Kittens have entered my world once again. I’ve managed to remain catless for a few years, but noting remains the same. I was plenty happy feeding mouse traps, and drinking my coffee on the porch alone. But them I had a bumper crop.

Towards the middle of autumn we brought into the cabin close to 4,000 pounds of sweet potatoes and butternut squash. Our basket shortage didn*t help matters, as we had to just dump the vegetables on the floor. So it wasn*t long before we had the nocturnal visitations of nibbling mice.

Phil and family are kitty-lovers. There is always an overflow of felines on their farm. Soon there were two on ours, Tink and Zelda. They are a brother and sister pair; Tink is the boy and Zelda is the girl. I*m not overly fond of cats, but this too seems to be changing.

I am overly unfond of mice. A field needs mice. Snakes and hawks have to eat so that’s why we have mice. But I don’t want any of these in my cabin. Not that I want cats, but they are certainly better than I am at catching mice.

Now don*t misunderstand the situation. These are not house cats, as much as they may think they are. I tried feeding them in the barn, but they soon took over the front porch. Mary nearly sat on Tink’s head, as he loves the love seat there as much as she does. So they get fed on the porch now, and remain quite interested every time the front door opens.

Most of the time, after sneaking inside, they soon find themselves flying through the air outside. This does not seem to deter their indomitable spirit though. We let them roam about inside enough to leave a cat odor for the mice to notice, but not us.

These kitty cats love to play, be picked up and even go for hikes. They are completely kid-proof. Having lived with young children, they are very used to being played with in various, assorted contortions. Hence, they assume that any passing human is there to solely give them attention.

When not looking for a leg to rub on, or into one of their fun yard occupations, they pose on the porch love seat as a pair of bookends. I’ve yet to learn how to tell them apart, unless they are together. Then the bigger one is Tink, and the smaller one is Zelda. Otherwise they are just ‘the kitty’.

Why is it when you get domestic animals, all of a sudden you attract more? Our new neighbors couldn*t find their cat after they moved in, until they visited us a few days ago. The third kitty in our troop was their lost cat, and shows no sign of wanting to go home. I guess she feels her home is near Tullahoma, not the place upstream from here.

Our other neighbors’ dogs now have more reason to visit. Ginger and Katie love chasing cats. They*ve been punished too much to want to chase chickens again, so they are glad to have a new species to terrorize. The cats are more than happy to oblige, and quickly skeedaddle in their presence.

Have you ever noticed how some folks are cat-people, and some are dog-people? Of course many love both, but there is usually a preference. Psychologists probably have figured out the deeper connections between dogs and cats and humans. I haven*t, nor do I care to. I think I*m a cow-lover, particularly for their contribution to the farm*s fertility, so I*d rather not think about it too much, or be on the couch getting analyzed.

Life begets life, and the fertility makes for big crops that need to be stored until we can sell them. Inevitably, storage means rodents. So cats have resumed a welcome position back on the farm again, much to the chagrin of the mouse population. It is something to be ever thankful for, that nothing remains the same.

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