Critter Stories · Farmtastic Stories

Go Fish

Back in the fall I was chatting it up in our local coffee shop, when one of my friends mentioned that she keeps goldfish in her horse troughs to eat algae and mosquito larvae.  I nearly spit out my chai tea latte, when I asked, “Seriously?” (And yes, country folks drink tea lattes, at least this farmgirl does and I adore them. And double yes, if you walk into our local coffee shop you will hear talk of horses, farms, and the town goings-on, all with a dose of southern hospitality.)

My Farmtastic Life - Go Fish, Critter Stories
Our first little goldfish swimming laps in their olympic sized pool, a.k.a. the horse trough.

So I bee bopped home and told Cowboy of my newfound knowledge.  And if you could have seen the look on his face.  Let’s just pull a line out of his favorite TV show, and say, “Well, possum on a gum bush.”  So we started asking around, and sure enough it’s a REAL thing.

We went about purchasing goldfish at a whopping 32 cents a piece and gave it a try.  Admittedly, fall into winter was probably not our smartest time to try, but we gave it a good go. Sure enough, it worked.  Well, kind of.

Enter Lips.  In our last batch of fish, we got one little fella who was all gold with the exception of bright white lips.  So while I had avoiding naming the fish, this one was special.  And you guessed it, his name is Lips.

After a couple of weeks in the trough, he wasn’t doing so well.  He was barely moving and only using his fins on one side.  Cowboy sent me a text one afternoon that said, “Lips is dying.”  Yes, I know Lips is a 32-cent goldfish, but I went into action.  How does one save a fish?  I mean I couldn’t exactly give him CPR or bandage a fin.  (Although, Cowboy wouldn’t put it past me. Some other time I’ll have to share the warnings I get about this and that creature finding their way inside.)

I’d read that sometimes goldfish don’t always do well in galvanized tanks, so I thought maybe this was his problem. I scooped him out and put him in a sassy purple horse bucket, fed him, and watched.  On a daily basis, I would tell Cowboy, “I think he’s dead.”  To which Cowboy would come look, disturb the water, and sure enough, off Lips would swim.  (Maybe I’ll start calling Cowboy the fish whisperer.  I’m sure he’d love that.) Within a couple of days Lips was swimming around again.  So now what’s a farmgirl to do?

My Farmtastic Life - Go Fish, Critter Stories
One fish + one tea pitcher = one very happy Lips the goldfish.
My Farmtastic Life - Go Fish, Critter Stories
A close up of dear sweet Lips, in his tea pitcher house.

If you know me, you can most likely guess.  He came inside, of course.  But while I have kennels a plenty and horse halters galore, an aquarium is not standard farm paraphernalia.  So digging through the cupboards I finally found it – my giant tea pitcher.  And so with a few seashells from our travels dropped in for good measure, Lips was in his new home.  And I prayed that the cats would not turn on the spout and drain out the water before Lips could have a real home.  In addition, a girl can only give up her sweet tea pitcher for so long, fish or no fish.

So long story short, Lips now has a home nestled in a lovely, proper aquarium, complete with air pump, colorful gravel, and decor.  I mean the fish has to have style. So if you are doing the math, this 32-cent goldfish now is a $50 investment, which leaves Cowboy scratching his head, but me able to sleep at night. And where is this aquarium, you ask?  On my hutch, directly beneath my treasured cookbooks, where there will be no discussion of cooking fish.

My Farmtastic Life - Go Fish, Critter Stories
Lips enjoying his new digs. Luxury penthouse in the sky. (Stache is in the front, and Lips is in the back left.)

P.S.  We originally got Lips a friend, who we named Stache, short for Mustache, as he had a black ring around has lips.  But unfortunately, Stache didn’t last too long.  Rest in peace Stache.  We hope you enjoyed your time on the farm.  Lips will remain an only fish for now.

P.P.S.  Goldfish don’t always do well in the troughs.  So we continue to experiment and find the the right balance.  We do enjoy having them and they are big help. If you give it a go, we’d love to hear your successes. 



