The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

A new meow

New catYesterday, I jokingly told Mark that I'd gone to the dump (the source of our current cat) and found another cat, who I was now hiding in the barn.  No, no --- I changed my mind --- I'd stolen sweet little Bonnie from Mark's mom and had her hidden in the barn.  We both laughed and thought no more about it.

But this morning as I started to move the chicken tractors through winter mud, I heard a plaintive meow come from the barn.  I'd just left Huckleberry sleeping soundly on the sofa, but I thought it was possible he'd slipped out of the house and gotten his dainty paws wet or been chased by Lucy.  So I told the chickens to wait on me and went to check the noise out. 
New cat
Cowering behind our array of boxes and cast off belongings was...Bonnie???  The little cat had most of her markings, a white vest and white paws on an otherwise black fur coat.  But this little cat was smaller and oh so skinny when I finally tempted it to let me pick it up.  It was also a boy, just the same size Huckleberry was when I found him --- reaching that gawky adolescent stage where people tend to drop them off.  (Later, Mark found a towel on the road a mile from our house, one that hadn't been there yesterday, confirming our belief that the little cat got dumped.)

Just two weeks ago, Mark's mom asked us if we wanted another cat.  And without even checking with each other Mark and I both said "No!"  Huckleberry's a handful all by himself.  And yet --- if a cat walks a mile through the woods to find us, can we really tell it that we're going to renege on the contract humanity made with cats a few thousand years ago?  The truth is, I'm a sucker for strays.  Looks like we'll be taking the new cat to the vet tomorrow, and if it gets a clean bill of health introducing it to Huckleberry soon after.  I guess I should be a little more careful what I joke about!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Congrats on the new fella. The best pets..cats or dogs are the strays!
Comment by jen Sun Jan 4 20:58:00 2009
Thanks! I hope he works himself into our pack well. :-) I agree that strays are the only way to go!
Comment by anna Mon Jan 5 09:11:22 2009
So after reading yours I had to share our lil story. Our little yard in town has had problems with large stray feral cats coming in the yard messing with our cat. Well we hadnt had a problem this year and yesterday we saw and caught a little 8 week old male buff kitten. We brought him inside our back porch as it was going to get down to the 40's, put a baby gate across the doorway, and not 5 minutes after being inside he started purring and rubbing for attention. He has since played with our just under 1 year old male cat Swarley and has been adorable. We have been letting our friends and family know we will give him to a good home...but have a sneaking idea we will be ended up with him in the long run. For our 1 bedroom house with 4 year old orange female cat, 4 year old bishon/chihuahua, swarley the 1 year old male cat, and Katara our 6-8 month 8 week kitten wasn't planned or expected but if we have to we will keep him. Our local shelter is a kill shelter and so far lil Watson (what we named him) isnt good with big movements, noise, or cages so he wouldnt do well there at all.
Comment by David Z Mon Sep 5 21:47:45 2011

Good luck with your new kitten! Strider has worked his way into our lives and hearts, although very few people have seen him --- he's still extremely skittish around strangers. He's curled up next to me in a damp heap as I write this and is the best purrer I've ever met.

You might want to bring Watson to the vet and make sure he doesn't have any of the bad contagious diseases before letting him join the flock. In our rural location, that's not as much of a problem, but my understanding is that urban cats can sometimes pass on really bad diseases.

Comment by anna Tue Sep 6 07:53:23 2011
We took little Watson to the vet and all checks out fine and dandy. He has taken to playing with our 1 year old male gray cat Swarley like they are best buddies. Only issue we have is we have to watch out 9 month old Husky as they have bad small prey instincts and we dont want her chomping lil Watson. But its been good and fun!
Comment by David Z Sun Sep 11 13:59:15 2011
I'm so glad to hear Watson is doing well! Strider is warming my feet right now and enjoying us commenting on his post. :-)
Comment by anna Sun Sep 11 15:38:01 2011

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