Wednesday, November 26, 2014

New Barn Dweller

Meet Silas, the new barn cat!
This handsome fellow has been hanging around on the property since about late May or so, when we first spotted him leaping through the tall grasses. He would come close to the house sometimes and meow at us, or we'd see him in the pasture or behind my MIL's house, but no matter what we tried, he would never let us get very close to him.
We've had a pretty early onset of winter this year, and early last week it was super cold outside with about a foot of snow on the ground. Windchills were below zero, and it was just really nasty out there. We saw the cat sitting outside the barn for a few hours and spotted him periodically under our front porch. Last Tuesday, when I went out to do evening barn chores, he was sitting right in front of our front door. So I ran back inside real quick to grab some of Cleo's tasty wet food, and I lured the stray into the barn. Poor guy was SO hungry. He gobbled up every last morsel of chicken in seconds flat and was begging for more. 

All farms need at least one barn cat, right? So I dubbed our little stray Silas and decided if he's going to live on the farm anyway, he might as well have a warm place to crash and access to steady meals. I even bought him tasty food and a heated water bowl. He doesn't stay in the barn full-time, though. I can't for the life of me figure out how he's getting out on days when I don't have the pasture doors open, but somehow he is! He's figured out that he gets a steady meal and lots of pets in the barn, though, so he's almost always around during chore time.
For as shy as he was when we first spotted him, he's warmed up to me really quickly. In only about 3 days he went from running at my approach to jumping into my lap and purring each time I kneel or sit down in the barn. So chore time now always includes a kitty snuggle session at the end. Since he's now always coming at me whenever I'm standing still, he's actually super hard to photograph; apologies that some of these photos aren't quite up to snuff!
He seems really content here, but I have no idea if he'll decide to stay. I hope he does. Not only is he another sweet presence in the barn, but I've seen some evidence that he's already knocking down the rodent population there. I don't really have anything against rodents, but they are multiplying fairly rapidly out there!

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