Texas Tales: Terry Thomas and the Bobcat

P1540485 768108We beached our canoes and kayaks on a sandbar on Village Creek, a tributary of the Neches river here in Southeast Texas. It was time for lunch and stories. Our guide had plenty of both, we soon found out. The day was sunny and the paddling along this gorgeous stretch of river was as relaxing as can be.

Terry Thomas is a grizzled, slender man with a lot of experiences under his belt. He was once an ironworker, now he’s a part time river guide and a budding sculptor. He said that after Hurricane Rita, he used to put food out for many neighborhood cats and dogs who had been displaced by the storm, and they used to come into his house through a small cat door.

One day a small bobcat followed a domestic cat into the house and into a small bathroom. Thomas walked in and was surprised to see this half-breed, about ten pounds and more muscular than a regular cat. He tried to shoo it out the door, saying, ‘kitty, kitty,’ and it suddenly sprang up, ran all of the way up his arm and began clawing his eyes and scratching his face wildly.

He dragged the bobcat off of him, and with blood pouring down his head, it ran right back up his arm again, perched akimbo right on his head. Enraged, he ran for the kitchen and picked up an iron frying pan, and beat it off him. He said the adrenaline was pounding and he beat the wild cat up, and afterwards, was “dazed, like he was a caveman who had just killed a sabre toothed
tiger. “

He took the bobcat’s body and went outside, walking down a long dock planning to feed it to the alligators in the creek. But he got his foot stuck under the deck, and lurched forward, breaking his femur with a painful crack. The bobcat fell into the water, to be consumed by the waiting gators, and he was stranded there for a while until he was rescued by his son. At the hospital the asked him how he’d broken his leg so badly….and he told this story.