Cats of the Farm: The Pride Goes On

Do you have gutters on this side of the house? If not think about getting them so the water will not splash from that wonderful deck onto and into the door seal. The cats and you are going to love that!

Entertaining the Cat Unintentionally.

I have been for some years a master at this sport, and in the last few days, I once again put in a championship round.

The porch is done! Glory, hallelujah. I absolutely love it, and it just perfectly completes the new house. Now, of course, I will need porch furniture. However, due to the fact that I have already spent more money this year than in any other year of my life, I decided to start small for the moment while I watch for sales on things of the style I really want.

So I checked Walmart, home of cheap but worth what you paid for it stuff. A cheap chair temporarily would allow for porch sitting. I found a nice cheap chair for $16.99. Fine, that will do. I put one in the cart, picked up a few other things, checked out, and discovered in the parking lot that said chair absolutely would NOT fit in my Focus. It didn’t miss clearing the doors or the trunk entrance by much, but as it was stiff and non foldable, a few inches was still a miss. No possible jimmying would make it work.

I rooted around in the car to see if I might have a bungee cord. Nope, but I had a rope. Even better. Said rope will be a permanent resident of the car from that day forward. So I tipped the chair into the trunk as much as I could, tied the rope to a chair leg, then wound it around the trunk lid supports, forward and through the rolled-down front windows, across the inside of the car, out the other front window, back to the back, around the trunk lid support, around the other leg, and repeated the whole thing another time with the rope running out right at the back. Fine. I had two good, sturdy laps of rope, and the chair was firmly tied to the car. I tied the rope off in back, went up to the driver’s side, and, of course, discovered that I had in this process tied the door shut.

I hung a mental note that if this situation ever comes up again, I should either use the back windows or tie the rope with knots within driver’s reach to do at the end after the driver is installed. For the moment, however, I had had enough of fiddling with this thing and needed to get home. How hard could it be to enter a car through the window? The Duke brothers did it with General Lee all the time. :slight_smile:

Turns out, like much from TV and movies, that that maneuver simply doesn’t work as easily at home as it does on the screen. At least not for me. I managed ultimately to enter the car, and I drove home. There, of course, I encountered the same problem in reverse, only now, I couldn’t open the door to get out. So once again, I pried myself out, wiggling around to exit through the window.

I arrived finally, sweating, on terra firma and looked up to see the cats. There they sat, several of them in a line on the driveway, watching with great interest. All they lacked was popcorn. They looked at me with an expression of, “Is it over already? Why don’t you do that again?”

Sigh. I untied my rope, rolled up the windows, and moved the temporary, cheap chair onto the porch. Next time a similar situation comes up, I will apply a few efficiency lessons learned negatively from this time.

At least I’m good for entertainment value.

And the cats and myself all love our porch.




ROFL! To funny! The things we do to entertain our animals . Lol



We had an episode last night. My new bed is a queen, and I’m still enjoying the space of it, as are the cats. Pharaoh’s assigned spot is against the left-hand pillow. Here and here only is where Pharaoh will be all night. The right-hand pillow is mine. I usually get in bed and am promptly joined by Pharaoh (settling down at once against the left pillow) and Mystery (all over, up, down, and around for five minutes; would you knock it off and pick?). I always start out on my right side and, once Mystery is pacified, I scratch Pharaoh’s ears a few times, as Pharaoh is right there next to me settled down to sleep like a Good Cat (unlike Mystery). Pharaoh accepts this but doesn’t get up or be obnoxious for more, and then after a few minutes, I turn over on my left side and go to sleep. Switch side to side a few times per night and usually give Pharaoh a scratch or two when on my right. Pharaoh will always purr at this but won’t be pushy or demanding.

