Monday, March 1, 2010

Barn Entertainment

While Legs was on stall rest waiting for the chiropractor, the horse had a little unusual entertainment. Normally when there are stories about visitors to any of the horses in their stalls, the visitors turn out to be the unwanted kind.

The usual culprits are an assortment of rodents...... rats, mice and even an occasional mole or possum. With woods on neighboring properties, both front and back, it's impossible to ever get the rodent population totally wiped out. I consider the coyotes living in those woods to be good friends since they're "green" rodent control. As long as they keep their distance and keep the rodent population in check we get along just fine.

The rats or mice seem to move in mostly as the seasons change. By the time the bait boxes are no longer being emptied, it's time for the next season change. A new wave of rodents moves in so the whole process starts over again. We probably should invest in stock in the companies that provide rodent control for farms. We seem to try all of their products.

I probably should mention beside the usual rodents we've also been graced with the presence of mink and chinchilla. These members of the rodent family are very fierce and not on our preferred visitors list. Both are known to attack when cornered. Lindsay's reaction time is slow so she's narrowly missed being bitten by a mink swimming in a water bucket. Life on the farm is never dull.

However, the current visitors to my horse's stall were none of these. On the contrary, they were our first line of defense against the pesky rodents.............. the cats!

Squeaker and Jasmine are full sisters and great, great hunters. They are also horse lovers. Both cats have been known to snuggle up to a horse and even to sit on their backs when the notion hits them. It's not unusual to see the cats in the barn but their visit this weekend was not something we've seen before.

Now I should mention Legs has always been a cat lover. The horse even has his very own cat. That would be Squeaker. She has been a friend to Legs since she was a kitten. She used to visit the stallion on a daily basis until she grew up and learned the fine art of rabbit chasing. Then Legs had to be content to watch her activities from his stall. She seldom visits when she's hunting although she does leave her leftovers in the horse's stall on occasion.

I don't know if it's too early for the emergence of the spring wave of rodents or what but the cats seem to think it's spring. The temperatures around here sure seem springlike and the cats are acting a tad crazy........ playing like kittens..

Both cats have all kinds of pent up energy and nothing to do with it. The barns seemed to be cleaned out of all unwelcome visitors and there's nary a hide nor hair of a rabbit in sight. What's a poor kitty to do?

Well, Jasmine and Squeaker decided to play a little cat and mouse with each other. The stage was set right there in Legs' stall. The cats took turns being the pursuer and the pursued running across the ledge of his half wall, then scaling the wall up into the loft only to jump down into his feeder to the stall floor. There seemed to be cats racing everywhere.

Legs stood in the middle of his stall intently studying the tomfoolery. He didn't want to miss a trick stretching his head out towards the two felines. When Jasmine turned on Squeaker, the horse seemed to nod his head in approval. He turned in unison as the cats raced around the perimeter of his stall and blew at the pair as he reached out to grab one.

The cats scattered in opposite directions at the interference from the horse. Jasmine was having none of Legs joining the fun. Squeaker, on the other hand, has been picked up by the horse before and really has not problem with it but she was not ready to give up battling her sis. In the blink of an eye the cats were back at it chasing each other back up onto the ledge heading up to the loft and the game went on and on.

At one point the horse pawed a couple of times and there were more tosses of his head. Dave and Lindsay think he was protesting being unable join in the play because it sure wasn't because he wanted them to stop. The horse half reared and tossed his head when the cats went out of his sight scurrying about the loft.

When the horse nickered at them the cats returned scrambling down into the feeder and ripping around the stall floor even dodging between the horse's legs. Legs seemed to be much happier with that involvement and he quietly stood until the cats moved on to more challenging territory. It was a wild time in the barn.....and I only got to hear about it second hand.

It must have been a pretty wild sight. Neither Lindsay nor Dave could relay the story without bursting into giggles. It took multiple attempts on each of their parts to even get the story out.......... but I can picture it in my mind.

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  1. A great tale, well told and promise of Spring as well.

  2. That's a good story, thanks for sharing.

  3. That's incredible that he obviously enjoyed the entertainment. I can see it, too.

  4. English Rider, boy and am I looking forward to spring.

    Fantastyk Voyager, you're welcome. Makes me smile thinking about that silly horse studying those cats tom foolery.

    Dragonhawk, yep, chinchilla! There used to be a mink farm down the road and evidently they raised more than just mink. Some of the critters managed to escape and they show up here every now and then. I didn't know what the chinchilla was when I first saw one. Then saw one at a birthday party not long ago for a kid's pet. Guess they must be friendlier than the mink......although cornered in my barn there was nothing friendly about it. LOL

    GunDiva, he is a character for sure. You never know what's going to entertain him or what he might pull to entertain you.