Do you see what I see?
I see a small impression in the hay, where a little barn cat found warmth for the night. (Only animal around here that is about that size.)
And then there is this:
The baby goats wanted their share of the camera, too. Anyway, I digress, but they are so cute. (You can read about the adventure of their kidding here.)
When you live in the middle of nowhere, barn cats are a necessity. You might hate cats, or you might love them. Regardless, they help to keep the rodent population under control. Rodents that carry diseases, etc. Rodents that find their way into feed storage containers and contaminate them, as well as, eating their fare share.
When we moved to the farm we had quite a chore to deal with. There were 5 known unaltered cats on the farm. That number exponentially grew within a year. The 3 females I knew about all had a litter of about 4-8 kittens. By the following spring we had a total of 35 cats and kittens. We were busy trapping, spaying/neutering, and vaccinating them. The locals in the area were surprised but cats do carry their own share of diseases, as well as, over population can attract predators – neither of which I wanted. Also, there is the matter of stewardship, I didn’t create the problem, but I did inherit it. After about 1.5 years, we are down to a stable 11 cats – one that I enjoy allowing in the house to keep my lap warm.
Strangely enough, I befriended this little kitty using a grasshopper. And now, while I am on the homestead, she follows me everywhere. She stills prefers the outdoors, but comes inside in the evenings to cuddle.
All the other cats have straw to nestle in the barn and in my garden shed. (I like to make sure they all have a nice warm, dry place to hunker down in.)
For the Denver Metro area, Metro Denver Cat is a great organization to help with trapping and fixing our not-so-friendly feline neighbors. They were a life-saver for me!