The City Girl Farmer


So Long, Sam
January 30, 2012, 3:10 pm
Filed under: Cats | Tags: , , , ,

A basket of kittens

Our favorite cat (and that’s saying a lot because we have many if you count the ones populating our barn) died on January 12th at 7:00 in the morning.  He was a seal point Siamese and I can remember the intense anticipation with which we awaited his arrival into the world.  I am generally not a purebred snob, but I love Siamese cats and so he was ordered in advance of his birthday, December 23, 2002.  The breeder sent us this picture of a basket full of kittens which we printed and posted on our refrigerator while we endured another two months of waiting.

Bringing Sam home

We finally got word that he was available to be picked up and Thomas and I made the trek up to Fort Collins to retrieve him.  He (the cat, not Thomas) cried all the way home.  I still remember that.  He has been around since the kids were little (they’re big teenagers now), always ready to warm a lap or to play and there is a hole around here that is empty because he is gone.  He was a sweet, affectionate and intelligent cat.  We will miss him so much.

Sam's grave

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Fighting the City Girl
November 16, 2010, 5:52 pm
Filed under: Cats | Tags: ,

Every once in a while our rather idyllic life is spoiled by something sad, like an animal dying.  It is one of those hard realities of farm life.  I”m trying to fight the city girl that I was for over 40 years and learn to take these things in stride.  Old habits die hard, though.  Today I was going out to give the calf his bottle and milk the cow when I was loudly greeted by our latest batch of barn kittens.  They are almost 8 weeks old now and quite adorable.  They came running to me, meowing. Only this morning there was a ‘meow’ that was louder than normal.  I almost ignored it but it was really loud and insistent.  I quickly counted the ones that had greeted me and noticed one was missing.  So I followed the noise and found her—alive, but crushed under a cinder block that landed just above her pelvis across her back.  Now if this cat had disappeared to be coyote or hawk food, I wouldn’t have batted an eye but when I lifted the cinder block and watched her crawl away dragging her hind end, I was really upset.  I picked her up and brought her inside to be cuddled and comforted by the kids while I tried to figure out what to do.  I even called the vet to see if we should just put her down or if there was a chance she could recover.  I had already decided that this cat was not going to the vet.  Barn cats adopt us—we can’t adopt an infinite number of veterinary bills.  After talking to a vet tech who was not very reassuring, we decided to keep her inside for the rest of the day and then make a decision.  When all else fails, procrastinate!  I am happy to report that she is much improved.  So much, in fact, that I put her outside with her siblings again.  She has one rear leg that still isn’t quite right, but I’m optimistic she’ll recover.  The whole ordeal has left me kind of depressed, though.

All is right with the world again

 

Note:  I have learned that cats do not fear large animals with hooves that could crush them into oblivion.  This particular kitten has been stepped on twice by a cow that I have observed.  Each time I wince fearing what I might see when the cow finally decides to move.  Each time I’ve seen a scared but alive kitten run off to a corner, just to be back at the next milking waiting to be crushed again.  I suspect that one of the cows kicked the cinder block accidentally and kitty was in the wrong place at the wrong time.



Kittens at City Girl Farm
November 5, 2009, 8:51 pm
Filed under: Cats

Kittens were born in the middle of September here at City Girl Farm.  We picked up the momma cat a day or two before she delivered her babies.  She disappeared pretty much when she got here and I thought she just didn’t want to stay here.  A couple of days later she came out and she was so small I thought she was a completely different cat!  I didn’t recognize her.  There are three sets of pictures in this gallery:  the first were taken as soon as we discovered their hideout, the second ones were taken once their eyes were open and the last ones were taken today.  We’re guessing they’re about seven weeks old.



Trip to the Butcher in Simla
July 27, 2009, 8:23 am
Filed under: Cats, Chickens, Other animals | Tags: , , , , ,

The coolest thing happened the other day.  I had ordered some organ meat from the butcher to make cat food for Sam, our asthmatic Siamese cat.  Naively, I had asked for  6 (beef) hearts and 6 livers thinking that would be about 20 lbs of meat or so.  I was quoted a price of $1.50/lb. and told it would be ready in a few days.  I went to pick it up last Friday and the meat was not ready.  I was told to meet the butchers at the meat locker so we waited while some guy loaded up the beef  he had ordered.

Moses lurking around the food processing project

Moses lurking around the food processing project

You should know that the butcher and local grocery store is run by a Dutch family that has been in the meat business for 9 generations according to local legend.  The latest is first generation American.  Mama and Papa still have very thick Dutch accents and the kids speak American English with an occasional odd pronunciation.  The children are young adults being groomed for taking over the family business.

My squeamish daughter taking a poke at a beef liver

My squeamish daughter taking a poke at a beef liver

Anyway, it’s finally our turn and the son takes my cooler into the locker and loads it up and he comes back apologizing because the cooler only could contain 4 livers and 4 hearts.    He said, “I couldn’t fit any more in and it weighed out at 60 lbs.  I figured you probably didn’t really want more than that.”  Well, I did some quick calculations of how my grocery budget was about to be decimated, quietly crapped a small brick, and asked him if I should pay him there or in the store.  The father and son kind of hemmed and hawed and the son said, “What do you think?  She’s buying 60 lbs.  What do we charge, a dollar a pound?”

“60 lbs.?  Fifty cents.”

“OK.  Fifty cents.  Thats about $30.  You can pay us here.”

I gave them $35 and just as I was about to leave, I asked if they ever have any hog back fat and/or leaf lard available for purchase.  The son said it was funny I should ask because he had been in the mood for cracklin’s that day and just happened to have some lard already rendered.  The father then proceed to scoop it into another lawn bag while the son gave me a quick tour of the meat locker.  They handed me the lard at the end of my “tour”  in a lawn bag and a cardboard box.   I asked him how much I owed and he said, “Don’t you use that to make pie crust?”

The city girl farmer taking lard from the lawn bag and putting it into jars to freeze

The city girl farmer taking lard from the lawn bag and putting it into jars to freeze

So I’ll be bringing a pie to the butcher in a few weeks.



Meet Moses
September 27, 2008, 10:30 am
Filed under: Cats | Tags: , ,
Moses

Moses

A few years ago, I had a weak moment and let my daughter adopt a cat from a local rescue.  She promised that she would take care of feeding, clean-up and vet bills.  How could I refuse?  A cute kid AND a cute kitten—I had no chance.  Since then, my son has often pointed out what an unfair parent I am since I would not agree to having him do the same thing.  It wasn’t because I loved him less, it was that our house was getting full.  We had a dog, two cats and two rabbits with 1400 sq. ft. of living space.  Now that our house is twice as big PLUS 40 acres outside, I could no longer refuse.

Moses arrived when he was 10 weeks old and he soon had me wrapped around his paw.  He is very outgoing and friendly.  He’ll chirp at you and when you pet him he purrs that loud kitten purr and he acts as if everyone loves him, even the “big” cats.

Evidence that Moses thinks everyone loves him

Evidence that Moses thinks everyone loves him

He will tackle them just to get attention.  Usually Sam (the Siamese) will begin to groom him and then you hear the kitten motor turn on.  That’s all it takes for me!  The sweet little baby can have whatever he wants!

Moses and Sam

Moses and Sam