Critter Stories · Farmtastic Stories

Easter Donkey

A couple of years ago, I was asked if I would teach children’s Sunday school. An admitted struggler with the word “no,” I reluctantly agreed to teach once a month. You see, while this farm mama has a gift with the four-legged children, I fear I have no such gift with the two-legged variety.

After a couple of Sundays, I quickly learned that a room full of antsy middle schoolers, mostly boys, positively scares the beejeebers out of me. However, my favorite Sunday of all to teach was Palm Sunday. It was when my love of the four-legged got to have a part in my lesson, at least through pictures.

I had heard about the legend of the cross and donkey, and given the beautiful crosses that Sweetie Pie and Mama Rose both wear on there backs, I wanted to know more. So I spent a little time to look it up and research it for the kiddos.

The story goes like this (in a farmgirl’s words) … when Jesus was heralded on Palm Sunday He rode in on the back of a sweet donkey. At that time, the donkey did not have a cross. The little donkey loved Jesus and was so proud to carry his Lord and Savior through the town. A week later, when Jesus was crucified, the donkey was heart broken. He stood in the back of the crowd and watched as his Jesus died, tears falling from his gentle eyes. The donkey could not bear to leave Jesus, so he stayed until the shadow of the cross fell across his back. From that moment on, the donkey carried the cross of Jesus to show his love for his Savior and King. On the third day, when Jesus rose from the dead, the donkey rejoiced and passed his beautiful cross markings on to all those that came after him.

Donkey Photo - Sweetie Pie shoes off her cross markings
Sweetie Pie and Mama Rose are Jesus donkeys. On this Easter weekend they proudly display their crosses.

John 12:12-15 (NIV)

(12) The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem.  (13) They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” “Blessed is the king of Israel!” (14) Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written,  (15) Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see, your king is coming seated on a donkey’s colt.”

So on this Easter Sunday, we think about our donkeys and the symbols of Jesus that they carry all year through. We wish you and your family a blessed celebration of the ultimate sacrifice and gift that is Jesus.

P.S. That was my last Sunday to teach and I think it ended on a perfect note.  Teachers, you have my respect and thanks for all you do.  You are truly special, and I don’t know how you do it, but I’m honored for the experience and I hope those kiddos will always remember the donkey and Jesus.

P.PS. Another great story source

Adventures Away From the Farm · Critter Stories · Farmtastic Stories

Where Did January Go?

Somehow we’ve lost track of time here at the farm, and it’s already February. We can hardly believe it’s been since early December that we took the time to stop, sit down, and actually write a blog. Yikes! The critters are definitely scolding me for not sharing all of their delightful antics with their adoring fans. So what has been going on with farm life since the holidays?  Here are a few of our latest adventures.

Farm Photo - Busted gate
River knocks the gate off the hinges. Nightmare investigates.

The great escape – River the mustang got crafty and busted out of his stall one night.  While he used force to knock his gate off the hinges, he used is agile lips to unlock the stalls of his two brothers.  Who needs opposable thumbs?  We awoke to a gelding party at the hay, while poor Suzy Q watched on.  Clearly this was a boys adventure.  And just in case fun was not enough, in his great escape River managed to finagle a minor injury to his eye, and so we helped the vet to have a merry Christmas.  He’s healed.  Gates are fixed.  And new gate locks installed, thumbs required.

Cat Photo - Chip
The tough but lovable little Chip. Happily using his box again and dining like a king.

Litter box bingo – Chip the kitty ended up with a bladder blockage.  How did we know?  Poor cat was howling and licking like he had lost his mind or was desperate to find a girlfriend.  Freaked this farm mama out!  And yes, in case you were wondering, these things happen in the middle of the night. How else is a cat to gain his person’s attention?  The result was 48 hours in the kitty hospital and a new food.  Since feeding seven cats separately is not an option (remember the EDS commercial where cowboys herded cats), the $60-per-bag cat food has turned dinner time from kibble to ooo-la-la delicious for all the farm felines.



Adventures Away From the Farm - NYC
Cowboy and I visit the big city at Christmas.


