The Barn Cat Recovering, R.I.P. Susie & Little Bit, Past Cat Photos

The Barn Cat on 7-1-21.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. I think the rain may be over for a few days. I did manage to get in the garden early yesterday evening to pull the grass away from the sweet corn. I couldn’t do the green beans because they were still in mud. In all, I would say we received around 7″ of rain. There is no rain in the forecast to speak of (10% chance) until next Wednesday so maybe I can get the garden tilled. GEEZ!

The above photo is The Barn Cat. Well, that is what dad called her. She is very old, and until recently, she was one of the healthiest of mom and dad’s cats. When I moved back to the family farm with mom and dad in 2013, there were 20 cats and more on the way. There was no way dad was going to pay to have them spayed, so I got the help of a local organization and we got it done… Over the years, some died, at least one was hit by a car, and some just simply disappeared. Susie was one of the last of the older cats and she died on April 15. She was perfectly fine the day before…

A couple of weeks before Susie died, the Barn Cat came up to me with an infected tooth. It was bad! Then she disappeared for two days and I thought she had died. Two days later, she was on the back porch and she looked pretty rough and could barely stand up. I started feeding her canned cat food (which I had to share with the others). She started doing better and then one day she was on the propagating table… The next morning she could not move her back legs. It is possible she fell on her back when she tried to get off the table. During two weeks of her dragging herself around, I would pick her up and stand her on her back legs but they just wouldn’t work… Then one morning, she miraculously walked across the porch. That was on April 15, the same day Susie didn’t show up for breakfast. That was odd because Susie never missed a meal.

Susie…

Susie was always one of the most affectionate of the cats. I usually called her Susie Q and she often followed me to the chicken house and the garden. Always, when mom gathered the eggs, Susie was right there at her feet. Dad didn’t know how old she was. Like the other older cats, he just said they were very old… She was a very healthy cat right up to the end… I remember a lot of funny things about Susie. She liked sneaking into the house and looking around hoping I wouldn’t see her. I left her alone a few times to see what she would do and she would wind up laying down on the bed or on top of the couch. She was perfectly content anywhere she was. Strange, but I kind of miss that darn cat…

Little Bit on April 6.

Little Bit was weird but very loving. Little Bit was just a tiny kitten when it showed up at a friend’s house in 2019. He watched her one night while she was catching bugs and eating them so he started feeding her. He eventually caught her and put her in the bathroom. He couldn’t keep her, so he gave her to me. I am not sure how many cats were here at the time, maybe 7-8. Anyway, I brought her home and she was still pretty wild. She hid behind my toilet for two days…

Little Bit on July 29, 2019.

Finally, she tamed down enough I let her walk around in the bedroom. Then, after a few more days she started roaming the house… I found a small ball of yarn and it became her favorite toy. Once she had it all strung out, she would come to me and meow so I could roll it back up again.

She was kind of odd, VERY alert and skittish. She never missed a thing and always, always, eased up to anything new.  Jade did NOT like Little Bit in the house and it took a while for her to accept her. Simba, on the other hand, thought she was cute. The first day Simba and Little Bit met would have made an interesting video. Simba came in from outside and went to the kitchen. He saw her in the hallway and started making weird sounds like he was calling her. Little Bit walked up to him, they touched noses, and that was that. When Little Bit started eating on the back porch, the other cats hissed at her. Simba, who wouldn’t eat with the other cats and wouldn’t let them eat with him, allowed Little Bit to share his cat food. Later on, Nathan brought home a very small black tomcat. Simba also adopted him but now he is as big as Simba and he gets ran off…

Every night when I went to bed, Little Bit was laying on the railing on the side porch. Anyway, early in April after The Barn Cat had her episode, Little Bit was laying out by the garage one morning and wasn’t moving. She was still alive because I could see her breathing. I had to leave and wouldn’t be back home until late in the afternoon. Nathan came to where I was painting a house, 20 miles away, and told me he put food and water next to her and she would just scream at him. No, I don’t have a cell phone, so Nathan drove all the 20 miles to tell me about the cat! After I came back home, I picker her up and put her on the back porch. The next morning she was dead. I am not sure what happened to her, perhaps she ventured to the street and was hit by a car. She always stayed around the back yard, the barn, the back porch, and sometimes the front porch. She was too much of a scaredy-cat to go near the street. It is just a mystery what happened to her.

Jade on the propagating table on the back porch on June 27, 2021.

