A Friend’s Dilemma

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This is a shared post from a friend on her Facebook page. She is an ardent animal lover and defender. She has rescued many different ones: dogs, cats, horses  and more. Those of us who rescue always have this argument with ourselves: Is it OK to buy a purebred puppy?TOFFEE I have been there. My opinion at least for myself is: I can do both…And I believe in those “meant to be” moments.

“Everyone, meet Toffee. Toffee, this is everyone.

Scott and I have been discussing Miracle, my black cat, at length. I truly do believe she will not make it to the end of the year. She is having lots of problems that are beyond her regular problems of being The Spawn of Satan. Socks also isn’t doing well physically, although her only problem is arthritis that she refuses to take medication for. Otherwise, she’s fine. We also have run across a lot of stray kittens that need homes lately. So we talked about adopting two kittens.

Instead, a good friend here on FB  told me about this: a 14-week-old collie puppy who needs a home. She is one of two pups left from the litter that Lynne got her pup from. The cost is minimal and she will be delivered to me from Arkansas next week rather than having to fly her in. She is fully vaccinated, so all I have to do is get her spayed. And well, it was so easy to do this that I believe that this was Meant To Be.

So now for the inevitable: we all know I’m anti-breeding when there are so many dogs out there that need homes. Yes, I got a puppy. Yes, I got her from a breeder. Look, I know I’m being a hypocrite. But I have to say that many of your stories, particularly from  three friends has got me thinking. And a BIG THANKS to you three and other friends of mine for this.

Triss and Treve came with baggage from being tossed around so much and not getting a stable start to life. Both have separation anxiety issues. Triss particularly does not like riding in cars, and she has developed a severe fear of traffic since her accident. Treve has always been afraid of cars. They have NEVER tried to get out of the yard since their “adventure”, and I have decided that I’m going to say that is a healthy fear and am going to keep it. So no more walkies for them–if I take them anywhere, it will be a dog park or to walk park trails.

The one dog that we had that didn’t have baggage was Bliss, a collie we took in who was a former show dog. She was a steady eddy who could handle anything. But she was the dog I could take anywhere any time I wanted. She was quiet and easy-going and got along with every person and animal she met. In short, she was my sidekick. We lost her too soon to cancer.

I have wanted a sidekick pet since I was a kid. That one animal that went with me everywhere. Well, after all of these rescues and one rescue not working out at all, I have learned that rescuing an animal is great and I won’t stop doing it. It also means that you have to deal with baggage with rescue animals, and sometimes that baggage can never be overcome without paying for a lot of training and taking a lot of time to do it.

While I could go to a trainer and work with Triss, honestly, it’s going to take a lot more work than I am willing to give time to with my jobs being so random. So I can now start with a fresh mind, so to speak. A dog with no baggage and that has started life in the same kind of environment that I have my dogs in. This lovely lady comes from a ranch-type home where the owners do not breed for show. These are pet dogs that are very healthy and have tons of exposure to other animals and children. I would like to try agility or even get her certified for service in going to children’s hospitals or nursing homes. I am too afraid of getting hurt with horses to work with them on showing or anything like that anymore, and Arcus is just a great trail horse and driving horse for light riding. That’s all I need now.

The other thing is I hated the idea of taking Triss to events but leaving Treve at home. I know he’d deal with it, but he was a dog who had separation anxiety when I got him, so why potentially spark that again? Now two dogs will be at home while I can take the new pup everywhere. I won’t worry about either Triss or Treve being alone.

Triss and Treve are my awesome ranch dogs and alert dogs. I will continue to rescue collies for that reason as the breed is perfect for me and Scott’s lifestyle overall.

Perhaps this is me justifying my own NEVERS and ALWAYSES. But I need to be honest with myself and with my friends who know me well when it comes to animals. I have had to make major changes since my broken wrist that has limited my abilities, both physical and mental. Horse activities just aren’t something I’m doing much of anymore by myself. A puppy will give me the fresh mind I need and the companion that can help me with my health as well so I will get out and DO stuff. Plus dogs are a lot easier to take places than horses are!

