Monday, May 5, 2008

The owl and the pussycats...

are doing a bang-up job of rodent control. Mice are finding our property very unfriendly. Luckily, the farm surrounding us has plenty of rodents to keep our predator population well-fed. We've even had two hawks circling for the last week. The farm has tractors plowing and planting and that always brings out the rodents which brings out the predators.

I got these pictures of our owl.





I can't seem to get a picture of its mate. I can only find one owl at a time, though I can hear two. One always stays much better hidden than the other.

Our calico barn cat had a litter. She's had three litters since she moved in with us and all three have had three kittens - a white, an orange, and a black and white. She had this litter under a big pine tree on our property. I was able to squirm through some branches and get a picture, but I didn't pick them up. She doesn't do well if her kittens are handled before she brings them out. She's not the best mother.

The orange is obviously a male - it will be interesting to see what the other two are. In her other two litters, the white one was female and the black and white one was male.



The first litter she had, she had in our barn attic, and only one kitten survived - Desiree, our white cat. The second litter she had, she had in an old birds nest in our lilac tree.



Not surprisingly, none of those survived. I'm hoping for a better outcome with this litter, and I'm hoping to get her spayed soon. In our rural area it's $90 for a cat spay. That's a lot of money to pay to spay a barn cat. We're still discussing it.

5 comments:

Christy said...

She's a pretty kitty. I hope the kittens make it and that she can get spayed soon.

Nita said...

Darling kittens, we're still looking for some of ours, I wish we had colors like that.
The one cat we had neutered took off, even though we had him fixed before he was mature.
We haven't spent any more money on our barn cats since then...

Sarah said...

Christy, I know. She's beautiful. She's also very sweet and a fantastic mouser. Just not a great mother. Out of both of her previous litters only the white ones have lived, which is odd since around here there are no white cats - the owls tend to get white cats.

Nita, that's where we're sitting with our cats. I like having two dogs and three cats, so it would be nice for all concerned to get her spayed, but it is a *lot* of money for a mouser...

Farmer Jen said...

Many vets have spay/neuter programs that give discounts. Also some no-kill animal shelters have vouchers for discounted spay/neuter. Even some rural areas have these.

I enjoy your blog.

Sarah said...

Jen, it's nice to meet you! I have your blog marked to check out during my next nursing session. :)

Yeah, that's the first thing I checked into when we had this cat move onto our property. I've never lived in an area that didn't have a program like that, but this area doesn't. Not only that, they don't have a local shelter - our nearest shelter is forty-five minutes away, so all the dairies and farms around here get the cats and dogs dumped off because "they'll be happy there". It's infuriating.