Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


It's October.  I've built my first fire.  I'm working on the 'getting ready for Winter' list and am making some progress.  We haven't had a frost yet, but it's been pretty close and I expect this week it'll happen.  I have a bunch of nice looking green tomatoes, which I am going to pick tonight.  

Early Morning at the Lake
Sadly vacation has come and gone (sob...).  The weather was absolutely wonderful.  I spent one day and two nights staring at the Lake and doing nothing.  Then I came home and worked--but at my own pace on my own things.  The dogs loved me being home...the cats, I'm not so sure.

Sweet Milo looking happy in his new home

The bestest news is that the Little Grey Dog/Freddy now Milo has found a wonderful home.  He has become a member of a family who loves him already and say he is the sweetest thing.  He has a doggy brother named Chet who matches him in size and they have allot of fun together!   And Milo's new Mom has been kind enough to email me and let me know how he is doing.  I'm so happy for this little guy and my heart feels much more peaceful as I realize I was just a part of a bigger plan to get him to a family that needed him. A special little dog for a special home.  (and doesn't he look great?)

Milo (front) and his new doggy brother Chet
However....I hope that I'm done for awhile.  This stuff really wrings me out. I fear though that things are only going to get worse.  Our only 'local' animal shelter has pretty much been shut down, (not enough money, dontcha know) so now I suspect there will be even more dumping.

There does seem to be some sort of magnet attached to me...or my house...or my vehicle.  While at the Lake, on the last evening there, I thought I heard a cat meow....and when I walked into the room with the patio door (which was open) there stood a rather defiant ginger tomcat.  He hissed and meowed and hissed.  So I got him something to eat.  He hung out with me on the deck that evening--in a strictly no pets resort--and was there the next morning.  He finally left just before I packed up.  I'm sure he belonged to someone, as he wasn't skinny.  Typical intact tomcat with battle scars and attitude and a soft side.  At one point as we were companionably hanging out on the deck, I waved my arms around and said to the cat, --do you see all these decks?  do you see any cats on any of these other decks??   He just looked at me and blinked. 

Lake Cat (yes he looks like Noah, but it wasn't...really)

Today as I sat here at my desk at work, one of my co-workers shouts at me from the other room--'hey, is that your cat?'  Whaaa..where?  'There is a cat out there walking around under you truck, is he yours'?  Uh, he isn't.  But by golly he was just circling my truck, sniffing and having a good old time.  And when he was done,  he was done, and didn't give a glance to anybody else vehicle as he sauntered off.  Now tell me why?  It's not like I have cats running amok out where I park my truck at night......but, yet, something was fascinating for him. Was this big ginger tomcat with long hair, looking for that secret symbol?

These two boys I was able to walk away from, they didn't need my help.  But, well, Johnny, he was a different story.  He deserves his own post but with my recent track record I better just tell his story and be done with it--so here's what happened....

One evening during vacation as I went out to  fasten up the chickens and do sheep chores, there was Buford  just sitting there by the chicken pen.   While it isn't unusual for him to stop by, he usually is on the move and mouthing off the whole time.  (If you don't remember who Buford is, he is a traveling black tomcat who shows up periodically to bum a meal (from my Mom--she feeds 'em the good stuff).  But there he sat...quietly staring.  Since he rarely stops by, I went to get him a can of cat food and have a little visit.  I fixed him a little flat place to eat and dumped half a can.  While this was going on, in the back of my mind I wondered why Buford had started growling.....  Well, it wasn't Buford.  As I stooped to put down the food, I saw something out of the corner of my eye that made my blood run cold.   

To go backward here a little, back in the summer a calico cat appeared.  She was a thin lanky thing, and you couldn't get within a mile of her.  We (my Mom and I) would have helped her--at least gotten her spayed and given her some good meals, but she was wild with no clear feeding habits.  I'd see her periodically off in the distance, always with a sense of dread.   I haven't seen her now for awhile, so she has either perished or moved on poor thing.

So when I saw that 'something' out of the corner of my eye, what I saw (in my lightening quick worst case scenario mind) was the leg and tail of a calico cat inside the little igloo in the chicken pen.  A calico-cat with kittens.  

It wasn't though.  I went in the chicken pen, closed the door to keep Buford out and stooped down to see what was what.  The cat inside the igloo howled and yowled, hissed and growled but finally came staggering out when I waved the remainder of the can of catfood around.  Poor kitty.  Poor skinny kitty that was scared out of his mind.   He wolfed down the food and I went and got him more.  I closed up the pen for the night and figured I'd deal with it all in the morning.  Buford was horrified that I was helping this intruder, and (eventually) stalked off in a huff. 

