Critter Stories · Farmtastic Stories

Spa Kitty

You’ve met Bear in past posts; he’s the quirky little cat who starred in Toilet Cat.  Well, never one to disappoint, he’s developed a new habit this winter season.  He’s expanded his repertoire in the powder room to perching up high on the cabinets and worshipping the  heating vents and shower steam.  We’ve now upgraded him to spa kitty. Quite the promotion, if you ask me.

It’s his own personal spa day – every day.  That’s just how he rolls.  When he hears Cowboy or I head to shower and the whirring sound of the bathroom heater and ventilator kick on, he just can’t help himself but mosey in and head to the highest spot.  I mean, what cat couldn’t use a steam.

My Farmtastic Life Photo - Bear the Cat
Having his own personal spa day moment – Bear soaks up the shower steam.

If you peak around the shower curtain, you’ll see him sitting like an ancient Egyptian cat with his head turned just so, eyes closed, and tailed curled neatly around his feet. You can practically here him meditating.  Ohm. Meow. Ohm.  It never fails to to make me crack a smile and shake my head.    When I head to the door squeaky clean ready to exit my warm steamy bliss, he pops open an eye and gives me a look as if to say, “Seriously?  Just one more  minute.  Meowy-please?”

I reach up to scratch his ears, and assure him he’ll have another spa day soon.  Depending on how much dirt we kick up outside, it could be sooner than he thinks.  What a character.

On top of his excellent bathroom manners, Bear is a curious little fellow.  He’s a lanky thing, barely weighing in at seven pounds and has a leap like none I’ve ever seen.  He’s amazingly lovable, but only when he chooses to be.  (Hey, I said he was a cat.)  Born on the farm, to the once feral Shadow, I must admit he was the scrawniest of the kittens, and I originally thought that he lacked personality.  Boy, was I mistaken.

He meows when you call his name. Not the angry meow of what-do-you-want-with-me, but more the sweet answer of hey-what’s-up.  (Yes, I speak cat, and for that matter dog and horse and donkey.  I’ve tried to convince Cowboy that I also speak goat and chicken, but he says I speak enough languages for the moment.)  Back to Bear …

Bear talks A LOT, so on top of such nicknames as toilet cat and spa kitty, he’s also been called Beartholameow, also his hashtag on Instagram.  Such a modern cat.

So as this winter warms to spring, the bathroom heater will be taking a break, much to Bear’s chagrin.  Bless his little heart.

 

 

Critter Stories · Farmtastic Stories

Rearranging Equals Chaos

Last weekend, Cowboy and I (umm mostly I) had the bright idea to rearrange the bedroom furniture.  Since the arrival of Max, the golden retriever who also insists on snuggling in bed, we’ve been toying with the idea of a king size bed.  It’s getting seriously crowded.  And let’s just avoid the whole  why-don’t-you-just-make-them-get-down discussion.  If you’ve followed us for any amount of time, you know that is just not how we roll around here.

So off we went scooting, shifting, and shoving to see if we could find an arrangement that would work, and that we would like just as much.  Truth is, Cowboy is quite the genius when it comes to space arranging (what can’t that man do). And after some newly discovered dust bunnies and the removal of an excess piece or two, we found just the new setup that worked.

I was delighted!  I wandered in and out of the room all day admiring our work. It really was a smart design.  In fact so smart, I was thinking, “Wow, maybe we should have had it this way all along.”  And then it was was bedtime.

Holy cats (and dogs)! You would have thought we moved into a whole new house, bought new furniture, and introduced a gaggle of new smells.  In came our canine and feline friends and they all lost their collective mind.  Our critters have a routine, and they know exactly where they fit and go at night.  It’s like a giant jigsaw puzzle.  Every piece has its place.    Not tonight. Nope, not happening.

All of a sudden, instead of the normal two to three dogs in bed, we had four.  Given that three of them weigh over 60 lbs., Cowboy and I were left scratching our heads trying to figure out where in the world we would fit.  We tried rearranging them, but they just kept panicking.  Climbing on top of pillows, scrambling over blankets, and just generally acting a fool.  Children!