Soooooo, meet Toffee! So named because of her coat color. Her right eye is partially blue. Mom is a sable; daddy is a blue merle. She was born on St. Patrick’s Day of this year, so her registered name will have “Irish Toffee” in it somewhere…..”

Thanks Friend for sharing your heartfelt angst at the possibility of having the doggie of your dreams. I am glad you are doing it. And thanks for allowing me to share you story.

 

Read more non fiction dog stories  here: Little Miss Muffitt: Guardian of My Heart  Stories of my own dogs, some fostered, some adopted and yes, some bred and gotten as puppies.Also K9 stories about the brave four-legged cops, who were partners with two family members.

 

RANCH WOMEN conversations with gals of the west

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ranch wives kim photoI

Kim McElroy and Broken Horn D Ranch

 I am endeavoring to write a new book about ranch gals. I have personally met several fabulous ladies, enjoyed their stories and decided they would make a super good book. It takes more time as first I have to find them. A couple are neighbors. Then I interview and then write up our conversations. Because the stories are really good and at this point I do not know if or when they will become an actual book, I have posted 3 on my website http://www.rosemiller.net under “Ranch Women Stories.”  I will post more as they are finished. I hope you enjoy these stories of truly wonderful ladies.  http://www.rosemiller.net/#!ranch-women-stories/wm03y

 

A GUEST BLOG BY ME for Jody Miller

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A Horse that doesn’t trot? And other stories…

We asked author, Rose Miller (no relation) on why she writes books about horses and animals.

Enjoy this Guest Blog by Rose.

 

WHY I WRITE

By Rose Miller

I began writing my story, the story of my life actually, in the summer of 2005.    As a woman who did not go 4 years to a college, get a degree and then do something “worthwhile” with it, I did not consider myself on par with my daughter Sharon who was brilliant in many things and became a top sales rep for Merck Pharmaceuticals, making big bucks, I might add, or daughter Michal who became a police officer, or my husband, who was a well loved chiropractor, or my son Roger who has a PHD in something and now has a top position in the Government’s  National Institute of Health.

When Sharon was very sick she told me that my life experiences were worth as much as anyone’s education, and that I should write them down and she would make a “resume” for me to prove that I was as noteworthy as they. It never happened because I never sat down and did it and all too soon she was gone.

Rose Miller riding Praise Hallelujah Stallion

Praise Hallelujah and Rose

One cold, snowy winter evening I was reading a book about someone’s experiences with sheep dogs, I heard Sharon speak to me in my heart, “Mom, you can do that.” I had never ever thought about writing stories or for Heaven’s sake, a book!  She was my inspiration and I just started to write. It was as though the stories mostly told themselves, and as my fingers flew over the computer keyboard I remembered things I had thought long forgotten.

The author of “The Horse That Wouldn’t Trot”

I started at the beginning of my life as a child who loved animals but had to do with the stuffed kind. Then when the family moved to a hilltop Pennsylvania farm, the real kind. Later when I married and we moved to Indiana, we eventually purchased a farm where I could follow my childhood dream: Raise horses. The story I was writing became several books, two still in the computer and the first one published: “The Horse That Wouldn’t Trot” about my life with horses, mainly the Tennessee Walking Horse. A horse that does not trot, but does a lovely gliding smooth gait instead.

“Mules, Mules and More Mules”

Author Rose Miller and her mules

Susie Q and Ava, Daisy May and Rose

Two more books followed: “Mules, Mules and More Mules” about an older lady who retired from showing and breeding horses and desired the easy equine life. Getting a mule to trail ride did not turn out quite like I had expected, but I wrote about my adventures—some humorous, some educational.

The last book is about our dogs. The many, many dogs we have cherished and lost. In the words of a close friend: “The just do not live long enough” is surely true.

So I guess why I write is to continue sharing my life’s resume. One that has been made rich by the love and companionship of many four-footed furry creatures.

Books available from my website: www.rosemiller.net  and on Amazon.com They are also available for download as e-books.

Listen to some of her interviews online. 

Join her group on Facebook

Visit Jody Miller’s site: http://jodylmiller.com/ Action Western “Sorting the bulls” by Jody.