Last night, I got in bed, and Pharaoh was off on some catly errand elsewhere in the house and wasn’t even in the bedroom. Mystery was, and after I got Mystery settled and said good night to the others (still no Pharaoh), I turned out the light. Lay on my right side a few minutes, turned to left, and was almost asleep when Pharaoh arrived. The cat jumped up, went to the designated pillow, lay down, and then reached over and pronged me a few times in the back. Very unusual for that cat. I grumbled something, and after a minute, Pharaoh arose, jumped over me, and then stood in annoyance on the wrong side on the narrow ledge of bed between me and the edge. I could feel the glare even from a totally black cat in the dark. I reached out to scratch ears, and the cat backed up out of reach and continued glaring.

“You weren’t here.”


“I’m not on the wrong side. I started out on my right side as usual. You are the one who disrupted procedure. It’s your own fault your ears weren’t scratched earlier. You weren’t here!”


“Go to bed, Pharaoh.”


Thus we stayed in standoff for a good ten minutes. Then, unable to go to sleep under that powerful glare in the dark, I rolled over onto my right side. Pharaoh promptly jumped over me again and settled against the designated pillow in the assigned spot. I scratched ears three times. Pharaoh purred.

And we went on peacefully to sleep.

Good grief. I think my cat has a touch of OCD. Either that or has read that Bible verse, “Let everything be done decently and in order.”




love your writing!


By the way, we are right on top of publication for the book about my mother’s 17-year illness. It’s all edited, all finalized and typeset with pictures inserted, and I’m spending tomorrow reading the galley proof. Should be out in a few weeks. When it is actually available, I will put a link to it on my page and in my signature if anyone wishes one.

Mom with Tenuto, who visited her several times in the nursing home. [ATTACH=JSON]{“alt”:“Click image for larger version Name: Paulette with Tenuto 5 61213.JPG Views: 1 Size: 17.3 KB ID: 10214607”,“data-align”:“none”,“data-attachmentid”:“10214607”,“data-size”:“full”}[/ATTACH]

Below is Mom with Pharaoh, who only went once, but that was the final feline visit. From the book:

I took Tenuto down several times, and her bedside manner was always exemplary. The last feline visitor, however, wasn’t Tenuto. In autumn 2015, I decided to take Pharaoh, a kitten I had acquired from a home aide client. I’d started working with the home health agency again part time in early 2015, and the client I had the most hours with was Cat Lady, who had thirteen cats already and then had another litter dumped on her that summer. Pharaoh was the runt of that litter, and I had taken Pharaoh home with me once the kitten was old enough, Cat Lady insisting that since I had named that one, that one was mine. Pharaoh—jet black and silky once healthy—was calm as kittens come and had a sense of humor, and I thought this cat might work for a visit with Mom. I intended to test Pharaoh as a possible therapy cat to alternate with Tenuto, but when I got there, Mom was phasing in and out of orientation. When she was in, she loved the kitten, stroking and commenting on the fur as Pharaoh purred up a storm. At other times, not even the cat in her arms seemed to reach her.

That, I decided, was it. Oddly, while I could handle Mom not recognizing me at all and simply put those days down to the disease, I didn’t want to see her not recognize the presence of a cat. It may sound crazy, but that was how I felt. I simply couldn’t handle seeing a cat mean nothing to her. I decided to make that day the last feline visit, to leave it with still some positive moments, even if intermittently. It wasn’t planned out that way, but somehow, it seemed appropriate that Mom, the lifelong defender of stray and down-on-their-luck street cats, had the last live cat she held be not the purebred Siamese Tenuto but a dumped, rescued waif of unknown heritage that was now blossoming under love. [ATTACH=JSON]{“alt”:“Click image for larger version Name: 11219121_10203561137868424_6579042801115019258_n.jpg Views: 1 Size: 13.7 KB ID: 10214608”,“data-align”:“none”,“data-attachmentid”:“10214608”,“data-size”:“full”}[/ATTACH]

Below is the street cat outside the nursing home the morning of Mom’s death as I was leaving. He was sitting at the end of the sidewalk at first, wrapped in his tail, at respectful attention as if he, too, had been keeping vigil. Then he stood and slowly, calmly walked off. I wish I had thought to take a picture earlier - I’d been up all night - but my tired brain at least reacted fast enough to get this one. [ATTACH=JSON]{“alt”:“Click image for larger version Name: Cat after Mom’s Death 072316.jpg Views: 1 Size: 4.3 KB ID: 10214609”,“data-align”:“none”,“data-attachmentid”:“10214609”,“data-size”:“full”}[/ATTACH]

Paulette with Tenuto 5 61213.JPG


Cat after Mom's Death 072316.jpg


RIP, Emily Dickinson.