My Farmtastic Life - All the Dogs In Bed
Seriously – where is there room for humans? Of course Goober’s current collar situation does not help, not one little bit. But those faces? Oh those faces!

Cowboy and I stood there laughing at them, and taking bets (err… ummm, volunteering) as to who would go sleep in the guest room.  After 30 minutes to an hour of settling, reorganizing, and settling again, the pooches finally settled down.  And then the cats decided to make it a party.  Wedging themselves into free space, and by free space I mean vertical free space, perching on top of us.

Cowboy and I were both a wee bit pooped the next day.  And I seriously wondered if were were going to have to put the furniture back just to get some sleep.  Luckily, night two went better, and by nights four and five we regained our collective brain and settled back down into a routine.

Now I know animals love routine.  I’ve written about it before with the horses.  But good gravy what an unnecessary adventure.  I’m happy to report we have all settled down and the king size bed will indeed fit. Lord help us when that thing finally arrives, as I’m guessing it will be one more night of chaos.  Just one. I hope.

 

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

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.

Critter Stories · Farmtastic Stories

PSA: The Farm Is Full

This is a public service announcement to critters everywhere: the farm is full.  We love y’all dearly, but for the love of all that is country life,  we simply can’t take one more right now.  When we lost our dear sweet Abby girl earlier this year, we were down to 16 beloved fur-kids of all shapes and sizes.  Cowboy and I were content to let the number dwindle on its own over time, but alas the animals had other plans.

Cat Photo - Yeller Feller peeking out from behind the fence.
Yeller Feller peeking our behind the wild verbena, contemplating coming in for dinner.

Enter Yeller Feller.  (Yes, you can thank Cowboy for his name.) A yellow tabby tomcat with  no tail.  We’d seen him from time to time around the farm, but he’d dart away quickly and was clearly a wild kitty.  Until, that is, Cowboy started feeding him.  Yes, you heard me correctly, Cowboy was the softy this time.  He started putting some extra kitty kibble out at night and low and behold Yeller Feller started getting brave and coming around.

He’s not quite sure about us just yet, but Cowboy has made time to sit in the chair outside the horse stalls and get closer to Yeller, and Yeller has rewarded him by letting him get a pet in.  We’ve now progressed to ear scratches, and he’s beginning to follow us around the farm during chore time.  He’s still not totally sure we are not going to eat him, but day in and day out, Yeller Feller is making his life on the farm.

So as soon as we can get his trust a bit more, we’ll be off to the vet for a round of shots and a neutering. Yeller Feller will live at the farm with fresh food and water and lots of pets as long as he wants to.  And likely over time, in the night time hours he’ll find his way into the barn with Nightmare to avoid the boogie man hours in the evening.

Which leads me to the second part of my PSA, people please spay and neuter your pets and don’t just dump them out to fend for themselves.  I’m not sure if Yeller Feller ever had a family or if he is the product of wild kitties himself, but he’s clearly heard the underground animal hotline that says the farm is an excellent place to call home.  While we love our critters here, what breaks my heart most of all is that so many of our critters lost their families or never had them to start with, all because folks did not care enough.

I truly believe that how we treat the least among us is what resides in our hearts.  We owe it to our animal friends to give them the best life we can, and not to abandon them.  It’s not fair to them, and it passes the responsibility down the road.  Yeller Feller, you certainly found a good road.  We’re glad you joined us, but please let the hotline know there is currently no room at the inn.

Cat Photo - Yeller Feller the kitty licking his lips
Yeller says, “Kitty food is mmm-mmm good.”

P.S. I secretly wonder if our beloved fur-kids who have crossed the rainbow bridge lead the next one to us.  Abby was yellow, and maybe she thought we were getting too many grey pets around here and needed to even the score.  

 

Farmtastic Updates

Critter Resolutions

It’s that time of year when gyms fill with hopeful new members, weight loss commercials jam the air waves, and we all resolve to strive to be better versions of ourselves in the coming year.  Which of course got me thinking about life around the farm, and just exactly what would the animals resolve for 2014 (or rather what would I wish that they would resolve to do).

So to get the year started off right, here’s a few words from the critters here on the farm.

