Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Cats Anyone?

Since last November we haven’t had any stock at all in our barn, freestalls or heifer barn. We sold our dairy herd in October of 2000, so haven’t milked cows since then, but have rented the buildings and some crop land to a neighbor who raised and boarded some cattle. This past fall our renter decided not to continue with that part of his business this year.
So, the only animals that are flourishing on our farm these days are the cats. It’s too bad we can’t milk or sell them because they’re a lot less work than the cows were!
They live in the barn and are very independent, as cats tend to be. They do however, expect us to feed them twice a day but they repay us by keeping the rodent population to a minimum.

This is Alice. The cat shelf will need repainting in the spring!

Some of them are regular early morning visitors at the back door, sitting on the cat shelf, peering hopefully through the glass, trying to encourage us to hurry outside so they can follow us to the barn for their breakfast. Yes, we have a cat named Alice! (just a coincidence). She is always the first on the shelf in the AM & PM and likes to perch there during the day and just soak up the sun, if there happens to be some.

Alice & Pete. Alice says, "Hello! Is anyone awake in there?"

Hubby's turn to feed them. Zoey needs lots of cuddles.

Feeding time in the barn

Years ago my hubby attached a shelf to the outside of the screen door in an effort to dissuade our 2 house cats at that time from their destructive habit of jumping up and hanging with their claws attached to the screen. They were, of course, trying to get our attention to let them in.

Zoey (another coincidental name) comes to the front porch to get our attention, and some cuddles.

Can you come out and play?

The shelf worked well, and we’ve moved it with us from that original door to this house. The house cats would jump up, sit on the shelf, and gaze at us imploringly until we let them in. The resident kitties still sit and gaze imploringly but there are no house cats at the moment. They all live in the barn, which makes it easier for us to visit our kids and grandchildren when we want to. When our neighbor kindly comes to feed them they’re all in one convenient place.

Isabelle in the sunshine
Lovely Olivia & Tuxedo, the king catSheba (the queen)

We miss having a house cat, but our barn kitties give us plenty of affection and entertainment in return for the cuddles and love we give them….plus food :)

Toby & Zoey roughhousing

They’re great companions when we’re outside working in the garden or wherever. Sometimes a little too much company as you can well imagine. When our grandsons are visiting they have the best time playing with our furry friends.

Pawprints on a snowy morn

On the way to the barn they want to walk as close to us as possible, so it’s a struggle to walk without stepping on paws.
We miss the cows, but the cats are a joy to have around and at least we still have animals living in our barn.


Andrew said...[Reply]

Corey and I love the kitty pics! He's home sick with a sore throat today. He can't talk very well. I miss having the cats around too...

jellyhead said...[Reply]

Cute cats!

Just a question - how many do you have? I counted 8 in one photo, but maybe there are MORE?!

Val said...[Reply]

And the names! First thinking up so many and then making them so appropriate too. Love "Tuxedo".

They are all so gorgeous in their own individual ways. The last photo with the clearly pictured pawprints in the snow is beautiful too.

Tanya said...[Reply]

Great that the cats are good company and are such low maintenance at the same time.

Glad to see Blogger is working for you, once again. It's been pretty good for me lately. Still, when it screws up, I have to keep telling myself, "it's free..."

Sue said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri,
My first comment just disappeared, so knowing blogger it may come back!
Anyway, I said that your Pete looks much like our Vincent cat. I'm sure yours are no where near as spoiled as ours!
Loved all your photos, it still looks cold. (endles rain here!)

Zoey said...[Reply]

Oh my goodness, you have a lot of cats! Tuxedo is beautiful and so aptly named. Of course, I'm a little partial to Zoey :)

Connie and Rob said...[Reply]

They have their very own barn and good food twice a day. Lots of hugs and no rules...they have it made! Such beautiful kittys. The pictures are just adorable.

Your story is very sweet. Thanks for sharing.

Alice said...[Reply]

Kerri - your feline family photos are prrrrrrrfectly lovely. They all look so contented and well looked after (as they would be, I know). How do you maintain 'law and order'? Do they fight or do they all live happily together?

Kerri said...[Reply]

Thanks everyone for dropping in!
Jelly, we have 14! Each have their unique personalities and sweet natures.
Alice, sometimes we have to act as referee between Tuxedo and Riley, a ginger and white male...he's in the back of picture 5 (breakfast in the barn). Tux can be a bully and poor Riley is afraid of him. Tux apparently feels he must keep the pecking order established.
Andrew, how nice of you to visit! Hope Corey feels better soon. Tell him Grandma has a cold too..and please give him a hug from me...and one for Kyle too.

Autumn said...[Reply]

Hello, I happened upon you while reading someones blog comments, and thought I would pop in. I am glad I did. What a wonderful blog. I love the pictures of the cats. I wish I could come sit on the porch and pet each of them.
Give them a treat for me. I will be back for a longer visit.

clairesgarden said...[Reply]

I love your bird photgraphs with your new camera, I see one or more of your cats have extra toes, mine too! their mother came from a part of Wales(in the UK) where its considered lucky on the farm to have six toed cats, so they go like hot cakes good homes. My friend had one we called 'Puss in Boots' and I had two of her kittens with extra toes, Lily and Daisy, and they are all such friendly cats as yours seem to be, Puss in Boots used to leap into my arms from miles away! She's a very old lady now but still terrorises the mice! every time we get a new vet I have to explain all this as its not very common here(Scotland), she did her best to make it so with two litters a year for over ten years! I still have Daisy but Lily went AWOL, missed.

Judith Polakoff said...[Reply]

Hi, Kerri: I just wanted to say how much I adore your cat photos! They are such wonderful creatures, aren't they? Non-cat people are surprised at just how affectionate they can be, but your photos prove otherwise. I especially like the one with your husband and the kitties who look like they're trying to hug him. :) That one is so heartwarming!

By the way, thank you for visiting my site and for the very kind comments. Much appreciated!

Katie Liz said...[Reply]

My Margot saw the pictures and wants to come visit her Mum and run and play outside.