SmithFarmsWest.com

OUR JOURNEY FROM CITY TO COUNTRY

Shortly after we moved to the farm I did a major “cleaning” of the “barn”. I use cleaning and barn losely since a barn is never really clean and the barn is more of a really big shed, but it is very helpful for storing our hay and giving the lambs an indoor place to retreat from the elements. So, I swept and even vacuumed up cobwebs. This makes me laugh now because the cobwebs were somewhat gone for perhaps a week or so. For some reason I thought I could stay one step ahead of the spiders and keep the barn free of all intruders. Nope. I’ve now learned that I can’t keep the spiders out, or the kittens.

Right after cleaning the barn I was walking around inside and thought I had found a dead animal. After turning the light on and getting a little closer, I realized it was actually a pile of kittens! They were obviously cold and hungry and I was worried and a bit freaked out. I wasn’t afraid of them, but I knew once my daughter saw them she would want to keep them and I knew once my dogs saw them they would want them to go away.

Thus began the start of saving the kittens. I of course turned to Facebook for advice from my cat-loving friends. They had great advice, most of which I followed. I drew the line though when it came to be being a surrogate mother to these kittens. We provided food in the area and the momma cat appeared to be coming back to the kittens to feed them and also eat the food we left out. Not long after we discovered them the momma cat moved the kittens. I thought our experience housing kittens was over, but no, it had just begun.

Next thing I knew these kittens were popping up everywhere! Sometimes they were in the backyard, close to the pool and we’d have to scoop one or two up with a shovel (afraid to touch them and have the mom smell us on the kitten and reject it) to move it to safety. If they spotted us out on the property doing farm chores, they’d follow us and end up too close to the house. We didn’t want them around the pool or especially the dogs. But, unfortunately, we were not successful.

Franklin (who has since crossed over the rainbow bridge) had a traumatic life experience with a kitten invading his house while he was just a puppy. He never got over the experience and ever since hated all kittens and cats. The kittens didn’t seem to understand this and would naively enter the dog pin. When the dogs would bark and run towards them, they would just freeze. There was this one night we heard all types of barking and carrying on outside. Before we knew it we found ourselves flying out the door, scantily clad and desperately trying to save the kitten from the jaws of our “vicious” (in reality, barely mobile, lazy and weeks from death) dog. I tried to spray Franklin with a hose to keep him away from the kitten, but nothing would stop him. Walking out through our open field, in pitch black darkness, with a kitten on a shovel is not a fun experience.

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