From the horses

  • Ranger – Everyone knows that I’m the looker on the farm, so I resolve to get my gorgeous mane in fewer knots.  Mom loves to brush me, but I don’t enjoy the talking to that I get when I’m a mess.
  • Sweet Suzy Q – I love to eat, in fact it’s my favorite thing, but sometimes I get a wee bit pushy when it comes to dinner time, banging gates and what not. I resolve to take it easy on the gates and other things that I find to make noise, as I know my mom and dad always keep me in great grain and hay.
  • Smokey – Well I’m often full of hot air just blowing at everything new that comes my way, so I resolve to tone it down a bit.  I mean my mom and dad know that I’m really just blowing smoke (ha ha)!
  • River – I’ve really come to love my humans, so I resolve to continue to build up my confidence.  Oh, and to take my wormer much easier.  Dad really doesn’t love being covered in wormer paste.

From the donkeys

  • Mama Rose – I resolve to finally let my humans pet me.  I mean it’s been four years and they spoil us so much, it’s really the least I could do.
  • Sweetie Pie – I resolve not to chase or bite my humans’ cars (or their family members’ cars).  While they are quite yummy, I truly do prefer some fresh hay.

From the dogs

  • Goober – I resolve to get a grip when Cowboy asks me to go outside.  It is very silly that I act like my legs are totally new and go slipping and sliding out the front door.  And Cowboy has been nothing but nice to me, so I suppose I could give him a break.
  • Dixie Doodlebug – I resolve to eat a little less and walk a little more. I mean in my younger days I was a tennis ball chasing fool, but no one is fully buying that it’s just my thyroid.
  • Abby – I resolve to try to cut down on the shedding.  While I do love leaving my signature white puffs floating all around, my mom would love it if we could make a vacuum cleaner bag last more than a week.
  • Maybelle – Well I am just so darn cute, I don’t really know why I need to resolve to do anything differently other than just being my sweet adorable self. My mom may disagree, but I’m sticking to it.

From the cats

  • Rhinoceros – I resolve to torment the dogs a little less, although I do love watching over their water bowl as they salivate and wish I would move.
  • Willie – I resolve to be more patient with Maybelle.  I’m doing my best to school her into being a proper pup, but she is just so enthusiastic it wears my old bones out.
  • Shadow, Bear, Grizzly, and Chip – Since we’re a little family within the farm family, we decided on a family resolution, which is that we will not run around like crazy cats at night when it is time to go to bed.  It really does wear our humans out and we are truly grateful that they took us in.
  • Nightmare – Since I’m the true barn cat around here, I resolve to continue to prowl the barn, but when I find great prizes, e.g. mice, I won’t always display them quite so proudly, as it really freaks out my mom.

And as the human that belongs to all of these wonderful critters, I resolve to keep up with our blog much better so that they can share all of their antics with you.

Best wishes and blessings for 2014 – from our farmtastic life to yours!

Dog and Cat Photo - Maybelle, Goober, Willie
This is what Dixie thinks about resolutions, just hide them under the cat. Maybelle of course, being adorable.

 

Critter Stories · Farmtastic Stories

Cat TV

We’ve got animals galore here at the farm.  There are those that are our pets, and those that are volunteer farm critters like deer, jack rabbits, and birds.  And whether you are a pet or a volunteer at the farm, we try to keep you happy.  (I’m convinced that the animals are spreading the word that our little farm is the best place to hang out – there’s good grub, fresh water, and the people love you!)

One of our favorite volunteers is the hummingbird.  And it’s suffice to say that over the last couple of years we have become a hummingbird destination, think Club Med for those little guys.  They start arriving in late March and hang with us all the way into October.

We go through bags and bags of sugar as we make hummingbird nectar, or as Cowboy calls it “hummer juice,” by the gallon.  Sometimes those little buggers will go through eight cups a day. And you know how small a hummingbird is, right?

We’ve learned that dawn and dusk are their favorite times to flock to the feeders, and since we love a good show, we’ve hung the feeders in front of our living room windows. It’s relaxing to just sit on the sofa with a glass of tea and watch the myriad of hummingbirds come and go.  We’ve got all kinds – some are green, some have purple necks, and some have red necks.  Some are rounder and a little frazzled, and since I identify with that description myself, those little guys are my favorites.

