We have a few cats here on the ranch.
Most of our cats originated from a female whose previous owner dropped at the ranch. Pregnant of course. She managed to get herself run over on the highway about the time the kittens got their beautiful green eyes open. One of the grandchildren found them crying in the Quonset. We raised them the rest of the way and got them on the ranch medicare plan. I have a special bond with them. They think I am their mother.
Then there is FuzzyWuzzy. I’m not quite sure where she comes from but she meows to me, runs beside me, eats 2 feet away from me but doesn’t like me to touch her. She is afraid of the other cats. She will only come to the barn and eat if I am there. She is afraid of anything that moves. She has the same green eyes.
I’m not sure what the barn would be like without the cats. It is a big, old dairy barn in which we can stall horses (which we do rarely) and store feed and straw and miscellaneous items from our past.
Mice seem to show up everywhere but places where feed is stored are particularly attractive to them of course. Without the cats in the barn, I don’t think most of us would want to go in there and you certainly wouldn’t be storing feed, blankets, leg wraps, or any other items in there.
Yup, there are mouse traps but there are some aspects of trapping mice that are less than appealing too. And, it would be nearly impossible in the barn. It is a large (100 feet X 40 feet) area with various stacks of hay and straw and lots of hiding places around the bicycles, stored items and outright junk (to anybody but us; to us much of it brings a smile and a memory of one kid or the other doing something they probably shouldn’t have been doing. We all spent a lot of time in the barn. Dairy cows demand that and the dairy cows were our bread and butter… And homemade ice cream… With just picked raspberries…
The cats do their job. It is rare to find mouse poop in the barn even though the cats are always on full feed. Dave ponders over his feed selection depending on the season and how fat they are. When he arrives home from the store and empties the feed bags into the storage boxes in the barn, he can be guaranteed that Sphinx and Shrimp will be inspecting the new menu items. He will know immediately how well he did.
They have him well trained, he likes to do well and we truly appreciate having a mouse free barn.