|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|
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.
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.