Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Rocky Roads and we're not talking ice cream

Things on the farm have been rather tumultuous of late – so rocky, I have put off posting about it. When I started this farm blog, I vowed I would try not to sugar-coat the farm life..... Here I go......

Three weeks ago our mother kitty Lilly Pons ran off with her two remaining kittens Fern and Templeton – the kittens my good friends Alice and Linda were waiting to adopt. It’s not odd for Lilly Pons to disappear for a week or two but the kittens were only three months old. All three of us were worried, to say the least. We had faith they would re-appear as long as something wild didn’t get them. (They've got those wild, country cat genes.) Last week, the kittens were spotted by a neighbor’s barn. After two weeks, Fern was captured and is living here now. Linda is on her way to pick her up to take her away to live with her other three cats in New Hampshire. Poor little Templeton is still in the miss. I am tempting him by leaving bits of tuna fish and cat food in the general area he has been spotted in hopes he will find it and eat something besides rodents. He has been spotted just recently so keep your fingers crossed. Lilly Pons has come home twice but is again in the miss.

Our giant cat BooBooBoo disappeared about a month ago. He never did go very far, preferring a cool spot in the garden for a nap or the food bowl in the kitchen. The last time he went to the vet he weighed in at 26 pounds – he was like a little bear cub, hence his name. He was up in age and so I expect he just went away to expire in peace. He came to live here when my friend Linda was moving to North Carolina. He was supposed to be a farm cat and live with my brother-in-law’s cows and help with the rodent situation. I brought him to our house first after picking him up from Linda and he ran to the basement and hid for six weeks. We fed him but never saw him. Finally, one day, he bounded up the stairs and joined the family. He was like a grandfather to the other cats, adopting each new set of kittens with kisses and kindness. RIP BooBooBoo. Here he is with his favorite friend Ginger – they used to sleep all cuddled together, arms entwined.

A couple weeks ago, we got a call at 10:30 at night from my sister-in-law Debbie. Jeremy, the guard llama, who was guarding the lambs down at the other farm got hit by a car (he had jumped the fence - who knows why). The police arrived and luckily noone was hurt. A llama can do a bit of damage to a car though, if you are wondering. Jeremy walked away from the scene, hopefully the wiser about large metal objects, although who knows. He has been laying low, mending his sore leg. He seems to be up and about now but he’s slower than before. The coyotes must have noticed his ailment because the other night, they killed two lambs. We’re hoping he gets his fighting legs back soon.

It must be coyote pup season. The little lamb that was born out in the pasture about six weeks ago was killed the other night. There has been a lot of coyote hooting and hollering of late. I guess everyone has to eat.

So, how’s that for romantic, peaceful, life on the farm?


martha said...

So sorry about your losses. I think I'd rather just think things are as they seem in your beautiful pictures.

anmiryam said...

My overall impression is that farm life is hard work and filled with traumatic events a city girl like myself doesn't like to think about. Like Martha, I find it all too easy to just focus on the beautiful pictures and romanticize your day-to-day.

Willow said...

Realistic. I think in the long run it's better to know and undertand the realities of life. Kids should know where their McDonald's burgers come from. Actually farm life is kinder to wild things than inner city, urban life.

My brother lives on a farm in Oregon. The local owl has been seen carrying off the cats. That's one big owl!

Kathleen C. said...

I've never fooled myself that life anywhere was always romantic and peaceful. You live, you struggle, you rejoice, you die. And if you're an animal living in the country that dying part... may be to help some other one get a little of that joy part.
If you're lucky there's a whole lot more of that joy part than the others. It sounds like BooBooBoo (3 times?) had a lot of the good part. Our cat Spooky disappeared on us about a week before our wedding last year. Still sad about it, but... I hope we gave him a lot of that joy part too.
I'm not surprised that the coyotes targeted the newest lamb. The weakest members go first. But I do hope Jeremy the llama is back in fighting action soon!

Gammy aka Peggy said...

Thanks for sharing your wins and losses. I wasn't raised on a farm but visited my mother who had one so I do know something of the perils of farm like. Coyotes, wild dogs, vultures just waiting for that new calf to be born, turles pulling poor little duckies under the water, not to mention all the hard work and sweat. My heart goes out to you.

Mary Ann/Ca said...

Thanks for sharing your real life too! I loved the photos earlier this week of the shearing, wish I knew what to do with a fleece! My friends say I am about the worst knitter and not any better a crocheter but I do love the process and I admire all your beautiful pieces.

Anonymous said...

Hi KN,

Time for a Siena (nee Fern) update.

She has settled in quite well. The other cats are tolerating her - they still get a little hissy when she gets in their space, but I know Fred and MiaB are enjoying the new toys -- or the found-under-the-sofa toys that Siena has discovered. In about a week, I think she will have finally bonded with Emmanuella. There is more dust than ever - but otherwise all are as happy as cats can be.

Thanks for the rememberence of Boo3 (cubed -- those who never met him can better understand his size.)


crazy cat mama said...

I absolutely love the kitties!

Alicia P. said...

Oooowf. Jeez. You're making me want to watch "Babe" and keep my farm fantasies strictly on screen.

Hi honey. Just checking in on ya. Hoping all's well. xoxo, a

Anonymous said...

Cats do go to those "kitty konventions" in the woods.

Speaking of coyotes......I live smack dab in the center of MA, west of Worcester, and we have a HUGE coyote population. Lately, they are running and howling non-stop every night. One night last week, one was right under my bedroom window and I had to holler out at him to shut up. Well, he did, but after a minute or two, before he trotted off, he gave me a little WOOF back-talk. Like, nuts to you, lady. LOL At least he wasn't able to get at my rabbits! What a snack that would have been.


Felicia said...

Living close to the land does have its ups and downs. Your kitties are sweethearts.

PG said...

So sorry to hear things have been difficult - I have nothing but admiration for farmers all over the world, who struggle often against the odds - you are heroes! :)

Over here we have just had another outbreak of foot and mouth announced in Surrey, and rural communities are praying that it can be contained this time.