The Mighty Hunter
When I think of farms that have livestock, barn cats always come to mind. Because of all the feeds and grain that are stored, mice, rats, and other rodents would become rather prolific without the assistance of a good cat or two. I have always been the type of person who has indoor kitties, thinking that indoors is the safest place for a cat to be. I am also realistic and know that someday it will be necessary to have an outdoor cat now that we have alpacas.
We’ve taken precautions but also know that our current mouse-free situation is temporary for the short-term at best. We built the tack room with a solid floor, store the grain in metal trash bins in the tack room, store the hay in the tack room also, and sealed off cracks between the boards. We are currently deciding on where to put a ‘cat door’ for entrance into the tack room, as this will be the main place for a barn cat to get out of the weather. I am also researching the many wonderful rescue organizations that place feral cats into a barn home situation, stray and ‘street-wise’ cats that would be inappropriate for an indoor home.
That being said, Stella just loves to chase squirrels and chipmunks. They all always out run her, either hiding in a hole in the stone wall or running up a tall oak tree. I suppose you all know where this story is now going .......
We have lots of rocks, large boulders down to softball sized, piles of them here and there left to us after the loggers cleared. Dan loves to build stonewalls and he has plenty of rocks now to keep him busy for years. Stella hears the chipmunks squeaking, and she hangs around the rock pile for hours, fussing and whining, occasionally digging a little, and pouncing at every noise. She’s always done this, and we just let her be. The other day when we called her, she gleefully came trotting over to us, tail hanging from her mouth, and promptly deposited a mouse at Dan’s feet, just like a good kitty would. But she’s a Sheltie-mix dog!
So now we have a new nickname for her: “Stella, the Mighty Hunter!”