Keeping The Wolves At Bay


In my last post, I wrote about Robert Cathcart, one of my son’s 5th great grand-uncles. Here’s a little family detail that has survived the generations: As a young boy, he was taken in by his aunt. As he grew, he fell in love and married one of his uncle’s nieces, Jane Thom. It was his uncle who gifted the land in Armstrong County for them to homestead.

At this time, there were more wolves than people in the area and the newly married couple had a flock of sheep whose care required constant vigilance. On one occasion, when Mr. Cathcart was away, the wolves got after the sheep. Mrs. Cathcart opened the door to try to scare them away and as she did, all the sheep ran into the house. She barely got the door closed in time to keep out the pursuing wolves. 

The wolves continued to circle around the house, howling, and some even attempted to enter in through the window. Those that did were met with shovels of hot coals. Mrs. Cathcart had to stay up all night but in the morning the wolves were gone and the sheep were still there.

It is said of Jane Thom Cathcart that she was a woman of beautiful spirit. 

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories through the digitalization of film, videotapes, audio recordings, photos, negatives, and slides. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit our website. And please watch our TEDxEustis Talk on YouTube at

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