My farming friends have advised me that you need more than one barn cat. This was following a scare in which we found Emmie’s twin lying in a roadkill heap out on the highway in front of the farm. It was not her, though, and I’ve felt that much closer to Emmie ever since thinking we’d lost her.
Still, things happen. I am gradually learning to accept that living on a farm with free-ranging animals that we will lose some of them to predators, accidents, and maybe someday running away from home. My littlest hen, Scooter, disappeared last week and we’ll never know why. This points to the farm wisdom that you plan for losses by bringing in more animals than you think you need.
So, this weekend when the local shelter had a free adoption event, my husband went over and picked out a sweet little male kitty named Micky. I believe he is not full grown yet, as he acts playful and curious like a kitten and is smaller than Emmie. Micky loves to be held and snuggles up around my neck with his little purr motor rumbling under my hands.
The two cats have not yet become friends. It took no time at all to hear the back-of-the-throat hiss as Emmie faced off with this intruder. I am hoping it will gradually settle out and they will learn to enjoy each other’s company. Currently, Micky comes bouncing out from hiding when I come into the barn and begs me to pick him up for a cuddle. Emmie then sidles out and gives him the evil eye, putting him on fearful alert. I am trying to give them both lots of one-on-one attention so they learn that I don’t play favorites.
It’s surprising to me how quickly we have adapted to loving cats. My husband is terribly allergic and, as I have said, I am firmly a “dog person.” Still, the cat experience in the barn is just as sweet as sitting on the sofa with my beloved dogs. Who knew?