Jade and Simba are my son’s cats in case you don’t already know from previous posts. He came in maybe January or February in 2019 and didn’t mention the cats were coming, too. I didn’t know until he brought in the cat carrier… When Nathan left, the cats stayed with me. Both Jade and Simba were not used to being outside and Jade doesn’t have front claws. After they were here for a while, I started putting Simba outside. Nathan didn’t like that very well, but I did it anyway. Simba is a male and he tried dominating Jade. He was even growling at the cats through the door, so I thought it was time he went out. Suzie and The Barn Cat already didn’t like him… There were issues but Susie and The Barn Cat did NOT back off, so Simba pretty much left them alone. The other cats pretty much gave him a wide birth.

Normally, Jade does NOT like being on the back porch. I think she was a little uppity toward the other cats and thought maybe she was special because she was in the house. Last summer I started taking her to the garden and she liked it. She got to see what was going on outside and she enjoyed chasing butterflies. Now, she spends most of her time on the front porch and sometimes on the side porch. She likes sitting on the railing on the front porch so she can watch over the neighborhood. I never wanted a cat, or a dog, in the house with long hair but here she is… Hair and all… Before I started putting her outside, she thought she had to be with me constantly. That was OK because she just mainly laid at the foot of the bed while I was working on the computer. If she started toward the pillows, I would just point and she would go back to where she belonged.

Simba…

Simba on February 19, 2019.

Simba is a genuine tomcat but he also loves attention. Nathan says he is a Russian Blue but to me, he is just a gray cat. Well, someone told him Jade is a Norwegian Forest Cat but I don’t know about that either. I don’t have many photos of Simba because he does his own thing during the day but he doesn’t miss a meal.

I would not allow Simba to stay in the house, even though he just lays down somewhere. I feed Jade in the kitchen, and Simba likes to come in and eat her food. Since Nathan and Chris are back, Simba gets to come into the house when I am not looking. He is a very good cat, I will admit. I think it is funny Jade now prefers it outside, while Simba would rather be in the house. I would prefer Simba stayed outside, and Jade be in the house during the night. I told Nathan to make sure Jade is in the house during the night, but that rarely happens. However, I have got up during the night only to find Simba in the house. He always comes to me asking for food…

CATS OF THE PAST…

Over the years, I have posted about the cats. Well, there were a lot, at least 20, so there were cats everywhere. On the back porch, side porch, front porch, the barn, laying in the flower beds, on the old foundation… Most of the cats had names, but a few just had numbers (like the cows).

Spike and her kittens on June 11, 2013.

The above photo is of Spike and her last litter of kittens on June 11 in 2013. There were two of these boxes on the back porch dad had made for the cats to have kittens in. Sometimes, more than one cat would have their kittens in the same box.

Dad’s pickup with 2 cats on 6-12-13.

When I was taking photos of plants, if there was a cat around I took their photos, too. At first, I didn’t even know their names and it was somewhat confusing for a while. Some looked so much alike I couldn’t tell them apart. Dad could tell them apart, just like he could tell the cows apart when they were all black. Well, like the cows, I soon learned their personalities and other features to tell them apart.

My 2002 Ford Explorer with at least two cats on July 24, 2013.

There were at least two cats under the Explorer…

Susie on 7-17-13.

Susie was a wanderer and just showed up many times when I was taking photos. Of course, she would get hers taken, too.

#6 on August 1, 2013.

#6 was one of the older cats that didn’t venture off too far from the back porch.

The Coop Cat’s kitten on August 3, 2013.

The Coop Cat was weird and mom was the only one who could touch her. In 2013, she had one kitten… This kitten was a boy and it took up with dad. Every time dad would sit on the porch to smoke his pipe, this cat would crawl on his lap. When dad died, this cat really missed him. This cat died last summer and really never had a name.

Hmmm… This is #6’s kitten on August 3, 2013.

Like I mentioned, some cats just had numbers and apparently, #6’s kitten didn’t even have a name. Dad and I laughed about that all the time. I don’t know what became of #6 or this cat.

Old Blue on August 3, 2013.

Old Blue sounds more like a dog’s name, but that was what dad called this blue calico. She was a good cat, but a bit strange at times. She had four kittens in 2013 whose father was a HUGE fuzzy cat that came for a visit. Dad didn’t like that tomcat and one day he handed me the 22 and told me to shoot it. Well, there were several tomcats here and none of the cats liked him. I didn’t know where he came from, may have been someone’s pet, so I would have felt bad about shooting him… After seeing what he did with some of the other cats, he did disappear. Nuff said… I think Old Blue was Fuzzy’s kitten… Her fur was a bit longer, but not as long as her mother’s.

Kitten sleeping on a brick on the back porch on August 3, 2013.

