of wild animal and catching them is not for the faint of heart.
Interestingly for the rancher these were his 99th and 100th traps of the year to date. Usually he gets about 250 per year, which has barely put a dent in the population. Wild hogs ruin farms and ranches.
I don’t know what Top Chef: Texas has in store for us but sending the chefs to trap wild hogs and cook up the meat would be interesting. No-one will eat the meat around there, so it’s sent overseas.
It is sad to see that this little pocket of the world I’ve gotten to know a bit over the past ten years will be vastly different in a few years. Eighty-five percent of the land has been sold to flood for a reservior that will serve the water needs of the Dallas Metroplex, an ever-growing beast. There is a very interesting film on Biography Channel that features local farmers, including Jim’s dad and his neighbor. Farms and ranches will cease to exist, and the river that made it all happen will be dammed forever.
No tree-huggers or environmentalists staged protests. They just were forced to sell their land and for some, their way of life. Our family has already purchased land elsewhere and the few cattle they have left after a seven-month drought are grazing on rented grasses on the ranch they sold. That’s how life is in the heartland.
On another matter, of a fearless kitten and frightened dog. Our dog was evicted from her temporary home, while we were away from the holidays, within an hour of being dropped off. She loves it there with her 9 year-old caretaker and her parents, and we thought a ten-minute introduction to the new kitten was complete. At least I knew that our dog Zoe would not chase after or eat the kitten.
She was only gone a day, to another vetted sitter. When we picked her up this weekend they were playing ball and this fearless kitten was stalking Zoe, even outdoors! Every step of the way. Zoe overdid the play a bit and perhaps didn’t feel comfortable doing her business. She’s been sleeping and pooping and is coming around. Thanks, folks, for taking care of her! She needs to get tired out every once in a while.
And now you know that in kitty, you have a rare cat who is unafraid of dogs. This experiment may be detrimental to her, as all dogs are not as nice as Zoe. I think your ferals work in your favor as she’s quick and wily. To those who understand feral animals, thank you for helping spay/neuter feral cats and take care of existing colonies. To senior citizens who continue to catch feral hogs, God bless you and keep you. Cheers, Dee