Check out my new book/short stories on my website: working title: Ranch Women. 3 stories are listed.   http://www.rosemiller.net/#!ranch-women-stories/wm03y

Kim McElroy story dave and bull

 

 

 

Ending of an Era

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Many of my followers already know Praise Hallelujah. Some have seen him personally, some have his off-spring, many have read about him in my book: “The Horse That Wouldn’t Trot” which is a compilation of my life with horses. PH as he was affectionately known had a magnificent life. He was one of those “horses of a life time.”

PRAISE HALLELUJAH

April 28, 1988-February 9, 2016

Praise Hallelujah was born as “Mr. Macho” on Harlinsdale Farm in Franklin, TN. Sired by Prides’ Hallelujah and out of a mare by Pride’s Gold Coin he was destined to become a much loved and appreciated breeding sire and Plantation Pleasure show horse. I believe a “Higher Power” saved him from becoming a “Big Lick” show horse, shown with pads, chains and sored, by an injury when he was at a big sale in Tennessee for yearlings. Due to a front pastern injury, Mr. Harlin sent him to Sherri Szucs in Ohio, who was a pleasure horse trainer.

After the retirement of my stallion, Supreme Xanadu, who earned the Supreme Versatility Award  (The highest award given to Tennessee Walking pleasure horses who showed in versatility events and garnered a certain number of show points), I was looking for another show horse, one that would win at the “big” shows. I heard tales about a special young horse in Sherri’s stable, saw him at a Michigan show and began drooling and dreaming. Eventually, right before Sherri took him to the biggest show for Tennessee Walking Horses at that time in Shelbyville, TN, our family purchased him. Mr. Macho won the Two Year Old Pleasure Class, Division B under my name: Rose Miller.

I changed his name to Praise Hallelujah because I wanted to give honor to God who had made this wonderful horse each time he got a ribbon in a show. As a three-year-old he won many awards under the guidance of Ralph Lakes. In his fourth year, he became an “Amateur Owned and Trained” horse and the Miller family set sail to compete in some of the biggest shows for Tennessee Walking horses. I will not try to share all his awards, but “Praise Hallelujah” was called over the loudspeaker many, many times. He was a fantastic horse in the show ring, but doing the famous “victory pass” was his bug-a-boo, and he never, ever got over it.

When he was five, I began breeding him. He had natural talent, bred in, and not painted on as in the soring that was so rampant at the time. Many of his offspring went on to become champions in their own right, or became much loved pleasure riding horses. This was important because in breeding for SHOW animals, the genetics of the walking horse had been changed enough that many would not do the famous gliding smooth gait that folks wanted to ride any more.

In 2005, when he was seventeen, I stopped breeding him. The plight of horses being sent to slaughter was becoming more public. Until that time, it was “not spoken of.” Sadly, even I didn’t think too much about it. In good conscience I could no longer bring anymore babies into the world. The horses I had at that time I committed to keeping until they were safely over The Rainbow Bridge. To the best of my records, he sired 116 foals, and earned the nick name: Big Daddy. I had rescued several of his offspring from bad circumstances and just did not want to be responsible for more who might have bad lives. He was gelded and turned out with his beloved mares into the green pastures he loved.

In 2012 our family of people, dogs, cats, mules and horses moved to Prescott, Arizona. Hallelujah was twenty-four and enjoyed the milder climate. He and his daughter, Sunday Praise, were inseparable. As is the case with many old horses, getting up became more difficult and over the last several years, he needed human assistance, and consequently, he seldom lay down.  As I was cleaning the mud from his body from yet another slip and fall and rescue just several days previously, I told him he “could go anytime he was ready, but please make it easy.” He just seemed old, tired and hanging on, but for what he did not know.

The very next day, he went down again, we do not know why or how, but we found him later. This time we could not help him, there was just no “try” left. His passing over was peaceful, thanks to our wonderful vet, Dr. Nolte. He lay quietly waiting, Dr. Nolte said his heart rate was normal, it was as though he were sleeping. Hallelujah was ready; I knew it was time, but man, what a big hole that horse leaves in my heart. I think the other equines knew it was his time too; they all seemed accepting, but also unusually quiet. Today, looking out the window to their paddock there is emptiness. Hallelujah left a big hole there also. Sunday stands in the spot where he lay for the last time, the mules run, she runs a few feet, but comes back to that spot. She will miss him greatly, I know.

