I love the different expressions on our cats faces.
Every morning I am greeted with sweet meows, funny cat running, and the ones that walk right in front of me and then fall down all dramatically. I must always watch where I walk, because there are a couple that I swear are trying to trip me, so they can laugh while I’m on the ground.
I may be the crazy cat lady right now, but I’m ok with that. I’ve raised all but four of the cats you see in the video following. It’s also heartbreaking sometimes.
I keep a spreadsheet of them all because I administer all of their shots, and flea/tick treatment. But some days it’s sad because I go in to do my treatments, and update the chart, and I see so many that aren’t with us for now.
Let me explain why, in a real world visual.
I love the different expressions on our cats faces. All 16 of them. Love and Loss
I don’t “own” the cats, I feed, and take care of them and the property where they are located. They have heated houses, a barn, and a heated garage they go into. I have a couple of very bonded females (Bubbles and Millie), and they will sleep together in one of the houses.
One year I came out to work, and was setting up the mower, after I had fed everyone, and a young adolescent named Starsky wasn’t greeting me. He was about 6 months old. But I had bonded with that cat like we had known each other in another life time. I was able to teach him to give me a high five on command, along with a few other tricks, very early on in his first few months of birth. He was very in tune with me and we were just an item. (Though I love them all).
Shortly after that, we started having quite a bit of predation from bobcats. And I think Starsky went by that way. I drove around 180 acres and searched in the woods, calling and crying for him all day.
I was heartbroken for what seemed like forever and ever. I shut down a little, and all my other cats started to notice, and they tried their best in cat meows, and loves, that they understood my pain.
I talk about loss because it’s inevitable. These are “barn cats”, but not your average barn cats. Some may ask, “but why can’t you keep them from dying?” The answer is simple, we vet them, get them shots, wormer, have warm places to sleep, but they are allowed to discover their own lives and create a little “pack” of their own. They are happy being “free”. But with freedom, comes nature. Luckily it stopped shortly after and I have been so thankful.
We keep one female open, and it’s very interesting how Tomcats arrive from nowhere, in the middle of nowhere when she comes in season. Last years Tom, bless his heart, was the most feral cat I have ever seen. I watched him catch a full grown rabbit one morning and eat the whole thing.
He started to come around more often, and I was feeding him, and he was becoming more calm. He wouldn’t let me get very close, but wouldn’t run off anymore. As I watched his progression, I realized he was very old, and had many battle scars.
One morning I went out to feed everyone and he was laying on our back patio furniture, which was very uncommon for him. As I looked closer I realized he was coming to his end of life. He felt safe enough to come here with all of our others, and die. I fed him what he would eat, but I found him gone, and buried him.
Why didn’t I take him to the vet? Because he had been wild his ENTIRE life. To cause him stress in his final days, by live trapping him, taking him into a vets office where he would be terrified, and then subsequently having him euthanized in what would have been a scary and unfamiliar place for him, seemed barbaric. Why take a wild animal out of his comfort zone, just so it could make his final days miserable? No, I won’t. So I talked soothingly to him, when I could walk by, offered food, but in the end he refused. And then the mighty Tom, was gone.
I think I did him right. I didn’t try to changed his life, stress him out, only show love and give food and water.
He is buried under a tree by the pond.
I tell this story about Tom because I feel that sometimes, like in his case, when an animal is completely feral, and decided to trust you (me in this case), to come closer during his end days,I should give him the respect to pass out of this life the way he wanted. He didn’t want me to mess with him, he just wanted a soft place to land for his final breath. I feel like I gave that to him. He passed on his genetics, which are VERY strong, to three of his kittens that we have. They will be a year in May. Three very different personalities, and three cats ingrained with a strong sense of survival.
Cats also don’t meow to other cats. They only meow to people. Their vocalizations between themselves don’t include the “People Meow”…..it’s a varying differences of noises, growls, hisses and face slaps. There are some days during the moon cycle where I feel like I’m a ref at a UFC fight sometimes. You can believe they get scolded for that, because they know EXACTLY what I’m saying. 😁
Anyway, here’s the video. Enjoy the many faces of our cats.