Sunday, October 26, 2008

Wine Wars Part 1: "Butters vs. Bailey"
7:06 AM on Oct. 12, 2008
Wineries have long had an association with animals. It's hard to find one that does not have an adoptive mascot or favorite cat or dog that usually lives a charmed life of lounging around and receiving attention, treats and affection from everyone.
Here at the winery, it is no different. For some time, "Butters" has been the winery cat. Butters is an very large striped cat with a meow that sound a bit more like Bull Moose that has been hit by a truck than anything else. Butters would enjoy lounging around in the tasting room, soaking up all the affection and attention, would then meander back into the winery often sleeping on a barrel or on the seat of the forklift. That was about as close as Butters ever got to work... Until now.
This year, our dog "Bailey" a 5 yr old goofball of a golden retriever accompanies me each day to the winery. Bailey has quickly earned his spot as the winery dog, hanging out with the winemaking crew, getting much of the attention that had prior been lavished upon the cat.. This has not gone unnoticed by Butters...
Butters has been very aloof and remained away whenever Bailey is near. They seem to have generally agreed to divide up the winery , with Butters staking claim to the tasting room, office and case goods area, while Bailey has taken over the Barrel room, Tank room and Crushpad as his domain. A grudging truce has existed for about 3 weeks.
This came to and end about a week ago after Baliey had staged an invasion of Butters territory, by going into the tasting room and hanging out as the center of attention as people came by to taste wine. Butters, obviously could not let this pass, and returned the favor by entering the Tank room and taunting Bailey by sitting and staring at Bailey from afar, knowing Bailey could not get to him. Bailey, for his part, was clearly irritated, growling and barking , upset to be restrained from chasing the cat. Butters, was clearly enjoying this situation.
This stakes were escalated last Friday. Upon arriving at the crushpad in the morning , Doug & Bruce made a gruesome discovery.. Butters had apparently caught one of the many rabbits that run thru the hills here. laid out neatly on the crushpad was the remains of the rabbit.. missing it's head.. and with the two ears neatly set on each side of the body.....
We have come to the conclusion that Butters has now stepped up to ritualistic sacrifice in an attempt to rid himself of Bailey.. We all believe that Voodoo is a clear violation of the Winery Geneva convention rules.... If I were Bailey, I would not be turning my back on that cat anytime soon...

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