The county came and took the ranch to build a new light rail.
The Johnson place was not too far and it was up for sale.
The boys bunched up the cows 'n' headed up to their new spread.
When they got through, they'z ready for a meal, a drink, 'n' bed.
These men would take on grizzly bears 'n' never once give up.
They froze when they heard Missy yell, "I can't find Buttercup!"
All thoughts of food 'n' drink 'n' bed skedaddled out the door,
And sounding like a bomb went off, their boots all hit the floor.
They looked in rooms 'n' boxes, in the barn, 'n' Leroy's hat,
But never found a single hair from Missy's yeller cat.
They searched the cellar, on the roof 'n' Leroy's diesel truck.
It seems they plumb forgot him. Aw, now, isn't that bad luck?
Six men can hold a hundred head yet miss the floor with hats,
But twice that many, rightly said, would panic, faced with cats.
Well, someone had to cowboy up 'n' bring it back alive,
So Leroy kicked the floor a bit 'n' fine'ly said, "I'll drive."
They settled down to eat when Cookie heated up their chow.
Well fed, young Missy wondered, "Shouldn't Lee be back by now?"
They all agreed that it was so but not sure what to do
'Til Jake said, "Heck, I'll saddle up." Then, they were down by two.
Soon Chad 'n' Walt were headed out back down the valley floor,
'N' later Missy said, "Ya know, I think we're missin' four."
Then Tom yelled out, "Your cat would make that Cheshire lose it's grin!"
Said Missy, "Get the SUV. We'll bring that tabby in."
While passin' thru the mud room, Tom grabbed up a cardboard crate,
'N' revvin' up the engine, they roared off to meet their fate.
Then pretty soon that V8 pulled up smartly in the yard.
The scene before them wouldn't make a western greetin' card.
They saw Chad's gelding, blowing hard, his saddle on the side,
And Walt's mare stood there, legs splayed, ears pinned back, 'n' fi'ry-eyed.
The Princess, Jake's mount, disappeared behind the chicken coop.
Two scratched 'n' sweaty cowhands stalked by, shakin' out a loop.
Tom dropped the crate 'n' headed off to find the slipp'ry beast.
I reckon he was moving slow, since eatin' Cookie's feast.
Ole Walt 'n' Chad spied Tom's fair hair 'n' thought it was the cat.
They threw their ropes 'n' pulled 'em back, 'n' laid poor Tom out flat.
Well Walt 'n' Chad stared at poor Tom, 'til one let out a shout.
They ran to Tom 'n' banged their heads 'n' knocked each other out.
"Hey kitty, kitty, Buttercup" soon echoed in the air.
When Missy thought she had it caught, the durn cat wasn't there.
She stalked him like a pointer, but the tabby cat slipped past.
Well, Missy, she runs purty good but that cat sure was fast.
Much later Missy gave it up and mumbled 'bout bad luck
Near Leroy snoring 'neath his truck, where somehow he got stuck.
Jake still tracked Buttercup just wishin' he was home in bed.
He looked down in the feed bin. Then the lid hit Jake's bare head.
The sun came up to show a scene that never should be found
With battered cowboys, gear 'n' hosses scattered on the ground.
But in the crate, so peaceful-like, curled up in Leroy's hat,
Was Missy's durned ole Buttercup, that sneaky yeller cat
Jake lifted up the feed bin lid 'n' carefully stood up.
Without a sound, he looked around 'n' spotted Buttercup.
He tiptoed quiet-like 'n' slammed the lid down on that crate,
'N' muttered to himself, "I got you now, you coyote bait."
He found some orange balin' twine, made sure the crate was tied,
Then opened up the SUV 'n' put the crate inside.
He hit the horn a time or three, enough to wake the dead,
Then shouted out, "Get up, you bums, there's stock that's wantin' fed!"
Six scratched 'n' tired cowhands readied up for their next drive.
They found the cat ('n' Leroy's hat) 'n' brought 'em back alive.
Now Sparky Shulz or Dr. Suess will never tell this tale.
The lesson that they learned that day cannot be found for sale.
How long it takes to get there will depend on where you're at
'N' if you're herding cattle or a yeller tabby cat.