Country mice visit the city – December also offered Cowboy and me the opportunity to get away for a couple of days, so we headed to New York City (just imagine the voice of the Pace Picante guy saying that.)  It’s been on my bucket list for years to see the city all lit up for Christmas.  And let me tell you, it was definitely spectacular.  Cowboy must have looked like a trustworthy southerner, as he was often asked to take folks’ pictures and even for directions on the subway.  I guess they don’t think a cowboy will run off with their phone and will actually take the time to stop to help them figure out how to navigate the maze.  He did not disappoint!

We had a fabulous time, but these two country mice were more than happy to wave farewell to the big city and settle back into Texas.  Cowboy’s face lit up as we landed back in the lone star state and drove back home to the farm, population 2 humans and 16 critters.

So we welcome in the New Year (although a little late), and hope you’ll stick with us through 2015 as we continue to share stories that inspire us and make us laugh, and occasionally offer a tip or two for country living.

Wishing you a blessed 2015 from our farm to yours.

Critter Stories · Farmtastic Stories

Twas the Night Before Christmas – Farm Style

This Christmas season has been a busy one at the farm with critter antics and adventures galore.  Stories are coming, but we wanted to wish all of our farm fans a very merry Christmas with our version of Twas the Night Before Christmas, farm style of course.  We hope you enjoy.  God bless!

Twas the Night Before Christmas – Farm Style

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the farm,
Every creature was stirring, making one noisy barn.
While stockings were hung on the horse stalls with care,
Ranger hoped they’d be filled with carrots to share.

The dogs, they were dancing all over our bed,
Wiping visions of sleep right out of our heads.
Cowboy in his boots, and I in my coat,
Decided rest was not coming. Nope. Nope. Nope.

When out in the barn there arose such a clatter,
We dashed in to see what could be the matter.
Nightmare the cat had cornered a mouse.
Oh dear me, not another. When will we build a house?

The moon shone above all our crazy below,
Water troughs glistened like new fallen snow.
When, what to our wondering eyes should appear,
Jack rabbits, turkeys, and all sizes of deer.

My eyes, they lit up with the critters anew,
Cowboy chimed in, “No ma’am, not one more for you.
These critters are guests, and they’re just passing through.
There’s no room at the inn, all the bills have come due.”

I smiled and I nodded, a wink in my eye.
I realize he’s right, I cannot tell a lie.
But I love all our critters, odd quirks and all,
Even when dogs chew shoes and horses bust stalls.

“Now Dixie! Now Goober! Now Maybelle and Shadow!
Oh Willie! Oh Grizzly! Oh Chip, Bear, and Rhino.
We must get a grip if we want to see Christmas.”
Nighttime is ending, please Santa don’t miss us.

We called to the fur-kids to gather around,
We begged and we pleaded, “For once settle down.
Christmas is coming, and Santa is near.
Let’s make sure there’re snacks for all the reindeer.”

Suzy and Smokey, River and Ranger,
Set out their buckets, while we found the manger.
Mama and Sweetie shared their best hay,
As we looked to the sky, soon it would be Christmas day.

Sleep fell over the farm as we finished our chores,
Peace and rest came in the sound of sweet snores.
When out on the porch I heard the chimes blowing,
I peeked out the window to find it was snowing.

Just at the moment, I saw old Saint Nick.
He was chubby, and jolly and ever so quick.
I jostled poor Cowboy so he wouldn’t miss it.
Rubbing his eyes, he said, “Is it Christmas?”

Tears filled our eyes as we watched what came next,
Santa bent down, his hat to his chest.
He was saying a prayer by the manger so sweet,
Asking the Lord to meet all of our needs.

I watched as the critters all gathered around,
They joined dear old Santa, with heads all bowed down.
The scene on the farm this Christmas morn,
Reminded us why our Christ was born.

He came down to Earth to set our hearts free,
To love every person, even Cowboy and me.
We remember at Christmas and all the year through,
Jesus has blessed us with our own little zoo.

So from our farm to yours, we offer this wish.
From people to donkeys, to dogs, even fish.
We pray this New Year will bring blessings to all.
Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and a Texas yeehaw!

Merry Christmas from MyFarmtasticLife

Critter Stories · Farmtastic Stories

Toilet Cat

Cat Photo - Bear the cat
Bear, aka the toilet cat. Looks like he owns the joint, doesn’t it?

