A Cat and Mouse Game


What is a farm without cats to catch  mice?

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Mice eat grain.

Mice make nests and shred grain bags.

Mice droppings are messy, their urine stinks and no self-respecting farm animal will eat contaminated grain

Once we started raising animals, which meant storing grain,  I quickly changed my perception of the  little creatures. I no longer cringed at the thought of our cats hunting them down and slaughtering them.

Almost daily, a couple of field mice would fall into the grain bins. Michael would scoop them up in a pail, call the cats, then dump the bucket. This was the highlight of the day for our cats; there is nothing they enjoy more than having their prey handed to them so they can play with their dinner.

Often,  in thanksgiving , the cats left gruesome mice gizzard offerings right on our doorstep, eliciting screams from our little girls.

Michael, my husband is a dog sort of man but there was one tom cat we owned who was a real man’s cat.  That old barn cat followed Michael around the barnyard and in and out of the barns almost like a faithful dog.

“Where was your dog”, you ask?

Oh, he was sleeping on the porch with one eye open watching this interloper in action.

Mickey, the tom cat, often perched on the top of a fence post while Michael fed the calf, horse and pigs. One day the curious calf stuck out his thick, rough tongue and licked Mickey so throughly that  the cat was lifted right up into the air, standing up on his back legs. Then Mickey calmly shook off excess saliva and sat back down,  balancing on the narrow post.

My husband’s admiration for the tough, old tom cat increased ten fold; he proudly relates this story as an example of a real, man’s sort of cat who was the opposite of the pampered house cats that our little girls lavished affection on.

 

 

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