Miss Kitty, the Barn Cat
Nearly every barn worth its salt has at least one barn cat.
As a cat lover who doesn’t currently own a cat (due to the high risk of coyotes and cars in our neighborhood), part of the charm of visiting the barn is spending time with Miss Kitty.
Miss Kitty is a bad-ass tabby missing most of her tail. Barn lore has it that Miss Kitty lost her tail to an especially naughty dog. Surprisingly, Miss Kitty isn’t afraid of dogs, despite this traumatic experience. This is fortunate since dogs of all shapes and sizes visit the barn, my own dog included.
Skittles, my 14 year-old Standard Poodle, used to have a barn cat of her own. Every morning she and Tiger, another awesome tabby cat, would greet one another at the door and Tiger would generously accept Skittles’ affectionate pawing and nuzzling.
When we put our home on the market, I felt Tiger was too old and too much of a barn warrior to adapt to life in a neighborhood. Happily, the new owners agreed to keep him. It hurt my heart to think of leaving Tiger, but I felt certain I was making the right choice.
Tiger surprised us by making a choice of his own, opting to find his way to Kitty Heaven just days before we moved. We never found his body (which isn’t unusual in coyote country) but I choose to believe he fell asleep under a tree and never woke up. I do appreciate that he’d led a long life and chose to leave under his own terms.
Watching Skittles going out to look for Tiger on those few, final days before we moved broke my heart. It was a loss for both of us. And so, having Miss Kitty greet us at the barn is good for Skittles and I. Miss Kitty is part of our extended family.
One smart girl, you’ll find Miss Kitty in barn’s the heated restroom on cold winter days, curled up on a towel on the back of the toilet, using a roll of paper towels as a pillow. She generously shared her spot with me, gracing me with a purr as I stroked her soft fur.
On warmer days she’ll sleep on a stack of saddle pads in the tack room, beneath the bridles. Our barn life is full and happy thanks to a warm and wonderful assortment of humans and animals.