Saturday, May 19, 2012

Barn Cats

We went quite a few years without cats. There was a time when we had about six cats, but a mother and son team of Australian cattle dogs did away with a couple (that’s another story) and we gave the rest away. Since we found out the hard way that Australian cattle dogs can’t abide cats, and we always had at least one Australian cattle dog around, at times as many as three, we’ve steered away from cats. However, despite the rather hazardous situation, about a year ago a feral calico cat with enormous yellow eyes decided our barn was a good place to have kittens.

A true cat person, Dieter tamed the kittens and as they grew into adulthood they continued to live in the barn. Our remaining Australian cattle dog, Ringo isn’t pleased about the situation but we seem to have come to some sort of a truce. Of these three there was a gray and white male-Stig, an orange male, Orange Cat, and an all gray female, Sister Cat. Orange Cat managed to break his leg and we had had to bring him to the vet and have him put to sleep, to the tune of $375 (yet another story). Now two cats remain—Stig and Sister Cat. Cats being cats two weeks ago Sister Cat had kittens. Stig, who was clearly the father, has since been neutered ($200).

There are five kittens in the litter--one gray, three gray and white, and one mysterious solid brown one, the color of a milk chocolate Easter rabbit. Wolfie is in charge of taming the kittens. If he succeeds he will be allowed to keep the brown kitten. We hope to find homes for the others. Sister Cat will be spayed once the kittens are weaned. 

You might be thinking that all of this is getting rather expensive. It is. Fortunately we have a benefactor--Dieter’s mother Jean. Also cat people, she and Dieter’s father Charly possess two neurotic yellow tiger cats Jean rescued as tiny kittens from a junkyard in the pouring rain. Wonder if the brown kitten is a male or female? 

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