I’ve had dogs all my life. They catch my eye wherever I see them out in the world, and my husband always knows where my attention will go when we’re out on the street. It’s a little inside joke between us because I am so predictable. I think I am more attuned to dogs than to people, sometimes.
At home, my own dogs are closely connected to my awareness and I can sense what they are feeling and what they want me to know about their needs. It’s just natural, and its often a two-way street.
Cats, on the other hand, are foreigners. I don’t “get” an animal who doesn’t care much about my attention unless it is to accomplish their own aims. Some of my best friends are cat lovers and the fact that they can appreciate an animal that doesn’t adore them back seems to point out my own flawed character.
Perhaps I am going to change that, starting today. As I suspected, now that there is animal feed stored in the barn, we have developed quite a mouse population. My husband cleaned the barn last week and was grossed out by mouse nests, droppings, and live creatures scattering every time he went to clean out a new drawer or shelf. Time for a working barn cat.
Meet Emerald, the new hire. I picked her out of the lineup at the local shelter. I wanted a mouser who did not have a great need for human interaction, and they suggested she might fit the bill. Her huge green eyes suggested the name to me.
“Emmie” came home in a cardboard cat box and I closed up the barn before setting her free. I planned to play with her for a while and get some nice pictures for the blog, but she immediately shot under the shelves and hid so I may never see her again. Good thing I took one photo before leaving the shelter.
My aim is to make Emmie the queen of the barn to patrol all night and sleep during the day. That means she needs to learn that this is her new home. I set up a nice food/water station and a cat climbing tower so she could hop up and look out the window. I bought her a cat litter box but eventually I’d like to open the barn overhead door just a crack so she can go do her business outside.
That’s once she feels like the barn is her home, so I plan to keep her closed up inside for a few days.
For now, here is my view of Emerald. Don’t see her? Neither do I but I know she is somewhere in the dark spidery recesses under the bottom shelf. Maybe one day she’ll trust me enough to come out and visit when I enter the barn.
Will I ever relate to cats?