Lest you think my transformation into a dog person has made me forget about the kitty-cats, this post is all about our furry feline family members. Of course, the star of this post is my best girl, Ralph.
For those that have been following along since the beginning, you’ll recall that Ralph came with the farm. She made our first spring more interesting by giving us four kittens to add to our little family. In time, Gypsy, June and Rex all moved on to their own families. Our pick of the litter, Easter, stayed with us for a year and a half before striking out on her own.
The kittens’ birthday is today. While we don’t know Ralph’s birthday or even how old she is, she’s definitely worthy of celebration and today seems like a fitting day.
Ralphie is a superstar barn cat. She made it through the winter before we came to the farm by herself, although she was pretty skinny that first spring. She catches birds, bunnies, as well as more regular feline fare of rodents. She also enjoys her nightly serving of kibble, in case you can’t tell from the photo comparison below of how she looked two years ago and how she looks now.
She has a few battle scars, the most noticeable being her left eye. When we took her to the vet our first spring, he thought she might have had a scratch at some point, and it flares up every so often. Some days are worse than others and recently it’s been particularly bad. Despite appearances, it doesn’t seem to cause her pain or impact her hunting ability, so we’ve made the choice to let her live with it and not subject her to medication or additional vet visits.
As tough as she is, she also has a soft side when it comes to Matt and me. As soon as we enter the barn, she comes looking for scratches. Belly rubs are favourites–she’s such a fierce barn cat.
You may recall that when we first came to the farm, Ralph had a sidekick, Bert. Bert made himself scarce when the kittens arrived. He was replaced by Tom, a very bold male cat, who came around every so often. Once we had Easter spayed, Tom lost interest.
Cow Cat started coming to visit more than a year ago when Easter was still here. Easter left last fall, but Cow Cat has stayed. He’s been around so long that Matt insisted that he had to have a proper name. He is now known as Harold. Harold is still super duper skittish, so we’re not even sure he’s a he. We’ve made some progress, though. Last spring, his reaction when he saw us was bolt or pancake.
He doesn’t let us get too close, and he still runs away if we come into the barn while he’s there. However, he will now stay in the barn and just watch us from the corner.
While he may not like us, he seems to like Ralph. I’m glad she has a buddy. She definitely is our best girl and deserves only good things. Happy Ralph day, girl.
Are you a cat or a dog person? Or are you both? Any tips to help us warm up Harold? How do you celebrate your pet’s birthdays?
We are definitely “dog people” but I will always have a cat out in the barns! Our current cat is actually my dog’s own cat! She was probably dropped off near my house (in the country) as a kitten and was scared to death of me. She spent all of her time in my German Shepherd’s pen! But she was scared of me! Before I could get her to the vet, she had a litter of kittens, IN MY DOG’s HOUSE! That’s how I found them actually, one morning the dog (named Treu) was yipping and barking at something in his house. I was afraid I might find a cornered opposum or even worse a snake. Instead I found 2 newborn kittens! I found out the next day that she had two more in the floorboard of my old Mustang that was parked in the garage! I was NOT happy! I gathered all the brand new kittens into a proper box where she raised them until I could find them homes.
I decided since the cat was apparently not leaving, I better name her. And since she was actually Treu’s cat, I thought I better name her what I thought he would call her. Her name is “Ruff”.
That’s a great story! Good for Treu for being so accommodating of her, and good for you for bringing her into your family. I love the name.
She’s the same weathered grey as the barn! How very fitting. And she looks soooo much better than when you got there. We are dog and cat people as well. I can’t imagine life without them! And as far as Harold goes, have you tried kitty treats? Maybe a couple rolled in his direction every time you come to the barn, and see if in time he becomes less afraid. He’s a very pretty cat as well.
We try leaving him little piles of treats. After I snapped his photo, I left him some treats at the edge of the loft. When I came back into the barn later, he was gone but the treats were still there. We’ll keep at it. We also try to make sure he sees us with Ralph and sees how comfortable she is with us. I’m not sure if logic works with cats, but I figure it can’t hurt.
I love this post! It’s my favorite so far 🙂
I’m probably more of a dog person, but boy do I love cats as well. I bet Harold will become friendlier as he gets more and more used to you on his own time.
Thanks so much!