One fine morning, while the sun was shining and the clouds were gently gliding across the prairie sky, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers saddled up Champion and Trigger and set out for a leisurely trail ride.
As they rode along in companionly silence, Gene noticed that Roy was wearing a pair of loafers, the kind of shoes fit for a city slicker and no one else. Not at all the type of thing any self-respecting cowboy would wear on a trail ride.
Not wanting to embarrass his friend, but driven to distraction by the inappropirate use of footwear, Gene finally broke the silence by asking, "Why, Roy, I thought for certain that you just came back from Mexico with a brand new pair of custom-fit boots. A finer pair of boots I don't believe I've ever laid eyes on. Did something happen to them? Why are you wearing loafers, for cryin' out loud?"
Roy looked down at his feet, sighed heavily, and answered, "Well, funny thing you should ask, Gene. I did indeed buy me a pair of custom-made boots last time I was down Mexico way. Last week when I was out ridin' with the boys, at the end of the day, after a little pickin' and singin', I left 'em by the campfire as I settled in for the night. When I woke up the next mornin', I found one of 'em chewed to bits and t'other gone completely. Spied some tracks leadin' away from the site. Some big cat must've had 'em for a midnight snack. Had to ride all the way back home in my sock feet."
Nothing more was said about the boots. Gene had his answer, and Roy was obviously a little embarrased by the whole thing.
Later that evening, after the beans and corn fritters were polished off and the stars were beginning to twinkle in the deep night sky, the boys were startled by a cougar's scream somewhere in the distant yonder. When the horses and the hairs on the backs of their necks finally settled down, Gene drawled, "Pardon me, Roy... is that the cat that chewed your new shoes?"