Friday, January 25, 2013

Our feline friends

What is a farm without barn cats? 

A month or two after moving in, we discovered a cat had residence in our crawl space. She (we didn't know she was a she at the time) was feral. Very skittish of us, so we left her be. Come winter, I'd watch her digging for food, and a couple times she got caught in my husbands snare lines. So, having indoor cats and a general love for animals, I started putting food out for her. 

Well, within a few days we had cats galore! Where they came from I'm not sure, but what they wanted was food! I had to rethink this plan. So, I started putting the food out only when I saw her. This worked out nicely and we started a little bond. She would still stay about 6 ft from me, then when I'd leave devour the food. This continued through the winter months and into spring. One lovely spring day I even watched her "take down" a squirrel! Whoa! She's fast!

It was mid-May and we had a new discovery! We discovered she was a female and a MOMMY of five kittens - two girls, three boys! She had a litter in our crawl space, all by herself, and they appeared to be around six weeks old. My heart melted!

What is one to do? I found a local non-profit organization (Voices for Animals) and this past December I was able to get ALL six fixed under their TNR, trap neuter release, program. We rereleased them out in the barn, hoping they'd become proper barn cats, but much to our surprise two other cats have taken up residence in the barn this winter! No wonder we don't have a problem with rabbits in the garden. 

Here are four of the six. Mommy is the solid gray - beautiful, isn't she?

Starting at the top there is: Pumpkin, Pretty Girl (Mommy), Patches, and Whittie. Whittie is the male here, the other three are females. The two males missing are Tiger (matches Whittie in coat coloring) and Pepper (identical to Mommy).
Someone brings us presents -mice and squirrels- now if they would only focus on moles...


  1. They're so cute. How funny you have all those cats. We adopted two 'barn' cats this fall and they've become mostly inside cats because I'm a softy. One does go out during the day and bring us moles and mice. He's a butcher though - he leaves guts and body parts all over our porch. I should've named him Hannibal.

    1. Aww! Well he's just showing you love, in his own-messy-way! Hopefully you don't have to (always) clean up after him.