Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Birthday Babies!

A year ago last week, we began our adventure of falling in love with a litter of kittens. Delivered by a stray cat who'd adopted our next door neighbors, they quickly became our responsibility when the mama had to be put down. The experience of hand raising these babies not only cured me of any left-over baby lust I had, but also turned out to be one of the best experiences the kids and I could have enjoyed. These kittens have graced our lives in so many ways.

We fell in love with each and every kitten, and each one is still so incredibly friendly. Our babies come running when we call, wrap themselves around our legs, climb in our laps, leap down from the loft when we least expect it, and heap up in one great big lump of purr when it's feeding time.

Hand-raised barn cats are way better than the typical feral barn cat fare found on most farms. They're no slouchers when it comes to catching rodents, averaging at least one "present" per day. The barn is, best we can tell, completely rodent free, the credit for which goes entirely to the babies. When they were only a couple months old, the mice were beginning to take over, evidenced by the fact that I easily caught two mice in a feed bag one morning which I promptly gave to my babies for play and training. They bring down whole rabbits, mice, voles, moles and shrews, and thankfully get very few birds since the rodents keep them busy enough. I wouldn't trade my babies for anything—they're fuzzy and loving and way better than any traps or chemicals could be!

**editing to add that they have all been spade and neutered and are up-to-date on their shots.


karl said...

a good mouser is a valuable addition to any farm.

Sara said...

I love the pictures of your cats. I have five lovely tame farm cats who catch their fair share of rats and mice, although my husband thinks they would catch more if I didn't feed them so much!!
Sara from farmingfriends in the UK