Merlin is a lucky cat. Like so many others here at the farm, he showed up one day and was happy to sign on as another of our barn cats. He got on well enough with the others and paid careful attention to the established hierarchy. One afternoon we noticed a number of cats moving quickly toward the hedgerow. When Joanna arrived at the source of the confusion she found what she now describes as a whirl of brown and white which eventually resolved into Merlin trying to extricate himself from the jaws of an attacking Bobcat. When faced with the situation [it seems to happen often around here … most recently involving a Grey Fox and one of the layer hens] Joanna rushed at the melee and shouted, with authority, DROP IT! And the Bobcat obligingly did so and fled. Merlin immediately ran for cover under the porch. We eventually extricated him to find the anticipated lacerations and called our veterinarian for advice … which was, Bring him in. Upon closer examination it was discovered that the cat’s teeth had penetrated both the skull and the lower jaw. The attacker’s kicks opened Merlin’s underside from stem-to-stern, he was in tough shape. Dr. Lewis knows his stuff and rises to the occasion on especially challenging cases. Two days, as many drains, and dozens of stitches later Merlin was home for an extended recuperation. When he was well Merlin took up residence in the horse barn. He likes it there. He’s quite jumpy now and starts at most movement and at all unfamiliar noises. I’m afraid he suffers from the feline equivalent of PTSD – wouldn’t you?