We have had a bunch of new orange kitties join the farm family recently! I’m entertained that they are all some version of plain, orange tabbies.
First is Ouiser Boudreaux, or Ouisie. Ouisie was born at the farm and adopted by a friend of a friend as a kitten. Her adopter was a lovely family with 3 young boys. Well, it turns out that Ouiser isn’t crazy about being in a family with a bunch of young kids as well as a new kitten. They felt bad that she was having to live in a room alone and that she was pretty grumpy about life so asked if I would consider taking her back. I, of course, didn’t hesitate to reclaim the orange kitty.
She has to be a house kitty because she was declawed so she mostly just lives in my sewing room now. She’s never been around dogs so between the foster chihuahuas barking at her and my not wanting her to have free range access to the doggy door, she is very happy in her cat room. She has 2 nice windows where she can lay in the sun and an unlimited amount of fabric to make her bed.
The other three yellow tabbies are “feral” cats from a co-worker. Said co-worker had a neighbor that moved away and left about 9 cats to fend for themselves. The cats seemed feral so co-worker and spouse trapped all the cats, got them spayed or neutered and found primarily barn homes for the cats. We got 3 of said feral cats, but as it turns out two of them are decidedly not feral! We kept them in feral cat cages (as advised by a barn cat non-profit group we got feral cats from a few years ago) to get them acclimated to our scent, their new home and life in general. After feeding and changing litter just a couple times two of the cats started coming forward for rubs and to check us out. Definitely not something that normal feral cats will do with humans!
After two weeks in their feral cage we let them out in a horse stall in our old barn where we have the most rodent activity. They stayed in their room for about 24 hours and then one of them wasn’t there. After a couple days they all left the stall, but we didn’t see them anywhere in the barn. We lost a chicken most likely to a coyote within the same timeframe so were worried about the kitties. Until we found them. In Boot City’s shop!
They seem to like to sleep on the shelves in the shop and come out periodically for attention. I think it is hilarious, Boot City is somewhat annoyed. There are sometimes rats in the shop so it isn’t all bad. Over the course of the past weekend they started going outside more and more. We aren’t letting the dogs out for a few days because they just chase and scare the cats. Hopefully the kitties will get their bearings about the place and learn to high tail it up a tree or another high place when the dogs are out. This is the trouble with sighthounds, if something runs they want to chase!
Murtagh, the kitten that lives in my tack room in the horse barn also found his way to the ferals. He first found them when they were in cages and spent a day or so just hanging out in their room. Boot City has photos documenting this interaction. After we let them out he again went to find them and they played in the shop together this weekend. We don’t let Murtagh out during the day when we aren’t home because he has so much white we worry he’d get taken by an owl (we lose a lot of cats to birds of prey), but we do let him out on days when we are home and he loves to wander around the buildings.
Hopefully the pseudo-ferals make good choices and are around for a long time, but we know how brutal barn cat life can be and hope for the best!