Posts Tagged With: Cat

Murder Most Foul -Hamlet

He dodged and dived, but she followed his every step. He squealed in fear; cowered; but she ruthlessly continued forward. She picked him up; threw him, lifted him and tossed him in the air as if he weighed nothing. When she grew tired of his mournful cries she cracked his backbone, bringing about a slow, excruciating end.

It’s not nice to play with your food. However, when that food is a mouse who makes the tack room his home, it’s imperative that he’s gone yesterday. They’re cute, they’re sweet, but unless they’re domesticated and caged, I don’t want them.

I noticed a small shadow running across my field of vision about a week ago. It came and went so swiftly, I thought I imagined it. Then it became a daily occurrence.

Eventually, I sat with a boarder in the tack room and saw him. The unmistakable grey shape flitted around bran mash buckets, then around the food containers.

Though little Mickey or Minnie seemed cute, I took action.

After the “Ugly Kitty” issues I’ve experienced with opossums, and knowing myself, I couldn’t use glue or live traps. I couldn’t kill him using the “Mousey Electric Chair” method. I decided to go the old-fashioned route.

I hired a hitman.

Stealthy, motivated, and opportunistic, Rue showed all the attributes needed to find the mouse. Sleek and small, the orange-haired wonder slid into the tack room with hardly a whisper of invitation. By the evening, she found and destroyed the mouse, severing its backbone with her teeth.


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The Ugly Kitty part 2

I gazed down upon him, hatchet in hand, waiting for him to attack. His movement would be my cue to deal the death blow.

My inner Katniss Everdeen yelled, “Kill him! Skin him and wear his pelt as a hat!”

I waited.

And waited.

Our standoff lasted forever–or at least five minutes.

“This will be epic,” my inner twelve year-old said. “I’m going to take on the oppossum and win this time. No more sending him next door to oppossum heaven. I’m going to bloody this hatchet and win against my inner pacifist and I’ll take care of this ‘possum so he never ever ever comes back.”

(My inner twelve year-old enjoyed Gary Paulson books. Especially Hatchet.)

The adult me said, “I can grab the live trap and fill it with kitty food and he’ll get trapped and I can go on with my day.”

The adult me panicked.

“Then what?” She asked. “What will I do with this oppossum? I can’t keep sending them next door to Mike. I’m sure he already believes me to be a Wuss (with a capital W.) The ponies are babied here and we treat them more like kids than livestock (because I firmly believe horses are not livestock. They’re pets and/or super-sized furbabies.)

“So what then, genius?”

My inner twelve-year old wavered. Katniss pushed for a swift death. The adult me begged for guidance.

They all got together and made a decision.

“We’re gonna poke him with the hatchet!” they squealed in glee. “If he bites it, we’ll know he’s really a mean oppossum and we should definitely kill him.”

My tentative poke on his gumline turned into a stroke along his back. He hissed, then latched his gaze on to me.

“Don’t kill me,” his hiss said. “Don’t kill me. I have ten little oppossum babies at home I need to feed.”

I sighed in defeat.

I don’t live in a post-apocalyptic world. I don’t have to fight twenty-three other tributes to live. My airplane didn’t crash in the middle of the wilderness, killing off the pilot and leaving me alone to fight nature.

I love nature.

The cage it is.

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The Harder to get, the Better to Have

The fuzzy tail flicks as the kitty shows off her small, white teeth. Her whiskers lift as her tongue sweeps across her lips.

She peeks out, her head ducking beneath a wooden beam. She kneads her paws, moving one step, then another. She ducks her body beneath the wooden support and twists her head to rub her ears vigorously across the rough surface.

If I move too quickly, she’s gone; if I move too close, she’s gone. I talk to her as I move forward, telling her not to worry, that I’m her buddy. I promise cuddles and kisses and better ear-scratches than an inanimate object.

I can get within ten feet of her before she runs. She’s learned that when I move to the corner, something delicious will appear in a bowl–kitty food, both dry and wet, along with treats. Her nose quivers in anticipation.

Someday I’ll lure her from the hay bales and into my lap. She’ll purr with satisfaction and I’ll croon compliments about her soft fur and sweet nature.

Until then, I’ll be patient to watch for a fuzzy kitty’s tail to flick.

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The Ugly Kitty

I knew there must be another heated water bucket.

I bought one for Melody when we boarded at Arrowhead Farm, and it didn’t miraculously melt into the ground–so I simply needed to search hard enough to find it. Our small shed in front of the barn either held the bucket or it would never be found.

I turned things over, cleaned out a space, and discovered a Rubbermaid container in a corner. I pulled the large plastic tub out, and noticed it appeared remarkably heavy for an item of its size. I lifted it up, and joy of joys–there lay the bucket. It held a great deal of leaves, pine needles, hay, and other random debris, but I’d found it.

I lifted the bucket out of the container and tipped the leaves out into the Rubbermaid container, intending to burn them later. Instead, two eyes stared up at me.

