I had a late appointment last night and didn't arrive home until around 7:30. The rain had stopped for a moment and for some reason several furry friends decided to make themselves known on the farm tonight and of course I didn't have my camera.
First I saw Brownie and her brood! I hadn't seen them for awhile and always worry about them. But, they were fine! I turned the noisy diesel motor off, 'rolled' down the window and talked to them...yes, I am a crazy farm lady who talks to the wild animals. After they settled down from the loud truck, they stood there and listened. Brownie, Bossy, Brave One and Shy One all are with fawn. Zigzags of summer brown has splattered their gray coats so they haven't finished shedding. Bossy's son, BB is very light in color and has buttons that are much taller and wider than little Nub's. Maybe two inches higher. Bossy always turns out big boys. Brownie's little Cocoa and Nub are cute and look healthy. Brave One now has one of those awful warbles, those worm things eating in her leg. Shy One hosted one last year and it finally died and left a scar. They listened for maybe 5 minutes as I rattled on telling them how beautiful they were, how I missed them and that I continue to leave corn for them...they know the word 'corn' and they know their names. Seriously, I am not kidding about that, they do! Cocoa got bored and darted for cover, Brownie and Bossy began eating branches, so I started up the motor and continued down the lane.
The good husband had dinner prepared, (thanks awesome man), so I quickly ate, and then headed to the barn. I didn't take the short cut since the ground is swampy and stayed on the gravel driveway. It was getting dark.
Then I heard this meow as I passed the Walnut tree. I looked up and saw Callie. Mind you all of these thoughts developed within split seconds. Ok, the dogs chased her up the tree what else is new? Then I hear a strange meow, not Callie's...I look up again, and I said "Cricket" without thinking because I saw two cats in the tree with Callie being all the way up and the lower cat looked like Cricket but then my thoughts were jumbled....I thought I put Cricket up in the tack room! (If you don't put him in the tack room around 5 pm, then he goes for his 2nd shift, so to speak, and doesn't come home until around midnight!) I looked again....OH NO, THAT IS NOT CRICKET! Since I had the worms eye view, I could see underneath this kitty. He had the same oval under his chin as Cricket's but it was larger! He sported the same mask on his face as Cricket. But, he looked like a dark gray, not black, and he was not thin and long, he was more stout....well, I know who his father is....Daddy Cat!!!! So, he is at least two years old, and is a half brother/sister to Cricket. Oh Lord, another stray cat to deal with and this time I am not going to get bit! What to do? The bird feeder hanger was not long enough to touch this cat. The only thing I had were my keys, so I began a series of tossing them gently at him to discourage him from climbing higher towards my Callie and hopefully get him out of the tree. Meanwhile, there is a chorus of meowing from two very upset cats, and Daddy Cat, is doing nothing but taking a 'you know what' in the middle of the yard! The kitty finally leaves his post and runs away. Little Bear looks at him, wanting to give chase but I screamed at her. Sammy is loose which is not good, so I warned him to get back on the porch. He did. The cat hid near the tracks in some heavy brush and Little Bear sat in the paddock barking at it. Callie jumped down, glad to be in my arms as I walked down to the barn to put her in the tack room. Her tail was still big.
After I finished the night feeding and put the barn babies to bed, I carried a small bucket of corn out to the deer in case Brownie and her brood came down. When it rains, I feed close to the lane so the corn stays dry. Little Bear began barking again, so I walked back to the house and got the big 3 million candle flashlight and thought I might spot the cat. No cat. But as I shined the light to see if any deer were feeding I did see some yellow spots....a small yearling bunny scampered away. There was another brown figure. Can't be a fox, because the rabbit would not be so close...I walked closer, keeping the light on the animal. It was a huge raccoon! It watched me carefully cleaning each kernel and continued to feed. I decided to let it alone and called it a night. By the way, my light was not the only light out there...I saw tiny yellow lights flickering up the big hill near the trees...has all this rain brought out the lightening bugs too?