Animal Update

I still owe you all a tour of the grounds, but there have been some significant animal updates since I last addressed the subject. Here’s the quick rundown:

Dogs

No change. Teddy is as friendly as ever, and Buddy works up enough energy to wag his tail when I greet him in the mornings.

Cats

It’s been a bad week for cats. When I came downstairs for breakfast on Wednesday morning, I saw this note on the counter.

R.I.P. Max
This type of thing seems to happen with some regularity on the farm. Being situated on a road with frequent semi-truck traffic has its disadvantages, and there’s seemingly no end to the stories about the gruesome road deaths of various family animals over the years.

Before I arrived on the farm, I posted some musings on the nature of death. It’s good that I prepared myself for this ahead of time, as it made the surprise end to Max a little less shocking. Still, I’ll never get to learn the nature of Max’s sad face, and I’ll regret that I rebuffed his attempts to sit on my computer the night before he died.

The next morning, I awoke to questions about whether I had seen Mr. Bumble recently. I had not, but I mentioned that a Bumble-sized cat had attempted to crawl into bed with me early that morning — attempts I refused to allow. When no sign of Bumble could be found, I wondered if my rejection of cat affection had become a kiss of death.

This fear was only partially allayed by learning that my visitor in the night had been Patches. We were able to conclude this because Bumble had, like Max before him, been killed in the road sometimes during the night. I then learned that Bumble was a nephew of Max, and that neither of them had been considered particularly smart. Is there a genetic predisposition to making fatal mistakes in judging traffic patterns?

On a more positive cat note, I snagged a picture of the outdoor cat that looks a bit like Tony.an outdoor cat

There is another outdoor cat that I haven’t seen since my first day or two here, but I’ve been told she is pregnant. There will soon be mystery kittens running around.

The remaining indoor cats are handling the deaths of their roommates with the same attitude that one bring to news of the sky being blue. Jack sits next to me right now, sleeping as comfortably as can be.

Chickens

The chickens are growing quickly. Many of them have doubled in size in just this past week. Kathy also went back to the store to pick up a few more chicks. She got two guinea hens (one of whom has since gotten sick and died) and two Welsummers (in honor of my Dutch heritage). So I now have two Dutch chickens with whom I can practice my language skills (“kukeleku” or, according to Google, “buig een krabbeldoo”).

Ducks

Who knows? There are five of them. I’ve learned the difference between normal quacking and the panicked sounds that accompany mating, so there’s no further need to look up from my work to see what passes for romance in the duck world.

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