Country Extra /Courtesy Larry SlightomMy wife, Carolyn, and I adore living in the country, and we like all the animals that live here, too. We have had a number of horses and cats over the years, but there never was a bond quite like the one between Sammy, a quarter horse, and Goblin, a yellow and white bobtail cat.
One day, our four horses came up from the bottom pasture, trying to escape the flies. We were getting ready to spray them when Sammy came over to the wood fence and started whinnying loudly.
We had several cats, and Goblin, a young male, came running and jumped up on the fence. Carolyn said, “I hope he isn’t going to do what he has in mind, because that horse is going to go nuts.”
She went for her camera, and just as she took a photo, Goblin jumped on Sammy’s back. There was no kicking or bucking as we had expected, just a soft whinny. Goblin ran up and down the horse’s back and neck, catching and eating flies while Sammy stood stock-still.
After Goblin had his fill of the pesky insects, he jumped up on the fence where Sammy quietly and tenderly nuzzled him as if to say, “Thank you, buddy.”
Almost every day, Sammy came to the fence, leaned up against it and whinnied for Goblin. The cat would run over, jump on Sammy’s back and tend to the flies.
If animals of different species are capable of loving each other, these two surely did. None of the other horses and cats had such a tight-knit friendship.
We never determined when this behavior started, or how—and it remains a mystery.
Unfortunately we lost Goblin, and for weeks Sammy came to the fence and whinnied for him. You could see the sadness in his eyes.
None of the other cats ever filled in for Goblin. Even if they had tried, I don’t think any of them could have taken the place of Sammy’s best buddy.