Calling Dibs

One of last years barn kittens has gotten into a habit of declaring when the time for feeding is over and he does it with his own kind of panache.

A cat sitting in a wok pan.This guy has made up his mind to call an end to breakfast by sitting on top of the last few crumbs in the bottom of the cat pan.

I have to be careful not to overfeed the barn cats because any leftovers attract skunks and coyotes into the barn. This cat pretends to hide the last bits so that he later have a little snack. He forces me to pick him up to remove him from the pan and take the crumbs back to the house where they will remain locked away from critters until the next feeding time.


If He Only Knew

Jackson our ‘wild child’ dog is able to wait patiently when he knows that it will be soon time for us to start up the Gator for chores, especially when it’s feeding time.

Black and white dog in cargo bed of Gator.If he only knew that mere feet below his snout, a black kitten was also waiting for the signal for dinner time to begin on the farm.

The kitten was waiting as patiently as the dog, and knows what is coming since the order of mealtime is run in a pattern.

The motor of the Gator starting sends cattle, dogs and cats into frenzied anticipation with copious amounts of saliva as they anticipate their upcoming meal. (Come to think of it, my tummy starts rumbling about that time of day knowing that our dinner time follows the critters meals.)

Doing Double Duty

Before I start todays post, I need to clarify the name of our mother cat, Pegleg. Someone had commented on the name and was worried that she was disabled or stiff legged. Neither one is correct, Pegleg was so named because she is a dark calico cat with one leg from the knee down being a light orange color which looked very much like a fake leg when she walked. Now onto the story… Continue reading

The Thing We Do


Out in the barn, or in the fields, when putting hay in the outdoor mangers, or feeding along the ground, as the twine is removed from a hay bale it is tied in a knot. From a single bale to multiples of 6 or more, the twine is ALWAYS tied into a knot before placed in a bag or other receptacle.

I had cut open a bale of hay, tied the twine in a knot an dropped it over by the cats while I finished feeding the bale. It’s one of those things we do, mostly without even thinking about it. As simple as breathing until a visitor to the farm asks why, then a story emerges.

The visitor asked if I tied the knot so the cats would play with the string so I shared the following.

The cats only get to play with the string for a little while until I am done feeding and the reason is not for the cats at all. Once the hay is fed the string goes into the recycle bag, sealed away for safety.

Critters such as cows, especially the young ones up to a year old or more simply love to chew on things. They tongue the latches on gates, they lick and bite at fence posts and bars on the stanchions, they investigate their world by licking, nibbling and sometimes eating. A loose string becomes a game of twisting their tongue around until they can suck it in an chew on it. A single piece of twine off of a bale of hay is several feet long and a calf or young cow who happens to be chewing on one end will keep chewing it in like a super-long strand of spaghetti.

If the twine is then swallowed, it can unwind in the stomach where it could tangle in the digestive tract and strangle the critter from the inside.




The Magic Number

The mild week of weather has me watching the outside temperature closely. Every time we get above 50 degrees, I move the little tomato seedlings (now an inch tall) from inside the garage to outside in the fresh air. Right now, the move is as simple as setting one tray from inside the window sill to setting it on the picnic bench on the porch to drink in the sun while being protected from swirling breezes or showers. Continue reading

Puddle Fishing

The barn cats have taken up a new hobby, puddle fishing.

A black cat watching a puddle. It started with the black male cat Frack. I caught him a couple of weeks ago sitting on the mud patch watching a puddle.

He was so still, and before long I realized that he was stalking prey. He was watching the puddle as the wind was rippling the edges and made it appear as if there was a creature below the surface.

When a rain drop or two hit and disturbed the rather calm center of the puddle, he pounced believing that something (hopefully fish) caused the disturbance.

Now the other cats can be seen puddle fishing, or maybe it should be called puddle wishing. I’m sure that the memories of carp, salmon or trout are all busy bouncing around in their heads as they stare at the puddles during their new sporting activity.

A Place To Play

While I was stringing hoses out to the stock tanks, I heard a commotion coming from nut trees at the corner of the garden. The two adult brothers, Frick and Frack find some of the most awkward places to  sleep, play and hunt.

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Today these two found the most tippy-top branches to chase each other around. The branches were hardly strong enough to support one feline and would bend and sway. With both cats up there, the whole tree was shaking.

The scene was quite amusing. It also reminded me that soon it will be time to start trimming the fruit trees. But for now, I’m just going to enjoy cat antics.