Also to my dad for letting us live here on his farm.
I dread it. I have never been able to handle it well and it is hard to see the children work thru it. And that is loss.
When we first moved to the farm 14 years ago we all worked hard to turn part of an old chicken house into a very nice barn. Before long we started having a few mice here and there around in the barn. We all decided we needed a barn cat. A friend of mine had too many barn cats. She offered us a mother cat and her single large male kitten. They were both orange tabby cats. They had both been in her barn with goats. She had a similar set up as we did. It would be an easy transition for the cats, so we accepted the wonderful gift. She said the mother was from a good line of mousers. She said their names were Jake (the mom) and Junior (the kitten male). (Her kids had named them :) ) She also had them fixed before sending them here. They were both not handled much and kind of wild. But over time they would allow us to pet them for a few moments once in a while. After years of caring for them Junior would even let us pick him up every so often.
The kitten grew till it was larger than the mother. They both looked so similar, that from a distance it was hard to tell them apart. I would sit and watch them a lot. Once you got to know them you could see the mother was slightly fuller and less muscular and a bit lighter yellow in color. The male Junior was big boned and very muscular.
Boy, were they good mousers. They would regularly leave me mice and moles at the feed dishes in exchange for the food we fed them. If the barn was clean they would bring me lizards or work together to take out full grown wild rabbits. Two wonderful hunting machines.
Over the years we have had many stay cats show up that we have trapped, fixed and released. I don’t mind feeding them as long as they aren’t making more. Needless to say a mouse does not dare to show his whiskers in our barn anymore.
He sleeps at the base of a round bale of hay, just a few feet from his food dishes. He was not suffering or I would have done something. He was just really old and tired. Still purred when we petted him and always happy to see us and meow to remind us to feed him when we came in the barn. We tried to make his life as accommodating as possible.
We searched high and low. We finally found him. I will never get used to this part of farm life. Never.
May the Lord God in heaven, who cares about the details of our lives, be with us all as we live and grow in Him.
Psalm 34:18 The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.