Praise Hallelujah will be cremated. He left this morning and will return some days later in a beautiful box. Some ashes will be sprinkled where he lay beside a beautiful boulder Bob will place there, some I will keep with my growing collection in my office.

Rest in Peace, dear horse. You were loved by many. I am grateful for the time…and the times we shared. It was quite a journey!

I shall see you later…

If anyone wishes to read a free PDF of The Horse That Wouldn’t Trot, sent to your email, please contact me: rosemiller@mtecom.net

 

YES I DO BLANKET MY HORSES!

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I am sharing this blog because FINALLY someone says what I think and believe about blanketing horses. When we had our horse farm in northern Indiana, I requested everyone blanket with waterproof blankets because the weather is simply awful there in winter. Wet, cold and miserable. Now we have moved to Prescott, AZ the high desert. It can be sunny and warmish 40-50ish in winter, but darn cold at night..20’s. Usually a good 15 or more degree difference with sunny warm to cold nights. The horses and mules have access to open barn stalls and overhang. I always blanket Praise Hallelujah who  will be celebrating his 28th birthday in May. He loves his snuggly blanket and is so warm underneath it. I hope this blog will share some important facts:

Monday, January 14, 2013

Blanketing is NOT Bad, and YOU Aren’t “Natural!”

I cannot believe I have to write this.

Blanketing. A. Horse. Is. NOT. Bad!

No, blanketing does not make it more likely that rainrot or other skin problems will happen.
No, blanketing does not permanently damage a horse’s ability to grow a winter coat.
No, blanketing has no real affect on a horse’s coat.
No, blanketing is not just a gimmick created by blanket makers to get money.

If you believe any of these things, you have fallen for what we call Bunk Science. Meaning bullshit, urban myths, quackery, superstition, stupidity. Perhaps you have been reading, or listening to someone talk about, one of these:

  • A fake article about a non-existant study done by Colorado State University that proved blanketed horses were actually colder than unblanketed ones. This study NEVER HAPPENED. Read this articlewhere the CSU Equine Sciences department says it’s all fake.
  • The idea that “blanketing is unnatural.”
  • An “article,” aka sales pitch, created by Mac’s Equine, talking about how normal blankets are bad: “[blanketing damages the] ‘arrector pili’ muscles which are continually flattened with long term rugging. Eventually the horse loses its natural ability to keep warm by raising and lowering its hair follicles.” Guess what? They want you to buy THEIR fancy Cool Heat blanket that won’t cause this! Just $200 plus shipping!

Let me explain it to you, in words a three year old would understand.

When animals get cold, they get goosebumps on their skins.
The goosebumps make fur (hair) stand up straight.
When the fur stands up, there is more air in between the hairs.
The animal’s body warms up the air between the hairs.
The extra warm air helps keep animals warm.
But if it is raining, or very windy, the hair can’t stand up straight.
There are no more pockets of warm air to keep the animal warm.
The animal’s fur doesn’t work very well. The animal gets cold.
Putting a blanket on an animal can fix this.
Blankets make pockets of air inside the cloth, like a quilt.
Blankets can be waterproof and windproof, so they still work in rain and wind.
Putting a blanket on does not hurt an animal’s ability to make goosebumps.

Is that too complex for you?! Try this: WEARING A HAT DOES NOT MAGICALLY MAKE YOUR HAIR UNABLE TO KEEP YOUR HEAD WARM. HAT HAIR IS NOT PERMANENT, OR HARMFUL. HATS ARE GOOOOOD.

*SIGH* Still not getting it? Think about your wool blanket, or your down feather coat, or your quilt, or hell, any piece of clothing you own. They work on the same principal’s a horse’s coat does: they trap air to keep you warm. But when it’s wet, or very windy, they can’t do that. You can’t keep warm under a soaked shirt. Oh, and YES, snow DOES count as “wet.”

