It's been one of those weekends on the farm! The girls had a Flex Day on Friday, one of those built in make up days for snow days we somehow managed NOT to use, so they were home, and it started with a big ol' Chinese fire drill for us.
First, our littlest cat had her kittens. How did I know? Because Tall Guy summoned me downstairs in one of his voices that made me think, "Oh Heavens, now who is in trouble for what?" and I stumbled down in my allergy-induced foggy mind to find him holding a ball of fur in his hands. He had found a new-born kitten in the middle of the tool shed.
Believe it or not, I was pretty much under the impression that barn cats had their kittens and took good care of them all by themselves for the first 2-3 weeks until they became toddling bundles of fuzz staggering all over and pouncing on anything that moved. A quick call to the nearest vet brought no music to my ears. Droppers and bottle of milk every two hours, AND, she said, (I'm seriously quoting her because these words penetrated through my allergy-addled brain), "You have to lick their butts."
UH.....Can you repeat that last one?
Yep, well that's the very descriptive explanation for why you have to wipe a new-born kitten's behind with a towel every time you feed it. This is what its momma would do to stimulate it to poop.
There has to be a plan B.....So off I go to the tool shed to find this new momma and investigate further, but the pressure is on because both Tink and Bear are up and involved in all this chaos.
Momma cat, Cutie Pie, is spied eating. I told them to take the little kitten, now in a shoe box with scrapped socks, and put it by her to see if she would take him back to the rest of her brood.
Nope, no dice. SO I ask them to make sure they watch, from a distance, where she went after she ate.
Well, they got distracted, so I finally found her, and put the little kitten back in with her to see if she would take care of it. I explained to the girls that sometimes a first time momma cat doesn't know what to do with her kittens, or tomcats could bother them, or the dog, but we would say a prayer and hope that God would watch over the new kitten and help his momma to love him.
As of today, Sunday, she is taking care of him and three others, so crisis averted! Whew!
Friday was also an eventful day because we finally introduced the 4-H calves to the rope halter. YEE-HAW! I even caught Jerry, put the halter on him, and tied the knot right on my first try!
Kendal with Jerry
Tall Guy with Lady Bug
Bear with her buddy Tom
Of course, all supervised by the cat police.cat
So this brings us to this morning, when Tall Guy went out to feed cows while the girls slept in, only to find that some time during the night Tom had died.
He wasn't sick, didn't act "off" in any way; he was just gone. Sigh...... It made for a tearful time in church for our Miss Bear.
R.I.P. Tom. You were a great cow.
This is just one of the many life lessons on the farm. No one did anything wrong. The little kitten lived, but it was Tom's time to go. We can plant our fields the same way every year, but we have no control over the heavy rains, lack of rain, hail, insects, or other unforeseen threats that could damage or destroy our crops.
Farmers just try every day to do their best, and the rest is sometimes just up to the Good Lord.