I swore I wouldn't do it. Get a cat that is. With 6 dogs around, at least 3 of which are not fond of cats, it would be suicide for a cat to live here. Nobody told that to this stray kitten that showed up about a month ago.
I first saw her on a Saturday evening just after the sun had set. I actually heard her first and followed the desperate meows. The closer I got, the more vicious the meows got so I decided to play it safe and see if the cat was still there in the morning.
It was. I'd almost forgotten about it and then I heard it again as I was going out to start the mower up. Poor thing was just a few months old and had an awful bloody nose. Wouldn't let me get close so I opened up a package of tuna and put it in a tupperware bowl (you know you keep those ones with the missing lids for just this occassion). Well, once it realized tuna was on the menu, HELLO! I was now its long lost mother.
Honestly, if it had been a grown cat, I would have shooed it away but I just couldn't let this poor tiny thing fend for itself. So I decided to keep putting food out and see how it went.
I come home on the 3rd day to hear the kitten frantically meowing but I couldn't figure out where it was. Well, it had gotten into the corral with the sheep...and Willie (the LGD). It had climbed up (probably been chased up) the short electric pole next to the well house and was perched on top of the pole. It could easily jump over to the roof of the well house but was obviously frozen in fear...as cats do. I tried to put a broom up to entice it off but I couldn't quite reach. I didn't want to leave it there in case it lost its balance and landed right in Willie's lap so I had to get it down. I had the hose running to fill tanks so as much as I hated to do it, I aimed and sprayed. I positioned the spray to encourage the kitten to jump onto the roof but oh no, it couldn't do that. Half of it hit the roof and then "cat"apulted (sorry) to the ground. Thankfully cats, especially kittens, seem to have no bones when they fall and it instantly sprang up and ran outside the fence.
Bridget came out and met the kitten and we investigated and discovered "it" is a she. Her nose had already healed up leaving no scar whatsoever. We ran thru names and because I'd been calling her "kitty" for so long, we decided Kit would do. Terribly creative I know. Kit was no dummy and has plenty of hiding places so she has learned not to come in the yard and to stay out of the LGDs way. I think she teases Willie since he's closest to the barn but she'd better watch it, he would eat her for a snack if she slips up.
I have to admit its nice to have a barn cat. I like cats but not as much as dogs so one is plenty. Therefore she has already had a trip to Doc Mitts and nearly $300 later, she is spayed, vaccinated and free of fleas, tick and worms. For now.
I came home today, just 3 days after her spay. Doc Mitts must've given her a shot of courage because today after I fed her, she followed me back to the house. I let her follow but made sure she didn't come too close. I went into the house and was washing some dishes and when I looked out the window. Our peach tree is just on the other side of the yard fence, part of it actually drapes over. Right in the middle of the tree lay Kit, sprawled out on a limb just gazing down at 6 Border collies. I had to laugh, typical cat. I think she's going to do just fine.
Below is the new perennial garden that we put in this spring along the barn. Lots of hollyhocks, daylillies, hostas, coneflower, asters, oh and we even went and dug up some sweet william from the roadside. That should make it pretty in early spring. I decided to experiment with some old musty wool that I'd kept back for mulching. I had enough to cover the whole bed and then I had some leftover straw that had been sitting out in the weather. So we got the whole bed covered first with wool, then with straw and so far I've only had to pull a few weeds and only watered once right after we put things in. Wool really does keep the moisture in well, sometimes a little too well if you're not careful. Fingers crossed the sheep don't find it...