Also, young or old animals might not be strong enough to warm up the pockets of air in their coats by themselves. This is also true if an animal is sick or skinny. They just don’t have enough energy to spare. They may be able to trap the air in their coats, but without being able to heat it up, it’s useless.

Look people, if you don’t want to blanket your horse, that’s fine. I didn’t used to blanket my own horses. As long as they are healthy and have food and shelter, they will probably be JUST fine. But do NOT go around telling people that blanketing is bad! There are situations where it’s important! If you are seeking to justify your behavior, maybe you should just give in to your guilty conscience and buy your horse a damn blanket instead!

Oh, and I almost forgot:
Blanketing Is Not Natural– But Neither Are You or Your Horse!

Pretty much nothing about having a horse is natural. We’ve bred them into specific shapes and coat colors, kept them in boxes, fed them things they’d never get in the wild, ridden them (which they would never be in the wild), protected them from predators they would otherwise face in the wild, and provided vet care, which they would never get in the wild.

So when it comes to blanketing, why the Hell do we suddenly care about what is “natural?” If you want to give your horse more freedom, less harsh training methods, and more “natural” food, good for you– but don’t confuse “natural” with “lazy.” Let’s talk more about what’s “natural,” shall we?

  • Horses 15H and over are not natural– humans bred them that way. In the wild, horses are smaller, and therefore require less energy to keep warm. In fact, the vast majority of native wild “horses” areponies, with small body masses and very shaggy coats. No, mustangs don’t count– those are feral horses introduced by humans. Those tend to be smaller too, however!
  • Keeping a horse in a small enclosure is not natural– they should be able to run and walk as far as they want to help stay warm.
  • Horses in North America aren’t natural. Yeah yeah, the ancient ancestors of horses evolved in North America, but they went extinct– horses as we know them came from Asia and parts of Europe, where winters are usually less harsh. Horses aren’t “naturally” adapted to below-zero temperatures or three feet of snow.
  • In the wild, horses have access to forage 24/7. Continually eating helps keep them warm. Domesticated horses often don’t have that option– they are often fed a limited amount of hay and possibly grain, 1-2 times per day.

And let’s not limit our examination of what is “natural” to horses. What about humans?! YOU, sitting there in your heated home/office, in front of your computer, are NOT NATURAL. You should be outside right now, dressed only in poorly-sewn furs, attempting to hunt down your breakfast in the snow! Don’t bother putting on your glasses, grabbing your cell phone, or taking any medication before you head out there either, because those aren’t natural, and God forbid you be unnatural!

Hope you’re ready to have 6 kids, ’cause condoms ain’t natural either!

By the way, here’s what Lodi Equine Vet has to say about blanketing:

“The hardest part of cold weather for horses is battling the wind, being wet, or a combination of the two during the cold winter months. If your horse is NOT blanketed all winter, you can purchase a lightweight, waterproof blanket to use on your horse during these harsh conditions. When the temperature drops below zero on a windy day you can blanket your horse these days as well to protect them from the cold.”

“When blanketing horses piloerection of their hair follicles is not permanently impaired.”

More information on blanketing here:

Farming Magazine says blanket drafts when it’s drafty!
Cherry Hill recommends blanketing in wet and windy conditions.
SmarkPak says DO blanket, and shows you how to measure your horse for one.
Equus Magazine explains when you should blanket.

Oh, and here’s a summary of horse evolution.

————————————————————————————————————-
EDIT 11/07/14

To date, this is the most-read blog post I have ever published. At 80,327 views, it seems to have reached quite an audience. I never expected that! Thank you for sharing. I’d like to take this opportunity to respond to some comments answer some questions:

“Blanketing Properly” was mentioned several times. Yes, of course you should not over-blanket, or get lazy about taking blankets off when temperatures climb. Remember, a horse’s normal body temp is between 99-101 F so they’re already “running hotter” than a human. Thanks to those who mentioned that.

Several people have said something like,
“If a horse shivers, boohoo! Call me a bad owner if you want…”

You ARE bad owner. Of course no one is going to blame you if your horse occasionally gets the shivers, just like you are not automatically a bad parent if your slip up and forget to dress your kid warmly enough a couple of times. But if you are regularly seeing your horse shaking with cold and you aren’t doing anything about it, you suck! We train and discipline our animals, we keep them confined, we ask them to work for us, and therefore in exchange we have a duty to give them a humane level of care. I guess some folks think of animals as machines to be used (and abused) and then left to sit. Personally, I see my animals as partners, and I would never sit by and watch them suffer.

