And The Catfish Need Love, Too

Saturday, September 29th, 2007


This morning when Jack and I woke up we had 4 cats in bed with us, Poncho on the floor on one side of the bed and Lefty on the other, and Buckaroo in the corner of the bedroom in the kitty bed. Ordinarily, Buckaroo would have been in bed with us too, but being that he is 14 years old he has a bit more trouble jumping up on the bed. And the cats are more than happy to share their bed with Buck – being that they never sleep in it anyway.

So Jack and I are snoozing away when we both suddenly awoke. Seems that Buck’s snoring is getting a bit out of control. I sat up and started counting out loud all the animals in bed with us and in the room. Jack and I both looked at each other and just cracked up! All we need is Arnold the pet pig and we could have our own darn sitcom.

Actually, Green Acres might have had a pet pig, but they didn’t have pet longhorns that stared through their dining room windows or a bird that ruled the household. Heck, they didn’t even have a pet catfish!

Have I told y'all about our catfish? His name is Pecos Pete and he has a shy wife named Lilly Langtry. Pecos Pete is at least a yard-long; Lilly is just slightly more petite with her little girlish figure, coming in at about 32 inches long.

Before this piece of Hill Country paradise belonged to us, our realtor brought us out here to show us the place. She was more than obliged to introduce us to the yet unnamed catfish. As we walked out onto the dock she grabbed some crackers out of her purse and started throwing pieces of them into the water.

After a while this very large, yard-long catfish surfaced and started eating the cracker crumbs. And of course, since I love all creatures great and small, my heart got all big with love and I turned to Jack and said – “Honey, I’m sold. You have to buy me this ranch; no one else will ever feed this fish!”




He agreed and bought me the ranch.

But wait, you say. You just said ranch – I thought you lived on a farm. Let me explain. This place was referred to as a ranch from the people we bought it from, but being from the last frontier in Texas there is a certain entitlement to what can be called a ranch. Coming from a place where ranches are the size of Rhode Island, we just couldn’t in good conscience consider ourselves ranch owners, so we just call it a farm. Plus, lavender farm sounds better than lavender ranch.

So we moved out here to our magical farm and I began feeding Pecos Pete on a daily basis, sometimes 2 or 3 times a day. It was the least I could do for my new pet being that I couldn’t hold him or pet him or take him for walks on a leash. Occasionally Lilly Langtry would take a bite, but she liked to leave the hunting and food gathering for her strong, brawny husband.

Pecos Pete got to know the sound of my walk from the dock. As soon as I would get to the end of the dock, I would hear a splash and there he would be, his mouth wide open awaiting to be filled with something. So there you go. Don’t tell me you can’t train a catfish!

As it turned out, Pete got a little tired of eating crackers. You know – they all get so spoiled after a while. So I started feeding him cheese. This lasted for quite some time, but then he tired of cheese. So I moved on to lunchmeat. He LOVES lunch meat. And don’t try to fool him anymore with crackers… Now days if I attempt to feed him crackers he just spits them out and swims away.

It’s unconditional love you know.

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