Yes, you heard me correctly. I said toilet cat.  Meet Bear, a.k.a. toilet cat.  And now for the story of  Bear and his love affair with the water closet …

Bear is one of Shadow’s fur-kids and was born here on the farm.  (Read more about how we ended up with a clowder of cats.)  The skinniest of all the kiddos, for the longest time he was also the shyest.  Darting from one end of the barndiminium to the other, you’d find him hiding in closets and laundry baskets.

I was never really sure why he was so shy; he had been petted and loved on since he was just a few hours old.  But nevertheless, that was the situation for the first three years of his little life, which is when he developed his penchant for bathrooms.

For whatever reason, when Bear would hear you enter the bathroom he’d come running.  Until just recently, it was the one time he wanted your attention.  During the morning-getting-ready time, he’d fly into the bathroom, weaving between your legs and dancing across sinks and cabinets, and yes even the toilet.

It was the strangest phenomenon to us.  He loved you in the bathroom, but not so much anywhere else. Most of all he loved it when you were captive, if you catch my drift.  In fact, at nighttime we would put Shadow and her kitties up in their kitty condo so we could all get a good night’s rest.  But first, we’d have to wrangle them.  For Shadow and her other kids, food bowls and dinner time did the trick. Not so much for Bear.

Cowboy would sigh and say, “Go get your cat.” (And realize around here, “your cat” is generally not nearly descriptive enough.)  Anyway, I would dutifully pad to the bathroom fully clothed in my pajamas and just sit on a closed-lid toilet as if I was having a seat in the living room rocking chair.  And sure enough, within seconds Bear would shoot around the corner and land at my feet.  We did this night in and night out.

Cat Photo - Bear on the bathroom counter
Bear hanging out on the bathroom counter – waiting to advise on eye shadow colors.

Six months ago, something finally shook up his little brain, and he has decided that he would like to be friends outside of the porceline throne room.  Go figure.  However, admittedly it’s still his favorite room.  He’s now ventured on to playing hide-and-seek with Shadow using the tub and the shower curtain.  Fur-kid problems, I tell you!

But never fear, his favorite time to be a pest, er um a delight, is still morning-getting-ready time.  I now even have to apply makeup standing away from the countertop, as he thinks he’s my makeup artist du jour.  Ever try putting on eyeliner with a cat at your elbow?  I don’t recommend it.  I guess it’s a good thing, this farmgirl limits the makeup to going out and special occasions.

Why not just push him off the counter, you ask?  Because the cat has springs for feet and that becomes and even bigger game.  Bear is nothing if not persistent, and bless his little persistent and consistent heart, he will always be our toilet cat.

Critter Stories · Farmtastic Stories

Patience Is the Name of the Game

I often feel like God teaches us great lessons through our critters.  One of them is to be in the moment, which is inherently hard for me as my brain is constantly on the go (just ask Cowboy).  And the second most frequently needed lesson around the farm is patience, as it just makes everything run more smoothly. Now my mama always said, “Never pray for patience, because you never know what you are going to get to teach you that one.”

However, God always finds a way to teach us whatever it is we need to be taught.  Enter our dear donkeys, Mama Rose and her baby, Sweetie Pie.  When they arrived four years ago, we had no idea what we were in for.

From the start, Sweetie Pie lived up to her name.  That donkey thinks she is a dog.  She loves people.  Everyone who comes to the farm hugs on Sweetie Pie, and she inevitably ends up with her pic posted all over Facebook.  She’s even been known to chase a car or two down the driveway.  I often think she’d just climb right in and sit down with you if you let her.  Mama Rose – not so much.

When our friends brought us the donkeys, they had let us know that Mama was stand-offish.  However, they hadn’t had the pair long and hoped that with constant care she would follow Sweetie’s lead.  Mama would take carrots out of your hand, but that was it.  If you moved too fast or didn’t’ have food, forget it.

Well this fall with Sweetie Pie’s hoof injuries, we were forced to keep her up several times.  And this pair can’t be separated, so where Sweetie goes, Mama goes.  Every time we would enter the stall, Mama would run away as if we were out to eat her, although with the confines of the stall this was a humorous jaunt.  We’d simply let her do her thing, running around like a crazy.  And the usual refrain around feeding time was always, “Oh, Mama!”

