On a farm by the banks of the River Nore in County Kilkenny, a shepherd with four legs, a bushy tail, and long white whiskers watches over a flock of Zwartbles sheep.

He is Bodacious the cat shepherd.

Those dogs are lagging behind pic.twitter.com/slFXp0QM41

— Cat Shepherd (@1CatShepherd) January 19, 2015

In addition to his unusual occupation (and a 3,300 strong social media following), Bodacious has an unusual backstory. According to his website, “As a teenager, I walked into a novelty toilet seat shop [in Kilkenny], where the owner looked after me for a few days calling radio stations, the local SPCA and the Garda Siochana to report my missing owner status. The human shepherd found out about me and took me home to where I now live. No one came forward to claim me so I’ve stayed here. That was 7 years ago.”

Yup all seem fine from apple tree hight pic.twitter.com/YmoQryAO7y

— Cat Shepherd (@1CatShepherd) January 15, 2015

Today he assists his owner (the human shepherd), Suzanna Crampton, with all sorts of tasks around the farm: counting sheep (with “canine and human assistance”), inspecting the flock of lambs and ewes, and sometimes even nestling with newborn lambs as they warm by the Aga stove.

Come on let's get on with this feeding malarkey & stop all the photographic messing around pic.twitter.com/VndSL0bSZW

— Cat Shepherd (@1CatShepherd) January 10, 2015

The sheep he looks after are a rarer breed called Zwartbles, imported from the Netherlands. Part of Bodacious’ task online is to help raise awareness about them, their delicious milk and soft black wool.

When I can't catch the rats these things do pic.twitter.com/5FVthjTm7W

— Cat Shepherd (@1CatShepherd) January 20, 2015

Bodacious indeed!

Go away & leave me alone. I'm dry, warm, cozy & don't want to move pic.twitter.com/OLXqkJr1FC

— Cat Shepherd (@1CatShepherd) January 20, 2015

H/T to Country Living

* Originally published in 2015.