Saturday, August 03, 2013

Goodbye to Larry - he wasn't JUST a barn cat.

Guard cat Larry.  Trespassers will be caught and purred at.  

Our little buddy Larry has died.  He was badly hurt yesterday.  I usually can take care of injuries at home, but this looked like more than I could handle. The problem wasn't just severe wounds to his hind legs though.  His left hind leg was broken in several places as well as dislocated.  He was in a lot of pain and unable to walk.

We love our animals and don't want them to suffer.  The decision was made to euthanize him.  He very quietly died and was no longer in pain.

Many people who believe that cats should not be allowed to wander outside.  They have a point; it's a dangerous world out there.  Bigger animals can hurt them, which is probably what happened to Larry.  Cats can be hit by cars.  They can pick up diseases.

BUT.  Our barn cats have such a great life.  They are free to go where they please, and do what comes naturally to them.  They get to be cats.  They have a warm place to curl up in winter, sunshine in summer.  Trees to climb, rodents to catch.

Larry the kitten, 2008

Larry and Moe have had an exceptionally happy life because they get all the benefits of being free cats, but also healthy human contact.  Best of both worlds.  We make sure they have something to eat, rabies shots, and medical attention.  They have repaid us over and over with purring and companionship.  Very few barn cats can have a life like this.  My father couldn't afford to send cats to the vet back in the day, not when there were so many. That would have been ridiculous.

Soaking up the winter sun in some nice warm hay

I wish Larry hadn't come to the end of his life because he was hurt so badly, but in my opinion, it's the chance we take in exchange for everything he enjoyed.  And I'm just so grateful that we found him in time to give him a break from his pain and end his suffering.

Haven't we been lucky to have such wonderful cats to share our barn with?  They're not "JUST" barn cats.  They're our rodent control team, greeting committee, and good little friends.

The Brothers

Moe is okay.  Who knows whether he realizes his brother is gone.  So far he's hanging around in his usual napping spot, insisting on being petted whenever I'm in the barn.  He will have to soak up all the attention now!

Most recent picture of Larry and Moe, this summer.  

I will miss Larry very much.  We all will.  He'd walk across the yard to come get a pet, he joined us when we ate outside (and we persistently told him we wasn't welcome to actually eat with us) and I can't tell you how many times I taught a riding lesson with Larry sprawled across my arms.  He'd let me know when he was hurt and needed help.  He let me fix him up.  He insisted that I take time out of my day for a few slow minutes of cat time.

Moe will make sure I get my cat time.  As long as we have Moe, we will be smothered with friendly affection and loud purring. I'll have to check email in the barn so Moe can take over my lap and bump his little wet nose under my chin.  He'll take care of me and I'll take care of him.


shadowlake2005 said...

Oh Heidi, I am so sorry for your loss. Larry had a wonderful life.

keri cook said...

I have a 19 year old barn cat and his sister is the official garage cat. Both have been loosing weight but still shiney and eating well. Get wormed and vetted if some thing more than I can do. I will miss them but they have had the best life. Heres hopping for 20!,,

Cindy D. said...

It is always sad when we lose a four legged family member, but it sounds like he did have a great life, and really a cat can't ask for much more than that. I agree with you on the fact that there are cats who are happier as indoor cats, but there are many who just can't handle it. They need to be able to go out and be the predators that they are.

Undercover Sandy Cove-r said...

So sad, Heidi. He sounded like one of the 'good' ones. It's always tough when a loved one goes but seems even tougher when they're so young.

They leave a hole in your heart and your life and a head full of memories.

jules said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of Larry. Did you figure out what happened? It's a sad thing when one of our friends gets hurt. It's good Larry had you. What a great life for a cat!

mugwump said...

I have always thought barn cats lead the best life of all. Larry was a lucky cat.

keri cook said...

Just lost our "garage" cat at age 19. Going to miss her demanding meeeowwww when I go into the garage. She was still climbing up and down the loftveveryvday.

keri cook said...

Just lost our "garage" cat at age 19. Going to miss her demanding meeeowwww when I go into the garage. She was still climbing up and down the loftveveryvday.

Heidi the Hick said...

Keri - sorry to hear that she's gone! But 19 years... Wonderful life. That's something to be grateful for.