One night at dusk, I was  hanging out in the stall just enjoying the night air, and low and behold Mama Rose started to approach me.  I stayed perfectly still and held out my hand.  Could this be the moment? She started sniffing, no doubt hoping I had a carrot.  My fingers tickled her nose, and she started trying to nibble my hand.  Not unusual, but this is as far as it usually goes.  Once she’s certain there are no goodies, she’s usually done with me.

But somehow that night was different. I kept playing with her and working my way up her nose.  She took it.  And when I’d take my hand away, she’d take one step closer.  On my goodness, she actually wanted to be touched.  I wanted to scream out with joy, but clearly that would have ended our encounter in two seconds flat.

I could see Cowboy watching and smiling in the distance, and I mouthed, “Look at me. I’m petting Mama Rose!!!”

After four years, I was finally touching Mama’s head for the first time.  I was actually rubbing her fuzzy forehead!  Honestly, I had long ago given up hope that Mama and I would be any more than feed buddies, but as I said, God has a way of teaching us things.  There is always hope.  Things that seem as if they will be that way forever can change.

This reminds me of one of my favorite Bible verses:

6) Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, and with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7)And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

So we continue to learn our lessons from our four-legged friends.  And I love this lesson.  Give up the anxious, and bring on the grateful.  Mama and I continue to work on our friendship daily.  She loves her morning scratches.

Critter Stories · Farmtastic Stories

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Off to the Vet We Go

With the herd of critters we have around the farm, going to the vet is just part of what we do. The goal of this little visit was an annual check-up and shots for Dixie Doodlebug and Goober.  However, the playful and mischievous Maybelle has never been left home alone, i.e. sans her pooch siblings.  So you guessed it, we loaded up all three for a farmtastic adventure.

Poor Cowboy drew the short straw.  Since his truck has fabric seats, it became the pooch mobile.  So we folded up the back seat in his truck, laid out the blankets and towels, and got it road worthy.  (Just FYI, as I’m sure you can probably guess, this farm mama does not approve of pooches riding in pickup truck beds.  It’s just too nerve wracking for me, and I’m convinced not the safest for our four-legged friends.)

Now the next challenge – how do you get the big guys in the truck?  Cowboy’s farm genius was in full gear, and he got out the horse steps. (For my city friends, horse steps are for shorties like me to make it easier to get on up on the equines.)  Amazingly it worked beautifully.  Goober and Dixie Doodlebug hopped up the steps and into their chariot.  Meanwhile, Maybelle had it easier as a medium-sized gal and got her princess paws lifted into the back seat.

Farm Photo - Horse steps
Cowboy’s farm genius. Horse steps to help the dogs into their doggy coach. (Cowboy’s shadow patiently waiting for me to take the photo. Pooches in the truck waiting to get out.)

All loaded up, we headed out for the short trip to the vet.  It’s about a 20 minute drive (yes, in the country that is a short trip).  Unfortunately, our fur balls can’t sit still.  All were panting and bouncing from window to window.  Maybelle, being the littlest of the bunch, found it easiest to walk under the big guys, so she had her own personal little highway for roaming back and forth.  Meanwhile, Goober thought surely there was something more interesting in the front seat and challenged Cowboy’s arm, the guard gate, for a chance to get at it.  Cowboy won.

Dog Photo - Maybelle and Goober in the truck
Woohoo! Maybelle and Goober angling for a front seat.

Once at the vet, we filed in like the circus had come to town.  At which point our wonderful vet exclaimed, “I thought you were just bringing two?”  We explained that Miss Maybelle had not been home alone, and because we wanted to come home to a sofa and doors still in tact, she had to come along for doggy moral support.  He cracked a smile and immediately understood.

Everyone checked out well and got clean bills of health.  And bonus, Dixie Doodlebug, who is a bit round and has been on a diet, lost nine pounds. Woohoo!  Now if this farm mama can just figure out how to follow suit.

