Or that is what animal rights activists tell you. Used to be when farmers cited midnight hours spent checking on stock, delivering babies, or doctoring the sick as examples of genuine caring by farmers, the AR critters really didn't have an answer.
Then some fanatic decided that farmers only do that stuff because the animals are worth money. If they weren't we wouldn't bother to go out in awful weather at ungodly hours to tend them.
Yeah, right. We all know better.
An incident here over the past two days is a pretty good example of that. My favorite fluffy logger kitty, Pumpkin, managed, with a massive amount of help from Liz, to raise a chubby, handful-sized kitten named Smog.
Like all kitties, as soon as he became cute, he also started adventuring.
These are barn cats. They are worth no money to anyone. We hope that they catch rats and mice, but we feed them cat food and all the milk they want and get them vaccinations...when we can catch them....and do what we can for them, rats or no rats.
When Smog vanished yesterday afternoon the consternation was considerable. The boss was afraid that he had run over him. I thought that he had run afoul of a fox or hawk.
Everyone looked for him. We were late milking because everyone was looking for him. Last night Becky and the boss practically took the horse barn apart looking for him.
Halfway through chores this morning I nipped out to the milkhouse to grab a sip of my coffee.
There he was, strolling across the gate bars on the bridge, smug as you please.
From the level of rejoicing all over the barn, and judging by the way everybody ran to grab him and cuddle him and fuss over him, you would swear he was worth a couple million.
But, nope, we just like animals, and feel a strong responsibility for those under our care. Even barn cats.
|See how blonde I am? Believe it!|