Black Bean

Something was amiss in the old shop. We were working around the house, mowing grass and weeding spots in the garden when we noticed mewing sounds, rather frantic mewing sounds coming from the area where we store tack and supplies for the cattle.

The day before we happened to find the carcass of one of the barn cats. Having the road bi-sect the farm leads for dangers for our hunting felines. This carcass was found on the opposite side of the road from the barn and although we do not know what caused the death we do know that it may have been one of the momma cats but scavengers had already begun the work of cleanup so even that was unknown at the time.When we heard the pitiful meowing, we assumed that it indeed had been one of the mother cats that we found across the road.

At first we thought the kittens were underneath the raised flooring of the shop. We would meow and they would meow back but they didn’t come out from underneath. Closer inspection found two black kittens that had fallen into a cylinder that was about two feet high and a foot across. They were stuck and no momma in sight.

Bugged eyed black kittenPulling them out we noticed that they barely had their eyes open and fit easily in the palm of a hand. The first one had bulging eyes and got the name Bean (heaven only knows why).

Black kittenThe second one was a spitting image of the first one but without the bulgy eyes so he got the name Black. It was pretty hard to tell one from the other so we figured we could use the one name for the pair as Black Bean.

After a few hours of them settling into a comfortable crate and a few eyedroppers of milk, we again noticed meowing coming from the old shop. This noise however was from an adult cat rather than kittens. An adult was looking for the babies, she was not lost or dead but had been out hunting all this time.

Since it was nearing feeding time for all critters in the barn, I walked out there and got the cows locked into head stanchions and the fairly feral bunch of rag-tag cats eating (this including the adult that was wandering around meowing). I retrieved Black Bean and set them down in the barn within feet of the feeding frenzy. One chirp out of either Bean or Black and the mother came running over to greet them.

The mother cat immediately tried to coax the youngsters over to the large hay stack at the far side of the barn where she could hide them safely. The kittens ran into trouble again when, following the mom, found themselves too close to where the show cows were eating chopped apples in the manger. The cows were good-naturedly licking and shooing the kittens around with their big noses. The kittens who were disoriented with all the pushing and shoving lost track of their mother who was at this time well past the big cows and crying for the little ones to come her direction so she could hide them behind the haystack. I saved the babies one more time and reconnected them to their mother who quickly hustled them along the wall in a hidey-hole at the back of the stack. It may be a month or more before we see Black Bean again, but they are in a very secure space now and their mother is very happy as well as them.

We still haven’t figured out who the unfortunate casualty was that we found across the road.

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