Does every farm have barn cats, I hope so because they are such fun and very hard workers! A good barn cat is one of the very best ways to keep mice numbers down and just generally make a barn a nice place to be. I have had barn cats around my farm from my earliest memory and they have always brought their character and attitude to my life.
A barn cat earning his keep [Google Image]
Now we are in town until we get the new place we just have a very pampered house cat.
Picassa sleeping by the heater!
Even this sleepy thing can wake up and do what cats love to do, stalk things. When our landlord had to replace some valves in the back of the shower he left the access to the crawlspace open. Picassa was thrilled as in the process some mice got in to the house. It did not take her long to solve the problem as cats have done for centuries! Picassa 2- Mice 0!
We know we will need cats and have been looking for places to get them. There is a wonderful program called Barn Buddies that finds farm homes for Feral and semi feral cats.
Here in town we had a neighbor who fed feral cats, two calico's! It did not take long for them to populate our street with kittens.
This is Ernest...I can almost pet him, almost. He loves to sit in the sun on the warm
concrete of the front step. Then he can look in the front glass door
and see how the pampered house cat lives.
The families grew to 15 cats of assorted colors and gender! We knew we had to have a talk with the neighbor, for one thing he was on a fixed income and it was costing him a lot to feed them all and secondly they were not all getting enough to eat, some also had ear mites. We called animal rescue and they came and trapped quite a few, some went to the pound and some went to St Francis of Assisi, a group that finds farm homes for feral cats in this part of Virginia. Ernest found a home nearby which was nice as he is a sweet cat. There are two neutered males left and they are workers. Catching mice in the garden and in the shed out back.
In cold weather they live under the shed. One day Ralph picked up a dreadful looking heavy overcoat at Goodwill. I asked him what he wanted it for as he has good coats! He said "Oh just for dirty work in the garden." I caught him stuffing it under the shed in a sheltered corner....yes for a bed for the cats.
A farm cat watching us when we went to get some apples. He looks ferocious but soon came over to help,
he had a purr like a tank and kept trying to get in the back of the car.
Then he heard a rustle in the grass and went hunting!
We look forward to stocking our farm with assorted barn cats. They are an integral part of any small farm or homestead both for pest control and simple entertainment. There really is nothing like a group of good barn cats!