You have to admit, if you have cats, they can sleep in some of the strangest positions. This kitten sleeping on a brick was by far the most interesting…

The Barn Cat in her prime on August 3, 2013.

I think a blog reader wanted me to write a post about the cats in 2013, so that’s what I did. That must be why there are so many cat photos from August 3… The Barn Cat was always a mind reader. I could not get anywhere near her for a long time. This was just a lucky shot… It wasn’t until after mom died in 2015 that she even allowed me to touch her. Even now, sometimes she doesn’t want to be bothered. If you hold out your hand, if she is in the mood, you can pet her. Once you start, though, she will drive you nuts. She has really been lovey-dovey the past couple of weeks… The Barn Cat got her name because she always stayed in the barn. For the past couple of years, she has always been on the back porch. She was one of the oldest cats when I came here and she is the last survivor. She was definitely a nice-looking cat in her prime.

The Coop Cat on August 3, 2013.

Another lucky shot for sure. This is The Coop Cat that no one could touch except mom. She always looked so sweet and I tried to pet her several times but no dice… I am not sure how I even managed to get this photo of her on the bottom step of the side porch…

The Coop Cat sleeping on a fence post on August 3, 2013.

Well, I just had to get a photo of The Coop Cat sleeping on this post. I had to zoom in to get it. I took several photos of her while she was there and each time her eyes began to open more. I don’t know what happened to this cat. She just disappeared. One night I saw a fox walk up to her in the driveway. Since the cat didn’t run, the fox just walked away. Dad said the foxes wouldn’t bother the cats as long as they didn’t run. If they ran, that was the end of the cat. Dad always said that was what happened to a lot of the cats.

Shhh… The cats are sleeping.

Who could resist that photo…

Bossy on the front porch on August 5, 2013.

Oh yeah, Bossy… He was the old tomcat. He was friendly but had his limits. One day mom was picking on him when he was on the back porch. He just couldn’t figure out why mom was behaving like that and he eventually had enough so he slapped mom’s hand. Mom thought it was funny and kept picking at him so he just walked away.

Old Maid on August 5, 2013.

I have no clue why dad called her Old Maid. This cat was very sweet but definitely very old. Dad said he had seen a fox walk up to her one night, too, and she didn’t run… She lived to tell the tale, so maybe that was an experience she passed on to the others…

Pee Wee on August 5, 2013.

Pee Wee… I forgot who his mother was (maybe Spike) but he was one of dad’s favorites. This one was also born in early 2013 and would sleep on dad’s lap. I think he got sick somewhere down the line and died…

Another cat with no name on August 5, 2013.

Hmmm… You know, this cat was very sweet but very shy. I could pet her, but it wasn’t one of her favorite ideas. She had the greenest eyes that just kind of glowed. Her fur was always raggy looking, though, and seemed to change color…

Fuzzy on 8-5-13.

This was another cat that dad said was very old. Not only was Fuzzy old, but she was also an oddball. No matter where she was going, she was always in a run. One thing I always remember about her is how she would dart in the side door or front door and run to the back door. It was like she was taking a shortcut… She was a sweet cat, also…

Old Blue’s kittens on August 9, 2013.

Old Blue had kittens in the old foundation and were rarely seen. One day I saw her walking with them toward the barn… If one got behind she would go back and pick it up. On August 9, I heard dad say, “Old Blue has her kittens on the porch.” So, I grabbed the camera…

Another photo of Old Blue’s kittens.

He said I needed to see if I could catch them and put them in the cage in the chicken house (where he raised the baby chicks in the feed room). They were very wild and he thought it we put them in the cage we could tame them down. Eventually, I did catch all four but it wasn’t easy. One died, the lady from Pawsibilities found a new home for one, one tamed down, and one didn’t. The kitten in the front of the photo is the one that found a new home, and the black and white one is the one that died.

Three of the cats ready to go to the vet to get spayed on August 16, 2013.

Finally, little by little, all the cats made their way to the vet to be spayed and neutered. The kittens had to be old enough before they could go and the wild tom cat never made it…

Three cats on the side porch on October 11, 2013.

The lady from Pawsibilities also found a new home for one of the older calico females. I don’t remember the cat’s name but she adapted well to her new home.

How’s that for a family photo?

I think this was as many cats I ever saw at once on the side porch. Usually, there would only be 1-3 cats together on the side porch, so this many here was unusual.

Spike on December 7, 2013.

