May 31, 2011

Farm Love! Welcome Kittens!

This is the kind of day that I love, love, love living on our little hobby farm!  I was out sawing branches from our fallen trees when I heard a horrid sound from the barn.  I asked Hannah Jane to please go make sure no chicken was being trampled by a goat or something along those lines.  It was the sure sound of chicken distress.  Hannah Jane assured me that all chickens make a sound of distress when they lay eggs, and that I shouldn't worry about it, but she'd go check anyway just to appease me.

Moments late she came running to the gate.  "Daisy had kittens!  She had them on a pile of eggs in the chicken boxes!"  Apparently the sound was a chicken  that was more than a little irritated at the sudden influx of furry rather than feathered friends in the chicken only territory.  When I got there, sure enough, Daisy was sprawled out on a pile of about 8 eggs, kittens crawling all over her and making quite a fuss.  So sweet.

I decided that the best course of action was to first remove my precious (and likely somewhat bacteria covered) eggs from under her and her 3 little dolls.  I do love my eggs!  I put the eggs in my sun hat to carry inside while Hannah Jane stood guard at the chicken coup door with a golf club to fend off goats and chickens that might be a little curious about the kittens.

When I came back, I suddenly realized that I have no clue what to do.  I've been counting on those kittens arriving on Joe's shift.  He grew up in a vet clinic and knows pretty much all you need to know about these things.  I, on the other hand, specialize in the more farm related givers of milk and wool.  Kittens I know nothing about.  Are they like baby birds?  If I move them to protect them from curious chickens, will she smell me on them and never nurse them again?  Is that even true of birds, or is that just a bird myth?  I have no idea.  And how long could we take shifts with the golf club to keep them safe?  And what if one of the little things fell over the edge from the egg box?  Those are a good 4 or 5 feet off the ground!

So I caved in and called Joe at work.  I hate to call him at work because I'm just sure he's in the middle of a meeting or something important and I'll make him look unprofessional or make him lose his train of thought and thereby reduce his productivity for the duration of the day.  Seriously, I can't bare to call him at work.  But these are desperate time!  It rings.  He answers.  I explain.  He says move them all together to a safe place like the front yard. I all but hung up on him, I was so stressed about calling him at work.  But I got the needed go ahead before snapping "bye" in the middle of his sentence and hanging up.

Daisy has a hot pink igloo that used to belong to Hannah Jane's bunny rabbit, Lucky, before grandma's dog, Partner, ate Lucky on Thanksgiving.  I kid you not.    But that's another story altogether.  I flipped her igloo upside down and carefully placed mom and babes inside for the long walk towards the front yard.  Daisy seemed entirely unconcerned about the whole thing.  I found it quite stressful but she just rubbed her head on me the way she does and looked around, seeming to appreciate the ride.  It was as if absolutely nothing significant or out of the ordinary was going on in her life at the moment.

I sent Hannah Jane to the barn for cat food and I went in to get her a saucer of milk when it occurred to me that when I had my babies, the midwife had suggested I not jump straight to solid foods after.  What an obnoxious thought, that  a postpartum cat is anything like a postpartum human.  But human motherhood is what I know.  So I put the milk where she could drink without leaving the babes, and put the solid food a bit farther, just in case she knew better and solids weren't for her.  What do I know?

At the moment, 3 adorable kittens are happily nursing away in an overturned hot pink igloo beside the front step.  So cute.  So tiny.  It's going to be so hard to give them away.  My gut says the boys each get to keep one, but we'll see.  And we absolutely must have her spayed now that she's had her stint in the wonderful land of motherhood.  I already got a disapproving look from my mother in-law when we told her Daisy was going to be a mommy.  But everyone should get to be a mom once.  Right?  Well, maybe our obnoxious dogs are the exception to that particular rule of mine.  Heaven knows we don't need any more loud mouthed, misbehaving dogs in the world.  :)

I love the country life!

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