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Tuesday, 1 November 2016

On me, accepting strays and being proud of it.

Hello everybody.
If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow; but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much.” ― Mark Twain
Some of you may have seen my posts yesterday, I have gotten an emergency message from my friend, who happens to be the local veterinary doctor, that there is a small yellow kitten in need of a forever home. It was a stray cat, not a feral & biting kind of a street-wanderer. A stray cat (definition) is a cat who has been socialized to people at some point in her life, but has left or lost her domestic home, as well as most human contact and dependence. Someone has decided they could no longer facilitate this particular kitten and gave him the "one ticket out" from their home.

There's always a place in MY hotel. :)
Adoption is the most fun and the most crucial of all cat decisions. 

For me, taking up a cat is something I can make my mind about in an instant. Cats, in all shapes or sizes, from all the places, are always welcome in my home
Oh, mind that, I do have a rather LARGE dog, but she has her own enclosed area of the yard and garden - and that's why I am so comfortable with this idea.. having a loose dog - cats might not be at their safest in your home. However, I have had a Russian hound living in a state of absolute peace with our four cats. I suppose it all depends of the parties included. :)
Truth be told, I have never really been the cat-owner. On the other side, our home (my mom's & dad's house, where I used to live until last year) has never been without cats. Lots of cats. How are those two statements standing together, and how can they both be true?! Because, I have always brought cats home (never have I had bought a kitten or got it from a breeder) and gave them food, shelter, cuddles, toys.. but I don't claim to "own" any of them. They are just.. there. Free to make their own choices.
Neil Gaiman, in his book "Coraline" wrote: "Now you people have names. That's because you don't know who you are. We know who we are, so we don't need names.” This is something I firmly believe to be true. Cats are the Artists of the animal world. They presence makes a house - a home. But, come to think of it - having an outdoor & farm cat means he/she is mostly liberated from our rules, we should not expect them to sit on our front porch for the duration of the night, nor do they need our constant attention. When a farm cats needs your presence, she'll make it clear - most probably by jumping onto you while you're de-podding peas and force every single seed to scatter; or something equally annoying. Fail to acknowledge his/her presence and you just might have an "issue" around your favorite pot of most beautifully blooming flowers.

Why, then, we keep cats?! THIS is why.
(I understand there are pro-mice people out there, I respect you guise)

I live in such an area that most of the homes are actually homesteads. We all raise livestock, have crop gardens, some kind of machines, we pile up our woods for the winter, we have a lot of life - and some of it might be of the rodent kind. Only a healthy, strong cat will be able to hunt these pests most effectively (when a rodent eats through your sausages and invades your living space, we call it a nuisance that needs to be eliminated, until they eliminate your hard work and food sources).

There is a myth that homesteading, farm or barn cats won’t catch mice and rats if they are fed. This is absolutely not true, and could not be further from the truth. We have had cats in our household, doing "the work"and those cats should be fed twice daily and have fresh water at all times. A water bowl  with warm water must be provided in the winter (cats can't lick ice, at least they never did in my house). The cats should also have access to shelter, such as a place in the shed, top of the barn, a simple box filled with cozy rags and worn-out clothes.

So, I got a cat?!

Nope.. I got TWO cats, actually.
(picture matches their description)  :)

Here's the thing: some of you might have seen my posts, and know that I have went out and got myself a yellow cat yesterday, since he needed a place to live. While I was still wrapping my mind around what corner of the room to use as his meal area, my uncle got the news and decided that one cat is not enough for me. As of today, I have got another one - another boy, moved from my uncle's house in a box and placed safely with the first arrival.
No drama happened between them (hint: leave a LOT of food in one large plate and the tow should get along just fine from day one - tried and tested over many cat generations)
Hopefully after a couple of weeks, they have come to accept  their space as “home” and I will let them roam around the empty space as they please. Later, as the time passes, I will feel free to give them access to the outdoors without any problems.
It all takes time. Adjustment is not a simple thing one can do in an afternoon, especially for the outdoor, free-space and a big yard Guardians Against Pest. :) Biting, vocalizing, breaking things, running with flash-light in the chilly night yelling your cats name (just to find it waiting for you at the top of the cellar, with that "you called - I failed to care about it" smirk on the face) - all of those situations are going to happen. I've been there.
Joyful times ahead.
Do you approve of outdoor cats?
Have you considered adopting a stray?
Are you a "cat-person"?


  1. Mine were a pair of feral kittens - they were found at about 10 weeks old, so just outside the recommended age for socialising, so we had to be very quiet with them and give them lots of space. We also kept them indoors for the first three months, to give them time to really bond with their new home. They go outdoors now though - they have their own little door. They need the space of the outdoors, and love climbing trees and fences.

    Your new kittens are so cute :-D I loved seeing the photos of them. I'm definitely a cat person!

    1. I know, and must say: you are a DARLING for taking them.
      Especially knowing that they were feral, and that one of them has a cross-eyes. I suppose that's what being humane is all about, right?

    2. I sometimes look at them and wonder how their lives might have been if we hadn't taken them on. They're such lovely cats now, they just needed peace and quiet and a bit of patience. They never scratch or lash out (well, unless we're putting them in their crates to go to the vet!).

      As for the crossed eyes, they're so cute! I was surprised the rescue charity thought that would put us off. I love my crosseyed cat.

    3. Don't bother wondering.. I say: they have found heaven at your door. :)
      Never did I regret getting a cat, and giving it a home. In more than one occasion the cat NEVER learned to be super-close to me, or any human. Still, I fed them, and they kept near, they even followed me around, but their nature prevented them from getting into "cuddle-me" mode. I don't mind that, they are still welcome at my home.