Spike was also an odd cat. Dad called her spike because she had lost her fang teeth. Dad said she ate too many screws… When he first told me that, I thought “HUH?” Then I realized what he meant. There were some words dad couldn’t pronounce well, so I just had to kind of roll with it. He was saying she ate too many shrews… One day my brother was here for a visit and we were sitting on the back porch when Spike came. Dad told him, “That is Spike. She doesn’t have any front teeth because she ate too many screws.” My brother said, “Screws?” Dad said, “Yeah, screws. She catches them and eats them and they broke out her front teeth.” Leroy had a weird look on his face so I explained dad was talking about shrews, not screws. Then dad laughed because he knew he couldn’t pronounce shrew. He knew Leroy would be confused by calling them screws. I am not sure how eating shrews broke out Spike’s front teeth. I laugh every time I tell this story. My sister brings up the time dad told her the same thing. 🙂

Cats on the back porch on February 13, 2014.

During the day the cats were here and there. Several stayed in the barn most of the time. When it came time for them to be fed, they would all show on or near the porch which is why there were so many at once in the above photo. Mom would count the cats every time she fed them. Mom had dementia, but she knew how many cats were supposed to be there. If one was missing, she would tell us which one…

Old Blue’s kitten, the wild one, on April 13, 2018.

The above photo is of Old Blue’s kitten, the wild one. He just never tamed down. He was a dark yellow and white, while his brother was a lighter yellow and white. This cat became sick and died in 2020 and his brother followed a few weeks later.

Susie and the Coop Cat’s kitten on August 28, 2018.

Susie and the Coop Cat’s kitten were together A LOT.

The Barn Cat, Susie, Simba, Little Bit, and the young tom eating on October 21, 2020.

Usually, Simba eats with Little Bit and the young tom, but here is with The Barn Cat. Susie was somewhat confused about the ordeal and it looks like she was telling Simba he was in the wrong place. Of course, Jade was in the house where her food is.

There are more cat photos, but I think it is time to close this post and work on another one. I am not sure what sparked writing this post, I guess the first photo of The Barn Cat. There are a lot of memories here and many of them make me smile.

Until next time, be safe and stay positive. Always be thankful and GET DIRTY if you can.

 

 

19 comments on “The Barn Cat Recovering, R.I.P. Susie & Little Bit, Past Cat Photos

  1. tonytomeo says:

    DANG! That is tooooooooo many kitties. My town is named after kitties, but I do not know of anyone here who lives with that many. However, my colleague who lives in Mid City Los Angeles lives next door to someone who allows feral kitties to breed without restraint. My colleague has trapped and removed more than he can count over the years, but can not trap those who continue to make more kitties! It has been horrid, right in the middle of the city, and right next door to my colleagues home garden, which looks so lush and idyllic in home and garden magazines. Fortunately, no one can smell it in magazines.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Tony! That’s why I had to take action. Being a gardener, I was imagining getting my hands in more than just dirt. The cats didn’t seem interested in the flower beds or garden, though, and just did their number in the grass. That is just as bad because I always had to watch where I was stepping. I made frequent visits to the water hose. Sorry to hear about your friend and the feral cats. They can definitely get out of hand. While feral cats in certain situations can help control rats and mice in the city, they can overpopulate which spreads disease, and inbreeding isn’t good either. I have read in some areas feral cats are captured then spaded and neutered then some are returned some to where they found them. Food supply determines where they release them and how many. It isn’t the feral cats that is the biggest concern, it is them reproducing… In the wild, they don’t always live to a ripe old age, so after a while the population declines. However, people dumping cats doesn’t help the situation. Many shelters are now charging for animals being dropped off, wheteher they were their pets or not. Take care and thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

      • tonytomeo says:

        The kitties who were such good mousers at my home were feral kitties that were trapped, spayed or neutered, and then released. They came from my former neighborhood. I could not leave them there. One momma kitty with three kittens was dumped there! By the time I got them, the kittens were like wild cats.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sylvia says:

    I’m very sorry for the loss of your kitties.
    I just loved seeing all the beautiful cats who you’ve cared for over the years. The best friend of my life was a feral cat who I trapped and took inside the house. It took six months to get near him, but once we did, he never left our sides again. Thank you for sharing these photos and stories.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Syliva! Glad to hear about your experience with a feral cat who became your best friend. I have had interesting experiences with cats that were adopted over the years. There is usually a period of time where they have to accept your friendship. Kindness pays off. One time when I lived in Bolivar (MO), my ex and I and the kids were in Sprngfield. It was pouring down rain and there was a cat in the middie of a four lane street. I stopped, pulled in a parking lot, and went out in the traffic and picked up the cat. It was a HUGE old tom, very thin, and he smelled really bad. We took the cat home and gave it a bath. We could tell he was pretty old. He stayed with a while then one day he just dissappeared. That cat would go into the pasture and bring home rabbits. Take care and thanks for the comment!

