Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Barn Cats

I was at a farm last night for the Cumberland County 4H dairy judging which involves members of every dairy project judging four yearling Holsteins then presenting their placements and reasons why to the farmer. As the last few members presented, I wandered out of the heifer barn into the adjoining space to check out a few calves (bull calves, I'd learn later, the youngest born on Friday, its black, shrivelled umbilical cord still hanging from its belly).
I happened to glance up in the corner and spied this crowd gazing down at me. Many of them are wild, Kara the farmer told me, but most of them have names and four of them are special to her. Behind them is a hole leading into the hayloft; the ramp was installed after one of the special cats lost her leg in a piece of  machinery and needed help reaching her kittens in the hayloft.
"If we hadn't installed the ramp, I don't think they ever would have come down here," Kara said. 
Having a dozen cats around, and two dozen eyes watching, doesn't bother her. "We don't have any birds or mice in the barn."

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