Our four-year-old grandson does his part to herd the cattle down the road by waving his cap in order to encourage them along. His dad takes a bit more active approach as he runs along behind the critters!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Outdoor Cats

This little girl is half Siamese and SO pretty--but she won't stay out of my artfully arranged bouquets! 

Here is Lady Gray.  When we discovered she was a he, we changed his name to Earl. (Earl Grey, get it?). However, we've now started calling him "Mr. Fluffy."
It is not politically correct, but we provide shelter and food to an assortment of outdoor cats.  I've read recently that the responsible thing to do is to capture them all, spay and neuter them; and then make them into indoor pets.

I'm pretty sure the people who have decided this don't live on a farm, and I'd like to see them capture the half dozen or so cats that live in Farmer John's workshop.  Catch them? Ha! Make them into indoor pets?  It'd be about as doable as taming a full grown bobcat. We buy cat food in 50 pound sacks and in return for a reliable source of food and water, these cats keep the barn and surrounding buildings free of pack rats and mice. It is a good trade. They are healthy, good mousers; and not the least bit tame. 

A few of them have migrated down the road a quarter mile to live around our house. I welcomed them because I hate mice, and it is difficult to seal every point of entry in our 100 year old house. We haven't had a mouse in the house or pack rats in the garage or surrounding buildings since these cats arrived. They have become somewhat more domesticated than the barn cats, and will allow us to stroke them if they are in the mood.  Our dog, Annie, has never completely resigned herself to their presence but the barn cats have taught her it is best to leave felines alone. 

I understand that city cats are definitely better off indoors, but  our cats have a good life. Yes, they sometimes beat one another up, but the pecking order is mostly established now and currently not one of the several cats who live around our house has battered ears or a scratched nose.  They perform a valuable service for us in helping with rodent control which is a real problem around our grain bins and out buildings. And when they laze in the sun on the porch glider they add such an ambiance to our rural home! 

I think a few well cared for feral cats are a good idea back on the farm.  

1 comment:

  1. Love the cat in the flower arrangement, such an unusual face.