Sunday, January 8, 2012

Herding Cats

No, seriously.  I have herding cats.

There were a few existing barn cats out here when we bought the place.  Only one of the originals is left, and her name is Callie Co.  Yeah, real original name for a calico cat, I know.  She sees herself as my personal calico escort wherever I go. 

I'm not a morning person.  It takes me a while to wake up.  So, when I can manage to stumble out to do chores, it's always a little shocking to hear thundering kitty paws behind me.  Callie must have found somewhere to watch the Discovery channel, and she has decided she's a leopard, or a cheetah, or a lion.  She comes thundering up behind me (seemingly from out of nowhere), runs to about 10 feet in front of me, and STOPS.  I think she laughs every time I trip.  She gets particular enjoyment out of bumping my hand as I'm putting the food into the bowls, making it scatter everywhere.  She likes to lurk behind the round bale as I'm feeding the horses and leap out and say "boo" (or Merp!--Merp must mean BOO in Cat).  She thinks that her aim in life is to HELP me, either by being right under the pitchfork or standing right in front of me as I pick greens for the chickens, trying to avoid the poison hemlock.

Then there's her buddy Claire.  Some bozos think that, just because I have a farm, it's OK to dump their unwanted animals out here.  Claire was dumped, but she's earning her keep.  She even kills and eats snakes.  She's so friendly that she'll jump up into your lap if you're sitting outside, or up on your shoulders if you'll let her.  Between the two of them, they herd me (I'm sure they think of it as "escorting", but it's herding, plain and simple) out to the cat food station in the morning.  Even if I'm having a terrible morning, friendly kitties purring at me really helps things look up.  And Claire almost never trips me.  Always a plus.

Here's Claire with Twinkie before we brought Twinkie inside.

Then there's Jack.  I guess it should be Jackie (since gender got confused for a while there), but Jack just stuck.  She's the gorgeous black and white tuxedo kitty who thinks she's a chicken.  She hangs out in the coop, and I've even seen Stewie pick up a foot to let her get by.  She was eating layer pellets (the food, not what comes out the other end) the other day.  I keep trying to tell her that she's NOT a chicken, but somehow she doesn't believe me. 

I brought Dolly home from the same place I got Jack(ie).  Apparently she thinks she belongs to Barb and Ralph because I only see her occasionally, and Ralph says she pretty much lives on the seat of his Rhino.  She's also the one that mistakenly got shut in the back of my truck overnight.  I have a topper on my truck bed, and left the top door open after I unloaded groceries (was going to get to unloading feed, but didn't, and it was supposed to rain that night).  Well, come morning when I went to get the feed out of the truck, a rather agitated cat flew out.  She'd also left me a little present, and the truck bed still smells like cat poo.  Maybe that's why she went to live next door.  The world may never know.

BOT the tomcat is legendary for his skills of disappearance.  Now if he'd just take care of that raccoon under the barn, I might get to like him.

I've always known that it's impossible for me to have normal pets.  Maybe that's a good thing.  I hate being bored.

Anyway, I'm ready to submit my first newspaper column.  Y'all can follow me at the Hillsboro Free Press site at .  I'll revisit some things, write some new things, and I hope you all follow along.  Goodness knows I can use the company! :) 

Have a great night, folks.

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