The Life of Cats

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Perhaps it’s just me, but being related to farmers, or at least coming from a farm family, can give you a unique outlook on life. Or, at least it differs somewhat from someone who has never experienced farm life. I can’t say that I know everything that a farm kid does; however, even though I was a town kid, spending time on my grandparents’ farm gave me some insight on life that I’m betting some of the town kids never got.

Missy and her kittens

One of those experiences was a firsthand look at where our food comes from. It starts long before it gets the the grocery store. Another experience is the life and death of the animals on the farm, along with the occasional surprise.

Just the other day, I was looking at the photos on my iPod. A couple of those pics were of Missy and her litter of kittens she had in March. Four little bundles of furry cuteness. One black, two tortoise shell, like their mother, and one yellow kitten that literally sticks out like a sore thumb when compared to the rest. Tang, as I call the yellow kitten, reminds me of another yellow cat that was on the farm many years ago.

When Grandpa was still alive and actively farming, there was a yellow cat named Tommy. He was a lovable cat that never met a stranger, and a pretty good mouse catcher, too. He would make an occasional trip in the house to curl up in one of the living room chairs for a nap. Many catnaps for him were on the Massey Ferguson seat or hood when there was a nice breeze. Tommy never missed a chance to ride on the carryall on the back of the Massey when Grandpa was taking square bales from one barn to the other.

One day, Grandpa went out to do chores and found Tommy dead. This was a sad day for all of us. The feline was a beloved member of the family. Grandpa managed to hold back tears as he buried Tommy. For about four days, the farm didn’t seem the same without him.

After the four days passed, Grandpa, as always, was out doing morning chores. As he entered the barn and turned on the lights, he looked over at straw on the floor. It was bedding that he had left for Tommy to sleep in at night. After staring at it for awhile, he uttered only one word: “Tommy?”

From the straw came the response. “Meow!” Up pops Tommy out of the straw nest over to greet Grandpa. Yep, that’s right, Grandpa buried someone else’s cat without realizing it.

This is one of those memories that I can’t help but to chuckle at. You don’t get memories like that living in town.

Missy and her kittens