Either I had a very ugly kitty hiding in the bucket of leaves, or an opossum took up residence.

I gave a very girly, high-pitched scream, then grabbed a container of manure to set on top of the initial container. In my head I heard Giles Corey gasp “More Weight.” I couldn’t leave him like that. I lifted the manure bucket off the opossum’s new digs, and left him alone.

When I came back, he escaped, most likely back to the shed. I couldn’t kill him, nor could I let him stay there. I couldn’t.

I thought about the opossum’s food source, and decided he must enjoy dry cat food. I put some inside a live trap and left it overnight.

In the morning, I discovered that the “ugly kitty” trapped himself.

I don’t hurt animals. I avoid it at all costs. In my hands, I held the life of this so-ugly-he’s-cute animal, and couldn’t imagine killing it in cold blood. I couldn’t even think how to try. I don’t own a gun (the husband won’t let me–it falls under his “Nothing that could rip off and/or injure a limb” category) so the fast-and-painless option simply didn’t exist.

Therefore, I brought the “ugly kitty” to Mike next door. He promised that he’d give the opossum a “heavenly experience” at his farm.

This morning, he returned an empty live trap.

Now, all the stalls have working heated buckets for the winter. The ponies will have enough water. The kitties, too, will not be thirsty. However, outside animals are not welcome when they don’t pull their own weight. They’ll be sent next door to Mike.

(I did not harm any animals in the making of this post.)

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Spread a Little Sunshine

Yes, that line’s from the musical Pippin, and it’s sung by a villain–but it’s a nice phrase.

No matter what evidence I present to the contrary, Diva firmly believes I am a tree.


Poor Twist. He had his first bath yesterday since arriving at Firefly Farm, and he had to wear Honey’s blanket to stay warm. I could almost feel the scathing heat from his eyes as he shouted “Oh, the humanity! To be wearing a blanket embroidered in pink?! You bawling, blasphemous, incharitable dog!” (I don’t know how Twist is able to quote Shakespeare in my head, but that’s his quirky side coming out.)

Girls have cooties, Mom! Why do I have to wear a girl's blanket?

The cold weather would’ve made him freeze if not for this “girly blankie.”

He’s very white now. It’s amazing to see the difference.

Sidney sported a delightfully masculine maroon blanket last night.

Braveheart braved the cold with a lush “au natural” coat of palomino and dazzling white.

The kitties also got in on the Fall Fashion Show.

The girls also decided to stay nude in the pasture. Melody, of course, being the exception.

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Strike a Pose


After weeks of inability to post photos, I now can share some fun from around the farm.


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Pin-Ups and Ponies

Hair. Makeup. Costumes.

Zoom. Flash. Pop.

Lights. Camera. Action!

Yesterday, thanks to Autumn Luciano and Stephenie Stowbridge, seven other women and I became horse pin-up girls. Autumn shoots photos and labels them as “Decadence Dolls.” We’re having another photo shoot in July.

The photo with the rearing horse is, indeed, mine.  I didn’t recognize myself at first–in a good way. I look like Lucille Ball–one of my favorite women. Lucas was Lucy before we learned he was a rooster, and he used to have a best friend named Ethel (before she passed away.) This photo is amazing. Once we have others, I will post them, too. Thank you, Autumn Luciano, for showing off these delightful photos. (Just wait until you see the one with me standing on my horse.)

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“We’re Friends of Every Creature” -The Jungle Book

Yoda has a girlfriend.

She’s shy. She’s orange. Her hair is short.

Her name is Rue.

She’s the sweetest kitty. Her arrival marks kitty #6 at the barn.

Today, we had kitty #7 dropped off. His name is Ike, and he’s a grey and brown striped long-haired kitty.

They ALL are spayed or neutered. ALL. No exceptions.

Monday, we’ll be getting Sid, a 9 year-old palomino Quarter Horse gelding. May 5 will bring Braveheart, a young palomino-pinto gelding.

This weekend we have not one, but TWO birthday parties at the barn. Photos will follow as soon as possible.

Firefly Farm now has an online store. Feel free to shop online for horse-themed gifts featuring Dusty, Honey, and Melody (so far.) Do you need a Honey-themed mouse pad? It’s only a click away. If you prefer to do your shopping in person, for $35 you can buy a sweatshirt and tee-shirt combination with your name on the front, and a logo with our phone number on the back.


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Smoky Joe

  Tonight, I was teaching a lesson and suddenly I heard a “mrrroww?”  Smoky Joe came home after all! I just wanted to let everyone know, in case you were wondering about him. My heart is filled with joy. Part of the joy is because I had an excellent ride on Melody this evening (bareback tempi changes!) but most of my joy is from Smoky Joe. Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers! I gave him an entire can of moist cat food and as much dry cat food as he could eat. He seems relatively happy. We’ll hope he sticks around.

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