*Update! Cat will be going to her forever home as a professional lap sitter on November 19th!
Many years ago when I first came to this farm, Bill had taken me up into the loft to show me how he fed the horses by pouring grain down a series of PVC pipes that connected directly to the troughs in all eighteen stalls. He was very proud of this system as it only took a few minutes to feed everyone and no doors had to be opened and closed. The ends of the loft were filled with large bins of grain and six foot round bales that were moved up there using what Bill referred to as “the machine”, a large yellow forklift type thing that could apparently do any number of tasks. As you can probably tell, Bill kept things simple when it came to naming things and so I was not terribly surprised when he introduced me to the marmalade barn cat sleeping on top of one of the round bales as “Cat”.
Cat apparently arrived one day at the barn many years ago and appointed herself the official mouser, loft patrol officer, and collector of back scratches and belly rubs. Her greeting is a mixture of meows and purrs and an awkward attempt to get more pets by rubbing her face against your hand. If you have time to sit with her, she will invariably end up in your lap as a purring puddle of fur.
In recent years, Cat has had to share her food bowl with a family of raccoons. Bill attempted to trap the raccoons, but ultimately did not have the heart to do away with them so they ended up getting their own food bowl at the other end of the barn. I’ve gone up the ladder to the loft late at night a few times and to be greeted by at least four little masked faces who quickly made their getaway before I finished climbing. Lately, another cat has been trying to establish itself as the barn’s official mouser and because Cat has lead a mostly solitary life, she’s been disappearing more and more often. If you are at the farm at night and listen to the coyotes howling, you will conclude very quickly that the loft is probably the safest place for her.
But, things change, we all get older, farms get sold, and Cat needs a new home.
I have recently taken Cat to the vet for all of her shots. The vet seemed to think she was in very good health for her age (anywhere between 12 and 16 years old) with some arthritis in her hips and a slight heart murmur. We treated her for a urinary tract infection and she goes back for her FIV booster next week. On the advice of a local rescue, I have confined Cat to a stall in the hopes that she will learn to use a litter box (she is doing well with that) and also to protect her from the new cat who has come to claim her territory.
Cat would probably do best in a home without a dog and maybe even where she is the only cat. She would need to be kept inside to prevent her from wandering off and she would be happiest if there was a warm lap she could fill on a regular basis. She isn’t so fast anymore, but she is still a rather effective mouser. If you think you may have a Cat-shaped void in your life or know someone else who does, you should let me know about that. Although I very much enjoy our lap sitting time, I cannot keep her myself as I have a neurotic dog who already tried to love her, but their love simply was not meant to be.