Making friends

It took a few weeks, but we think we have a new friend.

He was pretty stand-offish at first. Any time we might bump into each other he’d run away. Slowly but surely he started to come around more, especially at supper time.

But even then, any quick moves or getting within six feet of him and he’d disappear. It was literally a game of cat and mouse getting to know him.

Midnight II replaces Midnight I, a home grown long-haired barn cat that mysteriously vanished one night. This new barn cat is short-haired and a fearless mouser. Until he got this fall’s crop of mice under control, entering the shop was like coming upon a battle scene with bodies strewn about the floor, as to not be missed by the shop master. His prowess at mouse-ing meant a quick scan was required before the faint of heart could come in.

We adopted this cat under a program at the Guelph Humane Society. We originally learned about the opportunity in this Newspaper and we noticed an ad for them again last week. Ordinarily we don’t endorse a product or service in this column, but the program is so worthwhile and the outcome so good for us we wanted to share.

Rural folk know about rodents. This past fall seemed particularly busy with mice. Cats help with that, but the downside to adult cats is very quickly kittens can become an issue when cats aren’t fixed. That’s partly what attracted us to the Humane Society program, because all of their cats, feral or otherwise, are adopted with the latest shots and are neutered.

Despite being shy, Midnight has turned into a friendlier cat than we expected. The other night we were in a bit of a rush doing chores. On the way past, after feeding and watering, he actually reached out with a big paw to catch our attention. He is now a friend it seems, eager to be petted, and he purrs with the best of them.

He still goes into hiding when the big doors open and the tractor exits to start blowing snow.

We highly recommend people interested in a feline for the farm contact the Humane Society in Guelph. They regularly have cats waiting to be adopted. While they appreciate donations, safe homes on farms or rural properties helps with the backlog in their program.

While we can’t promise friendship like we have found, there’s something to be gained in having healthy cats taking care of business in the barn.