“But shivering is natural!”
Yeah, and so is dying. Mustangs regularly lose ears to frostbite. Old and sick and young mustangs do freeze to death. If you want to give your own horse the same level of care that a wild mustang gets, what you are doing is not really “horse ownership,” is it? Also, if you still think constant shivering is OK, ask yourself: would you let your kid shiver? Your dog? Yourself?

“You’re just a tree-hugging, PETA-worshipping, idealistic idiot, aren’t you?”
Nope, I’m a steak-eating, horse-riding, venison-grilling, college-educated hick. I just happen to believe that animals deserve to be treated humanely until their deaths.
P.S. It’s probably fair to tell you when I blanket my horses. My young mare gets one when the temps get below 15 degrees F, unless it’s a sunny day. My old mare gets a blanket when it goes below freezing (32F) unless it’s a sunny day. My pony doesn’t get a blanket at all unless he’s sick– his hair is so fluffy he looks like a cotton ball with legs. They all have access to hay and heated water 24/7.

Despite my plea not to rely on quack science, one reader commented:

“…repeated blanketing can in fact stress those [arrector pili] muscles if it is not done correctly… the muscles may still try to raise the hairs, and will be unable to do so because of the blanket, which stresses the muscles as the animal is still cold and the hairs will continuously trying to rise to warm them.” 

If there are any actual studies that prove this, I will eat my hat and my helmet.
This makes no sense. If the arrector pili muscles can get stressed from trying to raise hairs, why would they not be stressed while keeping hair raised all the time? Finally, if a blanket is heavy enough to keep a horse warm, the horse won’t “get goosebumps.” If the blanket is NOT heavy enough to keep a horse warm, then it’s light enough for a horse to be able to “fluff up” under it.

One reader commented (sarcastically)  “…should I be blanketing my cattle too?”
In all seriousness, the answer is “yes, sometimes.” Just like with horses, if a cow is too young, too thin or too sick to
have the energy to produce body heat, then yes, you should blanket a cow– and many farmers do blanket young calves. Blanketing is less common for cattle overall simply because we care about them a lot less.



Why do you have to rant and shout and be nasty?
1) The sheer ignorance of some people in the horse world sometimes makes me very angry.
2)
It’s MY blog. Don’t like it? Write your own.

The bottom line, and what I was really trying to get at in this article was much better put by one of the commentors here: 

“I think you should blanket if your horse needs it. Period.”

Well said! Whether it’s age, breed, poor coat, illness, a sudden change of weather, or a harsh combination of wet and cold weather, just blanket your horse when he needs it.
Blanketing is NOT bad.

 

 

 

A Success Story: The Feral Kitties

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The Feral Cat Adventure has come to a most satisfying close. Of course the story will be on-going, but for this blog, it is finished. Quigley has become the most adorable house cat. Right from the first he was so different from the other kittens. Genetics? must be, but how? So intriguing that one could be so frightened that he hissed and scratched from the day he came (He was going to another outside feral home along with another of my choosing) and Quigley at the other end of the spectrum. The four black ones were somewhere in the middle.

After I noticed that the mattress pad in the bedroom where they were living had been shredded in places, it was time to make the decision to take the two black ones to the barn. My goal was to have them be barn cats, not ferals like the other 3 that already live in the barn, which we don’t see except at night now and then. To that end, Bob took off the feed room door and replaced it with a screen door of his making. That way they would be safe, but could see out. This worked for about 2 weeks, but then their plaintive meows got to me and I decided to let them out during the day and hopefully entice them back in to feed at night, and shut the door so they would be safe. This has worked perfectly except for one night when they wouldn’t go in the room even to eat. I am met in the morning with more sad meows to be let out. I learned by experience that I must turn a deaf ear to them until I am finished with feeding the horses and take the dogs back outside.

