Barn Cat

Barn Cat, dressage, Miss Kitty

We’ll Miss You, Miss Kitty

It was a sad day at the barn yesterday. Miss Kitty, barn cat extraordinaire, was euthanized following a run-in with coyotes and/or barbed wire. Regardless of the cause, her injuries were too extensive to save her.

I will miss the sight of Miss Kitty savoring saddle pads of all shapes and sizes.

I will miss the sight of Miss Kitty savoring saddle pads of all shapes and sizes.

Miss Kitty had been a fixture at the barn for many years, dutifully protecting the feed room from tiny intruders. When not guarding her domain, she was in the habit of telling each and every boarder that she had not been fed, in hopes of adding to her already curvy frame.
Despite the fact that she’d lost most of her tail to a very naughty dog, Miss Kitty didn’t take it out on the rest of the canine world. Miss Kitty tolerated the many dogs who visited the barn, with only a warning bop on the nose to the young and over-eager.
When in the barn aisle, Miss Kitty especially loved our sweaty saddle pads. Lounging on them was one of her specialties. In fact, Miss Kitty had a way of making all surfaces look comfortable, as she stretched out and napped in that wonderful way cats have perfected.
Miss Kitty, we will miss you. You were a sweet and gentle girl. May your kitty-cat heaven be generously appointed with smelly saddle pads and all the canned food you desire. Sleep well, little friend.

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Barn, Barn Cat, dressage

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.

Saddle pads make a nice mattress for Miss Kitty

Saddle pads make a nice mattress for 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.
Miss Kitty assumes the throne

Miss Kitty assumes the throne

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.

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