Trapped as a grown cat from the streets in the city in 2002. She earned her name for cursing me out the entire 45-minute drive home without once repeating herself. Whether you like or dislike Ms. Dickinson’s poetry, it is unquestionable that she always managed to find something else to say. Emily, being a very intelligent cat, figured out within just a day or so that I am Santa Claus with a bag of cat food, and she tamed down immediately.

She ruled the farm as undisputed queen of the barn cats, sweet and cooperative if you wished to be, always willing to slap anybody silly if they were being obnoxious but never starting a fight herself.

I’ve been watching Emily for several months and debating as she went downhill, but she never seemed uncomfortable or unlike herself when she was awake. She just had those unconscious spells. She vehemently refused retirement inside and simply wanted to sleep in the sun. She always hated rides to the vet, and I thought as long as she didn’t seem in distress, I’d just let her sleep away one day on her farm, her kingdom, rather than stressing her out with a final trip.

This afternoon, she did.
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Rest now little one. You are loved!


A lucky cat to be in the right place at the right time way back in 2002, such a grand life she had with you. Much comfort to you, DT. Godspeed Emily Dickinson.

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Cotton, such a cool cat. The only way he could be cooler is with sunglasses. :slight_smile:




I think this is one of the best selfies I’ve ever taken.

Of course, what I was trying to take was a quick cat nap, but my roommates only got half of the memo. This is Satin (tabby), Atticus, and Pilgrim.




Sad that you lost Emily. Glad the end was so peaceful for her, though. All cats should be so fortunate.

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Aw Emily lived a grand life. Hugs to you .

That is is a great selfie!


Here is Cotton yesterday sitting on our NEW (whoo-hoo!) porch at our NEW (whoo-hoo!) house, surveying the realm. :slight_smile: Everyone admires the new porch, including UPS and FedEx folks, who are quite experienced with porches. I’m so glad that I went ahead and added the porch I really wanted, instead of settling for a smaller temporary porch. This one was worth every cent. It looks just like I pictured it mentally, and any minor additions/differences are an improvement. I was quite impressed with the guy who came out to do a bid; he took three pages of notes and asked me all sorts of questions I hadn’t even thought of. Really wanted to make sure that he had my mental image clearly translated to paper and to builder’s terms. When the Amish work team arrived, they built it in only two days.
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All at the farm are well. I’m renewing the hay snuggles for winter. I have decided eventually I want to build an exact scale replica of the NEW (whoo-hoo!) house, using inches instead of feet, and make it a Barn Cat House. However, that whimsical project is going to take a while, and it isn’t first in line, either. Meanwhile, they do just fine with hay snuggles and have gone through several winters with them.



It’s now been three years since my Cat Lady died. I have placed some, lost three, but many are still here on the farm living happily. I was just scratching Cotton’s ears this morning as I headed out, and it occurred to me that he has lived the great majority of his life with me. He was just a kitten that last summer when she had him. She never even saw him in all his fluffy yellow maturity. Ditto Satin, Bagheera, Pharaoh; they were babies. I wonder if they even remember that life. Rascal, now, I’m pretty sure would remember Cat Lady. She’s the most thinking of that bunch, and she was mature. Also very picky; she chooses her people with care and consideration. But I think Rascal is perfectly happy here with me, too.

I’ll get a few pictures of whoever will pose tomorrow in the daylight.

But tonight, I remember. Maybe Cat Lady and Mom are up there petting heaven’s cats together.


Love your writing. Look forward to more pics and cat stories and to your book.

Such lovely, gentle thoughts you send us. Thanks.

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