      Like

  3. Jim R says:

    Your post reminded me of the 30 or so cats we had on the farm when I was a kid. They were a constant source of entertainment for me and my many siblings. I don’t recall more that a handful that had names. And, there must have been a lot of inbreeding going on. I like the kitten sleeping on the brick. Very comfy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Jim! Cats and kittens can definitely be amusing. When we are kids, playing with kittens is always fun. With so many, like when you were a kid, it is hard to give them all names and remember who is who. When I was in the hatchery business in the 1980’s, we had a flockowner who had a lot of cats. One day when we were blood testing, I counted 50 cats in their yard. I told the flockowner I counted 50 cats in his yard. He said, there were at least that many more in the barn. I didn’t have any cats at the time, and he told me I could have a few if I wanted. When we were getting ready to leave, there were only two black female cats in the yard so I brought them home. Cats can lay in some of the strangest positions and locations. With so many cats, inbreeding can definitely be an issue. Take care and thanks for the comment.

      Like

  4. shoreacres says:

    I have friends who live in the Texas hill country who finally began a trap/neuter/release program after they realized they were being overrun. Because they’re fairly isolated, the numbers finally declined, and now there are only a couple of long-time house cats and one feral who decided moving into the house and living la dolce vita would be just the ticket.

    I’ve only had one cat — a calico named Dixie Rose who was with me for eighteen years. Since she was an indoor cat from the time I got her, at four months of age, she stayed healthy. She did have her quirks, though. The photo of the cat in the sink reminded me of Dixie in her favorite summer spot: a large, old fashioned wash basin that went with a chamber set. I always knew when summer had arrived; she’d head straight for that cool porcelain to nap.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Linda! Good to hear your friend was able to trap and neuter the cats. Over time, as here, when new cats don’t show up the population slowly declines. A lot of things can happen to feral cats. Glad to hear about Dixie Rose living a long and healthy life. They do lay in some weird places sometimes. I had never seen a cat in the sink before Simba, but Jade does like the bathtub when it gets hot. Take care and thanks for the comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dayphoto says:

    I love your kitties. Heck, I love cats (and dogs) so seeing yours was nice. I am sorry about your loss losing fur kids is very, very hard.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. rmkinder says:

    Great post. My husband’s family had barn cats. He and I have had 2-3 cats and 2-3 dogs at a time. During a few years, when he’d walk the three dogs, the three cats went along. Wonderful sight. Our old cat Twitch, who died last year, joined on the walk every time. I should write a blog about these animals, a lengthy blog, as you do. But, since I’m a fiction writer, most of my post have to do with writing and words. Love animals. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Rose Marie! Some animals like being around their human friends, and not just what we consider pets. In the early 1980’s when I first moved to the farm, I had cats, a dog, chickens, ducks, geese, guineas, and turkeys. I even had a goat a cousin gave me for a while. When i would go to the back of the farm, the dog, cats, and turkeys would follow me. The cows would sometimes follow me and the darn goat thought he was human. If I went to visit across the street, the turkeys would also sometimes come. People driving by got a kick out of them. Did you get a new cat? Take care and thanks for the comment!

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      • rmkinder says:

        Yes, a new cat, of course. His name is Lark. He’s very talkative and when I try to play the piano, he often joins me, walking up and down the keyboard. Delightful fellow. He’s such a good birder, though, that we had to take down the birdfeeders. We were feeding Lark. Ugn. Thanks for the reply. No need to reply to this one. I did like your story of all the animals. I’ve experienced that, a trail of curious creatures. All neighbors.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Lena says:

    Sorry for your loss. Felines are amazing creatures and they appreciate nature a lot. I lost a cat today, he’d stayed in the garden for about four months. He started collapsing last night, heavy breathing, he was skinny no matter what we tried with vet. Renal failure. His name was pee-nah-le-on, as in Napoleon, but that meant hungry lion. He would jump more than 1m high to get whatever was in the plate,even tomatoes or watermelon for the chickens. His condition did not allow for such nutrition, but he was content. He would always be in and around our feet, so he’s missed today.
    P. S. Russian blues are very loving, Simba should stay inside.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Lena! Sorry to hear about Penaleon. Interesting how he would jump so high. Did he actually eat the tomatoes and watermelon? Simba would certainly agree with you that he should be inside. Hmmm… I hope you are well. Take care and thanks for the comment!

      Like

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