Friday, June 11, 2010

Cats Rule On Peaceful Forest Homestead!

Nutmeg, my little girl!

I have always had cats. Cats became my obsession, in fact. One time I had 12 cats because two of my cats had kittens at the same time. When I grew up and was out on my own I was able to have cats without having to keep them outside. My father could never understand that cats will go to the door if they do not have a litter box to use. It would be many years later before he finally learned that! I have had various cats over the years, but became enamored with the Siamese cat of which I still have special feelings for. Living out in the state forest in upstate New York, I keep my cats close to home if possible.

Nutmeg helping me pack for our move to Florida.

We now have three cats but my last Siamese was Nutmeg, and she passed away peacefully, gazing into my eyes telling me good-bye in July of 2006. I have times when I think I have seen her scurrying around the living room. Seriously! She is buried next to my herb garden where she used to follow me when I worked in my garden. She lived a long life of seventeen years. She moved more than a few times with us, going all the way to Florida in 1994. Then when my husband drove an over-the-road truck she traveled with us across the country. She was fun and demanding. If we were eating chicken, she'd be slapping our arms to give her tidbits at the table! Her position with the other animals was being the oldest, she was in charge. And the younger cats respected that.

Callie Cat has learned not to look at the camera!

Callie is a cat we got from the barn where my husband trained horses. She was born with two other kittens on a bale of hay. They had tons of barn cats there. Our dog, Nikita who went to work with us there would babysit the kittens for the mother cat. She would lay in the hay with the tiny kittens up against her and she loved them. She was still a young dog at the time so it was surprising that she would do that. Callie was the only kitten in the litter that would not let anyone touch her. Till my husband grabbed her one day and held her and petted her. He ended up bringing her home. She bonded with Nutmeg and has really missed her sleeping partner since she died. She is not afraid of anything or anyone. But she is a house cat and doesn't really go out hunting, maybe just sits in the sun or follows us around. She enjoys rubbing on the horses in the barn but that's about the extent of her day. Mostly sleeps. Oh, yeah, she loves to eat too.

Patches is the next cat we got. She was brought by her mother to my parents' house. Every time I went there she would jump in my car.........yet she would not come to anyone except my father. One day my mother said, either my niece or my daughter-in-law was going to take her home. I looked at her, picked her up and called in to my mother, "No they're not taking her. I'm taking her home with me." I could not stand the thought of this country cat moving to the city and all the dangers of living there. She loves it here. She can come and go all day long as she pleases. I make all my cats come in before dark, and they can't go out in the morning till it is light. I just don't feel it is safe out here in the forest.

Patches is a quiet cat, but has a loud meow when she wants something. She will meow at our dog, Nikita like she thinks Nikita can fill her dish or something. She will not touch human food no matter what. And won't eat canned cat food either. Only one brand of Purina cat chow, and she picks at it if I have to get another brand or type. All summer she smells like blackberry bushes as that is where she hangs out. One other thing she does is to take the other cats' beds. If one of them have a sleeping spot they like to go to, she will take it over, and they have to find a new spot. She does this all the time.If someone comes to visit, they will never see her. She stays hidden till she is sure they are gone. If she sees someone come up the driveway, or hears a noise, she growls as she runs up the stairs.

Hobo, our little hunter!

The last cat that came to live with us was Hobo in 2003. She appeared one night outside and Nikita chased her. But she came back. I fed her and the next morning she was here again. A tiny little thing. In the morning I could see she was bleeding from her head, her eyes, her nose and her mouth. She had other cuts on her feet. We had heard someone stop on our little one car bridge the day before, and they threw something off the bridge. We came to the conclusion it was Hobo that was thrown off the bridge. My husband thought he might have to shoot her to put her out of her misery. The only thing was that she didn't seem to be in pain. I started bathing her with my Essaic tea and giving her a little to drink. She recovered! She has no teeth but is my best hunter. She lives to hunt! Always out in the paddock with the horses hunting and running. Everywhere she goes, she trots. She is petite in size but very tough. Very lovable and follows my husband out in the woods. And snuggles up to him on cold winter nights.

So these are the little girls of Peaceful Forest Homestead. I love each and every one of them with all my heart. Even when I get mad at them for digging in my garden! As you probably know, cats are very demanding and they put you on their schedule. So if you stick to the schedule life can be very peaceful around your house. If out! They will do things you don't want them to do, until you learn to stick to their schedule. Who said people were in charge???? It is the animals who are in charge!

Hobo yelling at me because she got stuck in the house!

Copyright © 2010 Kathleen G. Lupole
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