Dog Photo - Dixie in the truck
Dixie Doodlebug – her new svelte self.


Critter Stories · Farmtastic Stories

Punky Brewster, anyone?

Okay this post absolutely must start off with a photo.

Farmtastic Photo - Mismatched farm shoes
My customized farm shoes, a la Punky Brewster.

Yes, these are my shoes, and yes they are on my feet.  You see, these are my favorite around-the-farm tennis shoes.  However, at one point I did have one of each pair.  (I’m not totally crazy).  But alas, Maybelle strikes again.

After one of my business trips I arrived home to hear Cowboy say, “Maybelle is very sorry.  I can get you a new pair, but she was nice enough to leave you a left and a right shoe.  It was cool in the ’80s to wear two different kinds of shoes, wasn’t it?”

To which I quickly replied, “It is NOT the ’80s.”  Which, let’s just be honest, was not my best fashion decade.  I mean I had hair bows galore, among other lovelies.  So my initial thought was, “Just dandy, two more new pairs of shoes to buy.”

But then I got to thinking, “Hey, I loved Punky Brewster at one point in my life, and for the farm, these could be fun, so why not?”  Y’all do remember Punky Brewster, right?  Quirky girl in colorful clothing all mismatched and always smiling played by Soleil Moon Frye.  As usual, I digress …

Now, for those of you keeping count, Maybelle is getting close to two years old.  One would think puppyhood, or puppydom as I’ve been known to call it, would be nearing an end.  Nope.  Not for our dear, sweet Maybelle.  When we had our first cocker spaniel, Madison, I remember reading that the breed could keep their puppy-ness for up to three years and was one of the breeds that took the longest to exit puppyhood into adulthood.

Oh how I forgot about this when we brought our little Maybelle home, but oh how my shoe collection is reminding me now.  The dog can chew, chew, chew.  I feel like I keep Nylabone in business just trying to keep her mouth busy.  It’s a good thing she is about as adorable as they come.

Anyway, these are now my farm shoes.  Great for all those chores like scooping stalls, working in the flower beds, feeding horses, you name it.  The million dollar question is will I actually remember I have them on my feet when I decide to quickly hop in the car to run to town to go to the post office or grocery store?  I’m praying so, but if I know anything about how my brain works, I am destined to sport this little fashion statement at least once in public.  You’ve been warned.

P.S. – In case anyone is wondering, the shoes are Keen’s Coronado style.  The are my absolute favorites, and unfortunately these lovely fabrics aren’t available right now.  But I do keep watching for fun new ones to add. 

Critter Stories · Farmtastic Stories

Drama Donkey

As I’ve mentioned before, this farm mama has a day job, which occasionally calls for me to be out of town. But thanks to Cowboy and family, someone is always at the farm to care for the cast of characters that call Wild Horse Valley Home.

Admittedly, the number of critters we have is due to me, and my inability to say “no” to a creature in need. And while Cowboy is an animal lover too, sometimes they just flat wear him out. Honestly, this last couple of weeks I think they have been conspiring against me to demonstrate just how much work they are.

This summer has been one of emergency vet visits for injured horses and donkeys, multiple busted stalls from bucking and playing, and Maybelle has been on a cricket bender flying around the yard and garden chasing them, eating them, and then unceremoniously throwing them up on the living room floor.   The latter has become such a problem that Cowboy has even considered that we may need to get chickens to contend with the crickets and grasshoppers. I’ll keep you posted on that potential adventure. I digress …

On my recent work trip, I got a text from Cowboy that Sweetie Pie the donkey was limping. As I prepared to speak at a media conference, I was guessing I was the only one getting texts about injured donkeys. Sometimes I feel like a girl with two personalities, high-tech product manager and poop-scooping farm girl.

Anyway, Cowboy and I quickly came up with a plan. Sweetie Pie and Mama Rose were put in the oversized stall with fresh hay and water so she could rest until we could assess the issue. (Where Sweetie Pie goes, Mama must follow.) I reminded Cowboy where the donkey and horse aspirin was to give her some relief. (Yes, there is such a thing.)

