Thursday, October 25, 2007
For the first three years we lived here, our barn was ruled by Thunder and Lightning, two rescue cats we adopted just weeks after moving to Arkansas. Thunder is the grey and white tiger striped male. Lightning is the beautiful, long haired, calico female.
We soon learned that contrary to what most people think, cats LIKE to go for walks. These two cats accompanied us on many, many walks all over the farm, sometimes for hours. We never invited them, they would just hear us walking by the barn and come a runnin'. They liked to follow at a distance and make small side treks here and there to explore. But they kept up and seemed to be having a great time. They were two quintessential hunters, keeping the mice away, but were also very friendly and loving.
Then last winter, Lightning just disappeared. She was such a lioness, a great hunter, bold and confident and healthy as could be. The only explanation is that she was attacked by a coyote or stray dog. I don't believe anything else could have gotten her and I have a hard time believing even that. She NEVER left the farm so I know it wasn't by choice she was gone. For days we watched for her and looked for her, but after about a week, we had to accept that she was never coming back.
This spring, we added two kittens to the barnyard to help keep Thunder company and to eat mice. Dad said just one cat to replace Lightning, but when each girl wanted a kitten of their own, he couldn't say no! ClaireAnna's kitten, the calico female, is named Elisabeth. Kate's kitten, the black and white male, is named Ozymandias. Okay, "Lizzy" and "Ozzy". They are brother and sister. Don't worry, we had them spayed and neutered! They are such cuties and lucky for us, turned out to be cuddly, loving kittens.
What we didn't realize was that Thunder would consider them a huge intrusion on his territory and simply left the barn in anger for days once they were on the scene. He is now in his "acceptance" phase and tolerates them some what. But he certainly doesn't enjoy their company. Sorry Thunder!