Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Athena

Help! Who am I!

Not a cat person here. I like them, but I will never be a crazy cat lady or anything. (Well, crazy maybe....).

However, I do like them, and in the way of families when the young folks move away, all the kitties that they brought home over the years have become my responsibility. I spend my extra coins on cat food and get up early to distribute same.

The very day after the Sunday Stills Cats challenge something murdered poor Sinopa and her idiot son Justin Bieber. They were not big favorites, but still they were threads in the life of the barnyard, the butt of many jokes about white cat syndrome (not that they were white), and just there..... I don't know how to explain how it is with your barn animals. They are not like the cozy creatures that share hearth and home, but more like partners in enterprise. They work for and with you and in return you see to their needs. Part of farm life that goes unsung, but not unnoticed.

Justin wasn't smart enough to come to the house for food, but he got milk and table scraps in the barn, and spent his free time thinking up diabolical ways to trip us or run under a cow's belly with his tail upright so we could get kicked. We still liked his silly self and the boss spent years trying to pet him. He would have none of that.

Whatever got them wrecked them. Both were too wild to catch when they came home to say goodbye. We found Sinopa later; Justin is just gone. The barn floor is bare without them.

Then Athena vanished. Athena is different. She is an independent little spotted brown tabby that belonged to children before she came here. They filled her up with love and she hasn't run out yet. 

She is of the liquid cat genre. You can pick her up in any manner and she will flow into your arms and melt around your neck and purr til the foundation shakes. In the winter Alan tucks her into the hood of his sweatshirt and she rides there all sleepy and proud, peeping out every now and then to see what's up. We have come very, very close to buying a conversion kit and turning her into a house cat.

She is timid over porch food and hides under the car until Simon and Chain Saw are done, but she does come in in the morning to eat. I always give her a little extra.

She didn't show her face for three days. Sorrow reigned. Just a cat. Just a barn cat at that, but there is much fondness beamed in her direction.

You can imagine my joy when she was tucked under the big sink on the porch this morning awaiting her turn at the bowl.

We have got to get to the bottom of this killing thing. We have had coyotes for about twenty years, a fisher for two, foxes forever, ditto owls, although not so much any more. And raccoons. However, savvy cats like these know how to avoid those creatures or they wouldn't have lived as long as they have.

I am leaning toward the fisher, because the last time it came through it took Justin's sister, another cat wise in the way of the wild. 

There was something big and fast right in the house yard when we came home from the fair the other night. I miss the days when everyone hunted and varmints kept their distance.

***If any of you bird stars could identify the little warbler type critter above I would be wildly grateful.

8 comments:

joated said...

Fishers seem to be participating in a population boom, spreading out from their normal forest ranges to the active farms and even suburbs where they can find easier things to eat than porcupines and snowshoe hares.

Ruth said...

Can't help with the bird. But we've had coyotes and foxes much closer to the house this year than usual, to Apollo's disgust. Its part of why I don't understand why the cat from across the street is still alive....

Jeffro said...

Several years ago my neighbor had a bobcat that pretty well went through his cat population.

Cathy said...

Oh TC.

Dang. Tough-minded and tender. Practical, yet still vulnerable. Quite a challenge my friend.

I have to google 'fisher' and I'm not sure I want to.

On a happier note. Fairly sure you've got a blue-headed vireo (formerly solitary vireo:http://monarchbfly.com/2008/04/16/blue-headed-vireos-arrived/

Terry and Linda said...

I hate to loose my animals...barn or house. I always miss them and hate seeing them gone. I think a gun/trap/ whatever needs to appear and take out the critter!!!! @##^%$


Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com
http://deltacountyhistoricalsociety.wordpress.com

Woodswalker said...

Sorry about your lost cats. The remarkable thing about cats is that each one is so different from every other one, for good or for ill. So when one disappears, we know it is gone. I love how you capture the personality of each of the creatures who inhabit your home and barn.

threecollie said...

Joated, I have heard that a couple of places. Sure hard on the barn cat population.

Ruth, I dunno what was in the yard the other night, but it was quite tall and fast. Didn't look like a canid to me. Bah humbug.

Jeffro, bobcat is certainly a possibility. We live surrounded by wild brushy land and have lots of woods and hedgerows ourselves. I miss those darned cats.

Cathy, that's it! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I was looking at vireos, but only white eyed and red eyed. Never thought of that one. Oh, I am just delighted! Bird number 53 if I don't count the merlin.

Linda, it is the caretaker instinct or something. Liz brought Sinopa home and JB was her kitten so they aren't even mine...but they were my charges. I feel so bad about them and worry about Athena and Chain. Simon is a smart old fellow and sticks right by the house and sleeps on top of the freezer on the porch so I think he will be okay. Wish we had a yard dog, but the laws make it so hard to keep one.

WW, they just worm their way in don't they? We mourn every kitten that runs afoul of a cow and every cat that vanishes in the night. For the past few years we have been down to no more than five or six at a time due to the coyotes. Now we only have three the lowest number since the boss brought the original three kitties home one night.

threecollie said...

Cathy!!!! Holy cow!!! I just realized that the vireo was a lifer for me!!! Yay, I love getting a lifer and the last one was summer before this one up at camp. Happy dance!