May 26, 2010
We stack most of our hay on a pad south of the house. About a quarter acre in size, the hay gets stacked on the pad during the haying season and then tarped before the fall rains. Our plan was when the last of this year’s hay was removed from the pad we would regrade the pad and put down gravel. Hopefully, making it both easier to drive in and out and load hay during the winter and keeping the bottom bales cleaner and dryer. The plan, I think, was a good one. There was only one hitch.
With about six tons of last year’s hay left, we were loading a ton of hay when we came to a nest of kittens. Their eyes were still shut, so we took hay from around them and left them alone. When the next day rolled around and we checked on them, we found their mamma had moved them. Then about a week later while loading the last ton of the stack, we ran into them again. Their eyes were open and they were staring to walk. This time, we threw a few bales of hay in the horse trailer, place the kittens in the middle of the hay, and hoped mamma would find them. Sure enough, by the next morning mamma had moved the kittens to the other end of the horse trailer. This worked pretty well until we regraded the hay pad.
We wanted to make the hay pad a little larger this year. To do so meant that if we left the trailer where it was it would sit in the middle of pad. Question was, move the trailer and maybe have mamma not come back or leave it where it was? We left it where it was and graded around it.
A few days later, a strong mewing came from horse trailer. Figuring this was normal we walked on by. Come the next day though, mewing still came from the trailer, only a bit stronger. After taking a look, there were no kittens and no mamma, save this one. Grading must have been the last straw for the mamma cat. She had moved the kittens somewhere else, but missed this one.
Today we move the trailer. In the next day or so, we will gravel the hay pad. The kitten? Well, it lives inside now. Full belly, walking around tentatively, and mewing with what we think is satisfaction. Reckon it can’t hurt to have another barn cat.
© David B. Bell 2010