I think we are officially cat people now that we are a caretakers for a bunch of community cats. The funny part is, we never planned on having cats since my wife donna is allergic to them. It seems that as long as they don't touch her face, her head won't swell up. So it’s all good. All this began when the local feed store that had been around since the 1930's closed and left some feral cats. Even though most of them were spayed and neutered and found forever homes, a few mama cats have made it to our house with kittens in tow.
We started feeding one that was hanging around one of our hay storage areas. To our surprise, she showed up at the food dish with her five identical looking tabby kittens around four to five weeks old. Unfortunately mama cat disappeared for a few days and when she re-appeared, she was limping and had a bandage around her waist. She took off when I tried getting close to her and we never saw her again.
So the five kittens adopted us and changed our lives. The four little boys and one girl, settled in the barn pretty well after getting all of their shots, spayed and neutered. Now they are a large part of our family. Everyone is amazed with how friendly they are. Since anytime someone is in the barn, they are right there by your side and all five will be in your lap if you set down. They also have their favorite goats that they will sleep with.
Since then a few more ferals have shown up and adopted us as their caretakers. Thankfully Humane Ohio has affordable spay and neutering for cats.
I have also repurposed our old chicken coops for more housing after they were cleaned up and painted. They are now cat condos with attached covered feeding areas and litter boxes. The new fuzzballs decided that they still prefer to sleep in the hay storage area. So I had to install a kitty door to give them easier access from outside to their living quarters. I also insulated the walls and ceiling for the winter and built them five insulated mini shelters that are on top of the hay. Our barn is heated and we keep the temperature around 40° during the winter. That helps keep the attached hay storage warm even during the winter.
It's still a work in progress and a amazing learning experience at the same time. I continue to change things around our little sanctuary to accommodate and enrich our current and future cat's lives.
Don’t forget to share some good fuzzy vibes and have the best day ever.
Aaron & Donna