Ralph died last week.
The farm feels different.
I’ve never known the farm without Ralph. She was here before us. (Here’s her introduction on the blog.)
After she died, Ellie and I went for a walk. As we came up the trail toward the barn, I was hit by the thought that Ralph wasn’t here.
It doesn’t feel right. Another hole in our family.
I call Ralph the #worldsbestbarncat. Because she was. She was tough and savvy. Gentle and affectionate.
Our first spring was particularly memorable for the four kittens she gave us–and the realization she was female.
Everyday she would wait for Matt to come home from work, knowing that he’d head straight to the barn to dish out her kibble. Her habit of waiting on the driveway and demanding food and attention led to her broken leg–and her temporary stint as an indoor cat.
She bonded with Ellie from the beginning and was an exceptional babysitter. If I sat Ellie on the ground, Ralph would wind around her. Ellie would laugh and try and try to reach and pet. Ellie’s gentleness and affection for animals is rooted in Ralph and Baxter.
We have no idea how old she was or what her life was like before we came here. She was blind in one eye, pretty much deaf, almost toothless and lame (mostly a joke, since her leg healed very well). She did not like dogs, though she did come to tolerate Baxter. Even in her last weeks as she was weak and ill, she had the energy to hiss and swipe at Cigo.
Maybe she waited until Cigo was here. We have another furry family member to watch over us now. Her time here was done. Now she is with Matt and Baxter.
She gave us 10 special years, and she will always be part of this farm and our family.