October 18, 2013

Of Mice and Kitties

I'm surprised that I never posted about the elusive barn kitty!  I found out that about 3 cats that supposedly live in the area, GG had brought them and then they ran off somewhere on the property.  They are not trusting which is a bummer.  I've only seen one cat ever, it's a little white, grey and orange mix....that doesn't have a tail.  GG said one day she found a tail sans cat in her shed, Jerico may have stepped on her or something.  I've named her Stubs.  Apparently she had kittens in the lower barn this summer and the gal down there found them all homes.

There was talk when GG was here that the gal down the "hill", D,  was going to get the cats trapped and neutered but there has never been a final decision and now that GG is gone I don't know what is going on.  I've talked with D so perhaps I'll mention getting a trap and getting her spayed before we have another litter next time we talk.  Vaccinations would be good too.  I feed Stubs some kibble and occasionally see her.  It's sad that she isn't comfortable with humans, I would love on her like there was no tomorrow.  I love kitties!

The other day though, I saw little Stubs running across the field to David's stalls at the very top of the hill; she's almost dead center is this picture above.  Then she hung out by his trash can and watched me.  I talked softly to her.  Eventually she went around and behind Dani's shed row.  I know she eats the food I set out once I found a good place for it.  It's out of the sight of the Magpies who used to eat it up and poop all over my tack!  Stubs likes the 12 inch space between my hay and the outer barn wall.  I'm thinking a nice warm bed should be the next addition...

Although, Stubs is slacking off a bit.  There is a mouse living somewhere under or near my palleted hay stack.  I discovered him over several weeks of seeing something dart from behind my muck bucket away from me and under the pallet.  Then one day I lifted the towel off my grooming tote and this little brown body jumped up and scrambled back in among the brushes.  He was so cute looking up at me with his beady eyes and little ears.  I was tempted to take him home but Steve would kill me!  I placed the tote down and he jumped out and ran off.  I've noticed that he utilizes my power cord conduit as a little mouse highway.  The other day while mucking I noticed him dart from the adjacent stall towards my water trough.  Upon closer inspection I saw just where he went.  As long as he doesn't chew my heavy duty power cord we'll be fine.

I have about 5 bales left behind Dani's stall.  I think I'll use those up before going to the shed to restock for the next couple of months food.  When the pallets are empty I can investigate where this mouse may be living...perhaps with the pallets empty Stubs will have a better chance of finding him too.  I love mice, don't get me wrong.  I had many as pets during college.  My feed is stored in sealed containers and I sweep the area of grain bits towards Dani's mouth and she takes care of the rest.  It's not a Deer mouse so no big worries about Hantavirus but I still don't want to have a colony develop and tons of mice and mouse poop in the area.

Little Miss Stubs better start being a barn cat and chase after these fuzzy critters!  I'll also find out about how to get her spayed and vaccinated.  At least they add some entertainment to the barn life!

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