How did this happen?? I've always been a huge animal lover but somehow, I have become a crazy cat lady. Not quite like living as a hoarder with 200 cats and one litter box in my house crazy cat lady, or wearing an old house dress and eating cat food with my cats as I discuss the weather with them crazy cat lady, but one wearing slippers and pj's outside at 11pm calling the cats to make sure they're in the barn crazy cat lady. (OK, was that the longest run-on sentence you've ever seen? See, I am getting a bit crazy)
It all started when my nephew Nathan texted me back at the end of September. He wanted to know if I could take in Molly and Too Shy, my ex-brother-in-law's cats. They had to move into the city and the kitties weren't adjusting to city life well. Or the city wasn't adjusting to them. He said they were barn cats and we had a barn and life on a farm, so it all made sense. I talked to Roland about it and since Nathan assured me they were great hunters, we thought it would be good to have them keep critters out of the barn. So we said sure.
We have Buddy, Roland's beautiful black kitty that he has had for six years. Roland likes animals but hadn't ever named Buddy. He would call her "my little buddy" so I named her that - and she does come when called. Maddie started hanging around about 6 months or so ago. Maddie is also black, with just a spot of white on the chest. I thought Maddie was a girl but wasn't sure since I could never get close. In the last few months, Maddie now comes when called to eat and I finally got close enough to look. I looked but still wasn't sure. I've never seen an non-neutered cat and at first thought maybe she had some matted fur. Well two matted furs. So Maddie is a boy that so far has managed to avoid my live trap so he can make a visit to Humane Ohio. Buddy, however, has enjoyed getting into the live trap to get some mackerel.
And on top of this I have Elliott Stabler, my house kitty. Elliott Stabler - named after my favorite TV character on "Law & Order SVU" - stays strictly inside, although he looks longingly outside all the time. I tell him that out there, he has to find food before he becomes someone else's food. I'm not sure he believes me.
And Reuben the dog. There are more animals on this farm than people.
So we started off with Molly and Too Shy in the barn. But I worried they would get lost, hit on the road or try to walk back to Newark - 150 miles away. I would go in and check on them 3x a day the first two weeks because I wouldn't let them out of the barn. Then Buddy quit going into the barn to sleep because Too Shy was claiming turf and Miss Molly (Roland sings "Good Golly Miss Molly" to her) would hiss and hide. And Maddie wanted to go into the barn but was too chubby to get through the hole the get into it. Then, when Miss Molly and Too Shy started going out of the barn, they didn't always come back. Thus, I would be wandering around at night in my jammies and slippers calling for them so I could get them inside at night. And low and behold, Miss Molly and Too Shy are lap kitties who follow me around all the time and love people. They run to get into the house if they can beat me to the door. Then Elliott Stabler freaks out.
Think your life is tough? Look at all this drama I'm dealing with.
So, we finally worked out a solution. Miss Molly and Too Shy love the farm store. It has a pot belly stove, new beds for them and people for them to see. They go outside during the day and sleep in there at night. Buddy and Maddie are awaiting their new custom built dog house that has been converted to a cat house (not the money making kind), with two floors and plenty of straw - it's even shingled - to stay warm, toasty and away from predators. And everyone gets good and healthy cat food and we haven't seen one mouse, mole or any other critters near or in the barn.
I won't even think about getting chickens, cows or pigs.