Barn cats are useful, sometimes friendly and are great to have around the farm. The first one that I remember was about 30 years ago. Her name was Girlinda Brown and she was a world class hunter. In addition to mice she once even brought down a small screech owl and left it at the front door as proof of her hunting skills. Like all true hunters she ate what she caught and in the case of mice only left the tiny liver behind as it apparently didn’t suit her tastes. She and her brother Rusty came from Vail’s dairy farm and lived a good long time. Girlinda must have lived into the high teens and as old cats will do, she went off by herself one day to join the great cat majority.

We are down to one cat now named Blackstone. He is very friendly and came from a shelter in Hyde Park having lived through his kittenhood in an abandoned building in Poughkeepsie. I thought it was time for a few more cats as company for Blackstone and to keep him on his toes. A good friend Mary, who lives over in Stanfordville said her neighbor had a mess of feral cats that were hard to catch but she had captured one kitten and was trying for more.

I picked up or rather transferred the cat into a carrier using welder’s gloves. She is small, maybe not even a month old and she is the meanest creature I ever came across. She hissed, bit, scratched and fought like none I have ever seen. I brought her in the house where I have been trying to domesticate her before turning her loose in the barn. So far, not a lot of luck although she had a small piece of salmon this evening and has been rustling around looking for a good fight. Don’t let this picture deceive you, she is ready to pounce at a moment’s notice. I haven’t even been able to find out whether it is a boy or girl, but give me a few more days and I’ll let my readers know. I’m waiting to see if Mary’s neighbor can catch one of her brothers or sisters so I can put them together. Like lawyers you really need two of them to have a fight.

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