But if you’ve been following my posts, you know that we have cats galore as well, some might even say a cat-splosion has occurred at the farm.  And because I am a neurotic pet owner, I have a fair amount of them inside, for example Shadow and her three boys (Chip, Grizzly, and Bear).  When Cowboy and I put the hummingbird feeders up, it was primarily for our enjoyment, but what we failed to realize is that we essentially created the farm TV network for cats.

Cat Photo - Shadow, Chip, Grizzly and Bear
Cat TV – Shadow and crew are tuned into the hummingbird show.

So every evening you can see the cats gather in the window, chirp and coo, stalk and perch as they watch the hummingbirds. Sometimes it’s like they are watching a well coordinated tennis match as heads bob to and fro.  And the occasional sassy hummingbird will hover just outside the window at eye level with their cat audience as if to say, “Look at me. Aren’t I adorable?  Wouldn’t I make  the most delicious snack?”

So maybe that means we created the Food Network for cats?

Critter Stories · Farmtastic Stories

“Meow,” said the dog

Around here, we’ve got horses who think they are donkeys, donkeys who act like dogs, dogs who love cat toys, and cats that chase dogs.  It’s a regular madhouse, but it definitely keeps us amused.  We like to say that if you need some good Friday night entertainment, pull up a lawn chair and watch the critters around here, because sometimes they are just plain C-R-A-Z-Y.

For instance, let’s take a look at our dog, Dixie Doodlebug.  She is nuts, I mean obsessed-kind-of-crazy, for cat toys.  If it squeaks, is on a string, or heaven forbid has catnip, she is all over it.  When the cats try to play with the toys, she watches intently as if to say, “Whoa, what’s up?  Those are mine.” She can destroy a cat toy in two seconds flat, and searches closet nooks and crannies for a stowed away gem.  You can often catch Cowboy saying, “Doodlebug, you are not a cat!”

Which leads me to the cats.  Grizzly thinks there is simply no better dog to torment than the gentle and slightly neurotic Goober.  While dogs may chase cats in childhood storybooks, that’s not always the case around the farm.  Occasionally, Goober will find is inner dog and believe he is big and bad enough to chase a cat, and goodness knows he should as he is 70 pounds and counting.  Enter Grizzly.  Grizzly loves nothing more than to pop over the top of the sofa and grace Goober with a few swift smacks on the head, reducing Goober to a shaking pile of wimpy dog.  Which is hilarious, because when it comes to strangers, large animals, or anything he thinks may be a threat, he is all over it.  As long as it’s not a cat that is up close and personal.

Now for the equines on the farm, both horses and donkeys.  Let’s just say they are all kinds of entertaining.  You can often find our horse, River, forsaking his horse buddies for some gal pal time with his two favorite donkeys,  Mama Rose and Sweetie Pie.  He’s twice their size and five times as fast, but he loves nothing more than grazing and kicking up his hooves with the donks.

And everybody’s favorite donkey, Sweetie Pie, is probably just as guilty of not knowing her true identity as any of the other farm critters.  Sweetie Pie follows you around the farm like a dog, and best of all has been known to chase a car or two down the driveway.  There is nothing funnier than driving down the road with a rear-view window full of donkey nose and ears.  But be careful, don’t step on the brakes or you’ll have a Sweetie Pie in the back seat, not that she’ll mind.  When folks come over and are getting things in and out of their cars, we often have to shoo Sweetie Pie away as she is primed to take a seat.

It’s never a dull moment around here, filled with phrases like “Sweetie Pie, you are not a dog,” and “River is running with the donkeys again,” and the ever popular, “Grizzly stop tormenting Goober!”  But  whether they know if they are dogs, cats, donkeys, or horses, I can guarantee that they all know that they are loved and that they rule roost.  It’s good to be a critter at the farm!

Miss Willie Kitty gives Dixie Doodlebug a bath - at the farm anything goes with the roles the critters play
Miss Willie Kitty gives Dixie Doodlebug a bath – at the farm anything goes with the roles the critters play