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Miss Molly

Buttercup, the Doberman is only a year old and while she is not intent on doing harm..I hope..chasing is definitely on the agenda. She chased them up a Pinyon Pine tree, and I held my breath watching as they darted up and then back down. Thunder, the male, is all boy and the first to do dangerous stuff. Lucy the female is much more shy and careful. Lucy got her name by always being the last one in the room at night and sometimes making me think she will not come. The song “You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille”  kept going through my head, so Lucy she became.

Molly, the 15 year old Persian mix, who had not been nice to the original feral kittens of last year, knew these from being in the house with them, so she is nice to them in the barn. Molly used to sit by the feral cat food dishes and not let them eat at night if we couldn’t catch her to bring to the house. Molly is her own girl, for 15 years has been an inside/outside cat,impossible to keep in a door if she wanted out. She was an adoptee from an Indiana humane shelter 15 years ago. Who can understand cat politics?

Quigley has made up with husband Hal, and is in the process of doing the same with son Bob. That is where I see his feral roots showing. Thunder the black male was always sort of friendly in the house, and in the barn has continued to be friendly. I can pick him up and he rubs my legs and purrs. Lucy has just now decided that I can touch her.

All in all a good happy outcome for everyone!

cat thunder

Thunder

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Quigley

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kitties Braveheart 2Kittens growing fast. I have another project and it has taken me away from the kitties. My other 3 books are “Pet Memoirs” about horses, mules and dogs. During the 3 years of living here, I have met some fabulous “Ranch Women.” They tell some fantastic stories of home on the range, so I thought: why not try and put them into a new book. I have to interview, record and write. I have done a few and we will see how it goes. Also thought I might share in installments here on my blog because I don’t know how long or “if ever” the stories will see book form and some are just too fun not to share. Anyway, back to the cats.

Braveheart is absolutely adorable. I am able to allow them out of their cage into the freedom of the bedroom. Usually he comes out from under the bed where they spend most of the day sleeping, when I enter the room. He meows and looks at me, thus he gets lots more attention. Thunder, or Mr. T is pretty tame in that I can pick him up, but only when he is in the cage. Then he purrs. Braveheart purrs a lot. Little Miss Sapphire is very timid, or cagey, as perhaps feral females tend to be? She is the last to go in the cage for supper and I have to almost leave the room, or hide behind the door for her to go in.

Dr. Delia McDonald, the vet who aided sweet Charm into the next world came out a week later to treat Buttercup the Dobe for anxiety. I had her look at the kitties because ALL of them had squinty eyes. Strangely, or not, each kitten’s eye that watered and squinted was on the same side as the ear that was tipped after their surgery because they are ferals. I am sure there is a connection. She said to use ointment or my Veterycin eye liquid several times a day. Super. Just what cats love…NOT.

Braveheart was wonderful and cooperative, never minded in the least. Mr. T wasn’t too bad after I got him, but little Miss, not so much. I could reach in, pet and then pick up T and doctor him. Miss S made me crawl into the cage. She didn’t run, just hunched down and tried to make herself small. What is nice is that even she does not scratch, bite or squall. Once picked up she sort of went into a mode of “what will be, will be” and we got it done. Now all three are ok and life is better for all of us.

I know Braveheart (who still needs a shorter “cool” name) will be my house kitty. I wish I could keep T also, but Miss S will have to go to the barn and I cannot send her there alone, even though there are 3 other ferals living happily together there. Every now and then I wonder what it would be like to have feral cats living in the house! They sleep all day anyway no matter where they are…

Yesterday was a big day for Braveheart. I took him into my bedroom/office and let him cavort while I worked. He found a potted plant right away and thought he should pee in it. He listened when I shouted “no” to him and scrambled back out before doing his potty. I had been putting him in the soft pet carry case and holding him on my lap for evening tv watching. He popped out of the opening in the top I left for him and lay on the top of the case or in my lap. Of course, all the dogs thought he was a new toy. He isn’t afraid of them right now as all the kittens are used to the dogs coming in and seeing them while in their cage. When they are eventually loose, they will have to be more careful.

So good news. Everything progressing nicely at this point!

If anyone has a super name for Braveheart, please share with me!

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