Who: Jay & Michelle
What: Looking for some new cats for our farm, which we found!
Why: Several weeks ago, my cat Jingle Bells disappeared (and no, she never did show back up). I’m not sure what happened to her, but the loss of JB meant that our other cat Flurry was quite lonesome…
When: A lady at our church volunteers for a place that takes in stray cats and dogs, so I called them up and made an appointment to go visit the cats there one recent Saturday. I figured if there were a lot of cats to choose from, I could find one with a good personality that would fit in to our farm.
How: The volunteers took me into a small room that was an enclosed sun room, where in the winter time, the barn cats could be inside but in a cooler room (acclimated to cold weather). The facility was full of cats, but was surprisingly clean and tidy! There are a lot more lovely kitties that would enjoy being Christmas gifts for someone in your family!
Only two cats came up to me for attention. They were both super friendly and begging to be petted, which is what I was looking for. when my nieces and nephews visit, I want the cats to be the type that want attention (and as everyone who knows Flurry knows, he is a one-person cat and a snob, not really kid material…)
Those were the two, I knew. Jay came in to check them out and agreed they were nice cats, so we did the necessary paperwork and drove them home!
[Note: this is an excellent way to find an animal. Many of these animals have been in the shelter for several months like ours were, desperate for their own family to be part of. The two we purchased were already spayed, and on arrival received rabies vaccinations, yearly vaccinations, treatment for mites, and the volunteer de-wormed them before we left with them. This is win-win for everyone: The CVAS needs homes for the cats: I cannot imagine what upkeep costs to keep 70+ cats fed and sheltered! We needed more cats for the farm but did not want to go through the issues of spaying/neutering (or worse, having kittens to raise and find homes for), plus the costs for vet visits, rabies, etc. is all skyrocketing in our “modern” world. Like I said, everyone benefited, especially the cats!]
Profile: Cat #1 –
Name: Licorice (we kept the name the shelter gave her)
Approximate age: 9-12 years old
Size: 4-6 pounds
Number of months in shelter: 5
Personality: Shy at first, then warms up and likes to grab onto my hand as a way of saying, “Stay here and pet me!” She is shy about being petted on the head, almost like someone used to punish her by hitting her. Hopefully we can grow in trust to where she stops being jumpy at first.
Profile: Cat #2 –
Name: Noel (we changed her name to this)
Approximate age: 2-4 years old
Size: 14 pounds
Number of months in shelter: 5
Personality: Large, attentive, sweet. She maintains her own space by growling with Flurry or Twitch (neighbor cat who is not supposed to be in our barn eating Noel’s cat food.) but at the same time is very gentle with Licorice.
We were not sure how two adult cats would take to being moved to a new home, but they did surprisingly well! Noel hid out for three days, and I got a bit worried. I could always find her, but she was not coming out on her own or eating much. Licorice on the other hand was always around our feet, wanting to be pet. The volunteers worried more about the older cat adapting, but she knew her luck to be out of a group home and into our farm world and took the change happily. Noel took longer to convince.
So, we started putting out a small dish of milk at each milking for the new cats to enjoy. And then I crawled in behind the wood pile to find Noel and set her on my lap for a few minutes, petting her and encouraging her to drink some milk. There was no looking back.
Within a few days, she was jumping everywhere and ready to go outside. Once outside, she ran to the barn and wouldn’t come back. Licorice soon followed. They are now enjoying their new life on their $3 Wal*Mart pillows high atop third cutting alfalfa. My worries about adult cats adapting were unfounded, they seem to act as if they’ve lived here their whole lives. They venture out a little bit, but still stick close to the barn.
Come spring I’m sure the gophers are going to be in real trouble!
Oh, and in case you are wondering, Flurry has not made friends with Noel. They avoid each other after two fights (one caused by Flurry, one instigated by Noel) and Flurry uses this situation as a good chance to beg to become an indoor kitty.
Maisie has three cats to be afraid of now. She looks like “the boss” but is the poor low-man-on-the-totem-pole. Given time, I bet everyone will adjust to their roles and blend in quite nicely!
5 December 2013
Licorice has newly declared the basement as home, now that the temperature has dipped down to the teens. Noel stays outside during the day, but is starting to think the old green sleeping bag is a nice spot to snuggle up with Licorice at night!
I love these new cats, they have fit in perfectly and are 100% sweet to everyone they meet!!!