Monday, September 8, 2014

Izzy Joins the Farm

Much of farming is about looking ahead to the next season and planning for its needs. Whether it is which crops we'll plant, which animals we'll breed, or what building needs construction next, planning, planning, planning. Seriously, we have plans for many projects well into 2016. And, though these may need amending to fit our lives and current needs, the bones need to be sketched and ready. I have been suggesting to Sean for a couple of weeks that we are going to need to look into getting a kitten sooner rather than later. This is a strange need for a homestead. Many farms have their barn cats in place and never need worry about their loss. But, since we spay and neuter ours, they do not reproduce on their own.

The thing is we have six cats. We also NEED six cats. They hunt spring, summer, and fall, living in the barn and eating mainly what they catch in the way of mice, moles, rats, and the occasional weasel supplemented with a limited diet of dry cat food. Come winter, our cat door gets unlocked and they move inside to the luxury of the warmth of the wood stove and full meals. They grow fat and lazy in their winter retirement.

Boogie's latest kill of a foot-long barn rat brought this need to mind for me. (If there is one rat, you know, there are more.) A quick calculation brought me this conclusion: Zoe and Spot are our oldest cats, being between 12-14 years old. Boogie, Machias and Vego turned 6 this year. Tasmanian is our youngest at 5. Looking beyond age, Zoe is definitely showing her years. It saddens me, but in truth, I am dubious that she'll see many more winters. And, since Machias's car accident last summer, he has never fully regained his former health. A broken palate will do that to you. Surgery was not an option- there was just nothing to suture together. Antibiotics were prescribed and pain medicine while his body healed as it would. And, it did- mostly. He is not in pain and remains relatively active for now, but I am afraid that time is not on his side, poor sweet boy. I hope these special cats have many, many more years with us. We also need to prepare for the future. As with everything else around the homestead, balance is wanted. We need some young blood to be ready to take on hunting.

We found Izzy needing a home tonight from a neighbor's farm. She is lovely and will make a fine addition to our farm. Mom is famed to be a great mouser and a hardy barn cat. Izzy will live inside from now until Spring comes, learning to use a litter box and becoming more tamed. By the time our outside crew is ready to repopulate the inside, she'll have been spayed, bonded nicely to us and will find her place within the pride. Then, in the spring, Izzy will join the other cats outdoors protecting our homestead from vermin and predators.

Until the real work begins, there is plenty of time to be coddled. Kristen is more than happy to take on this job and has claimed Izzy as her own. All the humans are pretty smitten with Izzy Kitty. Molly is disappointed that new kitty is not a new chew toy for her pleasure. Introductions were made, but Miss Izzy made it clear with hissing and the deployment of several well aimed smacks to Molly's nose that she was NOT to be chewed on, in any way. Molly is not completely convinced so we watch them closely while they are together.

With summer almost at an end, we are working steadily to prepare for winter around the homestead and for upcoming shows and craft fairs. We've been talking about hosting another fall Open Farm Day. What do you think? Anyone interested in coming for a visit?

Thanks for stopping by today, friends. We're so glad you are here.
~Sonja ♥

1 comment:

  1. So precious, and Molly's coat is so shiny. Your birdy eggs are hookin' her up! Seany Sean's hair is looking great too, nice cut!