Poor Skinny run down Johnny Cat

In the morning Johnny-cat was limping badly and I was sure he had an abscess on his hind leg.  He hissed and growled at me while at the same time craved pets.  I had thought I would open the cage and let him go and see what happened, but when I saw him in the light of day--skinny, crippled and obviously with no intent of leaving his little island of calm, I decided to get him to the vet.  And since he was going to the vet, I'd just have him neutered at the same time. 

Johnny cat scarfing down food--skinny and depressed
So the next day that is what happened.   Only he didn't have an abscess.  The vet thinks he has an old injury and his hock has limited mobility.   Johnny came home from the vet one sad sick pup-uh-kitty.   It took him a few days to get up a good appetite and quit growling and hissing at me.  He never at any time offered to scratch or bite, but he put up a big show.  In fact he was a big love bug.  In the meantime I listed him on a few lost and found sites, with no responses. While he was at the vet I had him scanned for a microchip--even though they all thought that was a hoot.  In this area it's hard to get anyone to chip their dog let alone a mere cat.   

Top view of skinny cat
 I emailed a friend (hi old buddy, old pal) asking her is she was interested in a farm cat.  They lost (as in vanished--probably stolen) their beagle this summer and he was determined to keep cats off the place.  Now with Goober gone, maybe she would be open to a cat.  I didn't have much hope.   As the days went by with no response, I tried to figure out my next move.  Worst case he could hang around --I'd feed him and he would be terrorized by Buford and probably end up dead on the road eventually.   But I hoped it wouldn't come to that.   I don't need any more cats, at all.   

Skinny now, but you can see he is a gorgeous boy

He was such a sweetie and as the days went by he started to put on weight and relaxed--he was happy where he was and no thanks, he didn't want to venture out!  I feel like he was a big pet at some point, but either he wandered too far and got lost or equally likely he just got to be nuisance and got dumped off. 

Johnny Cat a week later.  Feeling fine and looking good.  (Those are shadows on his nose not scratches)
This is one of the most gorgeous cats I've ever seen.  His markings are stunning.  He will be a big cat once he fills out.  His hock seems fine too-no limps now, although there was a spot that opened up on his inside upper I think he probably did have an abscess after all. 

Nearly impossible to get a picture of since he just wanted to rub on me and be petted--but isn't he pretty?
Johnny went to his new home Saturday.  All fixed up--neutered and vaccinated and with a few extra pounds added.  My friend was tickled to have him and we set him up in her dis-used chicken house.  She will feed him and he has his bed in there and will stay in there four or five days and then she will let him out to see how he adjusts.  I'm praying he just stays put.  He'll have a great home.  They aren't silly syrupy about their animals like I am, but he will have a good solid home.  Food and attention and lots and lots of hunting ground.   They have outbuildings and fields and live well back from a gravel road that isn't highly traveled.  I took probably a months supply of food so he'd keep gaining weight for winter.

A week later and gaining!

I pray that it works out.  He is such a sweetie and was so good about riding in the crate over there.   Animals are so vulnerable to our whims and even though I know I'm trying to do my best by him, I felt guilty.   Hopefully he will be calm and not bolt and he will live long and prosper.

I hope.  I'm wrung out. 

That is it for now.  I've got more pictures and more updates and can only hope I'll be motivated to get 'em up.

Hope you are all doing well out there!

It's been a long cold winter--all two nights of it... (clockwise starting upper left--Meshach, Gabe, Sage, Chaco & Noah)


Michelle said...

My blogpal Sandra says she has a unicorn flying over her farm, because supposedly the unicorn is the "patron saint" of lost, wayward foundlings (see this post: You must, too!

Kathy said...

Bless you, Tam...and bless that big heart you have.
Karma owes you - big time!

Tina T-P said...

So Glad to see you are OK - maybe you have that hobo sign "a good hearted woman lives here" posted around your place, and you just don't know it. Glad you found homes for everybody! T.

Vicki Lane said...

You are such a good person -- so glad Milo and the handsome kitty have found their homes.

Phyllis Oller said...

The needy animals always seem to find you,& me as well.You do a great job or finding homes for them all,& they look so healthy & happy,you are an angel for sure.phyllis