We just got back from being a way a few days for Christmas. You know what they say, “While the cat’s away, the mice will play.” I have found this to be true off and on for many years while we were away as well. In an old farmhouse, surrounded by woods and fields it pays to have a good cat, in our case more than one.
I’m almost afraid of jinxing the situation by writing this, but for perhaps a year we have been mouse free. We’ve had a male cat, Buddha, for several years. Still we would have sporadic mouse problems. Perhaps the fault lies in the name. Nearly a year ago someone wanted to give away a female cat, a bit on the wild side. She was more of a kitten than a cat, and it took her awhile to warm up to us. All our animals are outside animals, so any new ones would also have to live outside. They retreat to the barn in colder weather. Before we knew it she was pregnant by our male cat. This didn’t bother me, as having cats around a farmhouse isn’t an undesirable thing, although we promptly went to the vet after the deed. Before that she gave birth to four kittens.
We also have two labs, one male and one female. Our female is exceptionally smart. She is a natural mother and must miss that experience. She would carry the kittens around using her teeth, and went out in the field bringing back mice laying them at their feet. She, in fact, did this much better than the mother cat.
I hope I don’t become known as the cat lady, but still I’m thankful for our cats.