That !@*&% Cat just used one of it’s 9 lives!
I went to the barn yesterday to do my morning chores, walked into the hay barn and…ahhh-ha! the smell of Tom Cat Pee! Did a quick look around and saw said stray Black Tom Cat running down the path. That’s what I call him, Black Tom Cat. I made a mental note to myself to borrow the have a heart trap and relocate that bugger.
I went about my business said hello to and cuddled my Mumma Kitty and her 5 kittens. We have already had the talk about having her kittens in the middle of winter and she assured me it wouldn’t happen again.
I forgave her and made her and her kittens a “Cuddle Box” as I call them. It’s a cardboard box just the right size for them, lined with what I would call space blanket bubble wrap. (I found a roll of this wonderful stuff at the dump a couple of years ago and brought it home just because I liked it. This stuff I found out later is an insulation used in greenhouses and is very expensive.) I used to tape pieces of a space blanket to the inside, but this bubble wrap is MUCH better. Any way also in this box is nice warm pieces of fleece and hay. this box is set inside another larger cardboard box and in between the two I stuff as much hay as I can get in there. Tape the cover shut and cut a hole for Mumma Kitty to get in and out. Nice, warm and toasty!
Not 10 minutes later, while cleaning the horse stalls Mumma Kitty comes crying loudly, I stopped to see what she wanted and she dropped a dead kitten on my boots! I went to check the others and saw Black Tom Cat hiding in the rafters of the barn. All 5 kittens dead, bit on the side of the neck!
I calmly picked up the kittens and shut the barn door. Lucky for Black Tom Cat the barn door wouldn’t shut all the way because of some ice or he would have met the end of my pitch fork. Not that I didn’t try but he was quicker than I…and I told him as he was running for dear life down the path he was down by 1 life, and I was keeping score. (Mumma Kitty does know her kittens are dead and that I burried them, she sat and watched me.)
That’s one stray I WILL trap and take to the pound! I don’t think he will make the mistake of getting so close to me again…So Mumma Kitty spent the day crying for her kittens and following me everywhere. I feel so bad for her but I also know it’s part of a barn kitty’s life. There will be more kittens to keep her company in the spring, I’m sure other barns will let me have some of theirs. My barn is down to the one Mumma Kitty.
Now I know many think keeping cats outside in the barn is no life for them. I see it as their job to keep the mice down in the barn, they are another barn animal. I would also like to say my cats are well cared for and loved. They get all their shots every spring when the vet comes out, are wormed on a schedule, and are given monthly flea treatment. I give them free choice to all the food they want-both dry and fresh meat when I have extra meat for them, they do have dry food all the time. The barn is safe and warm, they have litter boxes in the barn and their “Cuddle Boxes”, they love hiding in the hay best. I love and play with them everyday, several times a day. I grow cat nip and greens for them. They are not wild by any stretch of the imagination, they just live in the barn and do their job. They do come up to the house to visit outside with me and could come in, and a couple I have had did come in the house, but most choose to stay outside. I know some house cats who aren’t cared for this good.
I do know some barn cats who are skinny, worm and flea infested and have to hunt for their meals, this is not a life for a cat and these barns shouldn’t have the cats. Being a stray cat isn’t any better. I don’t beleive in the stray cat programs where they trap them, sterailze them and return them to live on the streets. I know a woman who does this and their life expectancy is about 1 year of mizzery. Granted they don’t reproduce but they are living a lousy, lonely life. They would be better off to be trapped and put to sleep.
Black Tom Cat has been welcome here for a year or so helping himself to the food, but I can’t catch him to care for him medically. BUT he can’t kill my cats or pee in the hay, and he will be brought to the pound, I know his fate their but it’s better than me being ticked off at him and taking my anger out on him in my own way…it will be less painful for him. He would never be friendly enough to be adopted. My husband, Dick, thinks he should just shoot him. I told him no, while Black Tom Cat is not welcome here any more I don’t want to see him shot either, I own him that much.
Mumma Kitty is still crying for her kittens tonight and hanging out on the steps to the house, she doesn’t want to come in. She is just sitting and crying…I set some warm milk out for her and gave her a kiss goodnight.