Animal Photo - Sweetie Pie the donkey soaking her hoof
This is from earlier in the summer when Sweetie Pie hurt her back hoof. This time she was not willing to soak it like a good donkey. We tried, and we had flying buckets to prove it.

After calls to the vet and farrier, we decided it was likely an abscess and scheduled the farrier to come as soon as he could make it out to us. Cowboy was on donkey duty and kept me apprised daily of how our little Pie was getting along. She was limping pitifully on her front left leg.

However, Cowboy noticed something odd. If Sweetie Pie did not see him looking at her, she moved much better. The moment he would turn and look at her, the limping would ensue with pomp and circumstance, as though her front leg was absolutely useless. Was our little donkey playing on Cowboy’s sympathies? Are they that smart? You bet your bottom dollar they are!

Finally the farrier arrived and found that Sweetie Pie had indeed injured her little hoof with a puncture wound, likely from some type of thorn she found out in the pasture. The farrier made quick work of it and opened the wound so it could drain and give her relief. However, while he said it was likely uncomfortable, he thought our little Pie was a bit of a “drama queen.” Really? You don’t say!

Just like two-legged kiddos, the four-leggeds know how to get attention with the best of them. The good news is that Sweetie Pie is on the mend, that is as long as we don’t look at her.

Critter Stories · Farmtastic Stories

Farm Friends

Well sometimes things at the farm just don’t work as we planned, and so we pull up our cowboy and cowgirl boots and figure it out. Such was the case with our dear little Yeller Feller.

When Yeller Feller showed up at the farm, he was skittish, and Cowboy and I worked hard to get him to trust us and let us give him good scratches behind the ears. Well once that little guy got a taste of affection, he decided we humans could be pretty nice. He was hooked.

Yeller Feller hung out at the barn and stayed under foot. He also decided he wanted to have a kitty friend in our best pal Nightmare, a.k.a Mare (Yes, I know. He’s neither a horse or a female, but Mare it is.). Anyway, Mare was having none of it.

Now we’ve had our share of critters at the farm and gone through the introduction process with all the proper howdy-dos, and we know that they generally work things out. In fact country folks tell us all the time, “Awe, don’t worry about it. They’ll figure it out.”

But this neurotic farm mamma tried to help them work it out, giving love and attention to both, but it was just not working. Mare, who is the barn-cat-in-chief, was changing rapidly. He wouldn’t come when called. (Yes, he is part dog and does come when called.) He wouldn’t let us pet him. He wouldn’t come in at night, which is our routine that lets this farm mama sleep peacefully.

Mare started hiding in the barn attic, where the Texas heat was rising, and so we had to figure out a plan B. Now, if you know me at all, you know parting with a critter is something that is nearly impossible for me to do, but as I grow in this farmtastic journey, I’ve also learned that I owe it to the ones we have, all sixteen of them, to keep them safe, sound, and happy.

Photo - Dad and his three cats.
Dad and his three kitties. Just call him Dr. Dad-little. He loves them and they love him.

Mom and Dad to the rescue! Mom and Dad have two outside kitties, Waylon and Willie, who are laid back brothers, and my mom and dad thought they wouldn’t mind Yeller Feller as a new brother. Plus, Dad’s always wanted a yellow tabby cat, and as luck would have it, Yeller fit the bill. (If you haven’t guessed yet, I come by this animal thing naturally.)

Anyway, Dad came and packed up Mr. Feller and carted him home. They spent a couple of days working through howdy-dos with all the proper stares and inspections. Mom and Dad spent loads of porch time with Yeller giving him attention to teach him where his new home was.  Gram even fell in love with the little guy, and cats are not her thing.

Well wouldn’t you know it, Yeller Feller caught on like a champ. Ate up every pet and ear scratch, and even discovered tree climbing. Although, Mom says he’s not too good at it yet. He’s having one big dandy time.

Cat Photo - Yeller climbs a tree
Yeller Feller tries to climb a tree. Let’s hope he gets the hang of it.

So my heart rests easy knowing that Yeller came by his fur-ever family via the farm. So on our Meet the Farm page, Yeller has moved form a fur-kid to a farm friend. I guess technically he’s now my brother, since we share parents. Nothing new for me, the best siblings have four legs.