Spring has finally arrived at the farm and with it a few animal fix-its. One of our barn cats, Oscar, got bit in the hind leg by a stray cat. I didn't know this of course, I only knew that he was limping quite badly. I was afraid that he had broken a bone or pulled a muscle or something- what do I know about cats? Joel and I debated what to do about it but in the end I had become too attached to the darn thing and couldn't stand to watch him suffer. We took him to the vet and since I knew they'd have to sedate him for an examination we decided to get him neutered while they were at it. I don't like the thought of our cats contributing to the stray cat population, or even the barn cat population for that matter. We have a lot of birds around the property- sparrows that nest in the barn, bluebirds out in the field, and all sorts of song birds up by the house. I am already worried about the cats wreaking havoc on the birds as it is, let alone creating some new litter somewhere.
Turns out that it was pretty clearly a bite on Oscar's leg that had become infected. It needed draining and antibiotics but was going to be just fine. I was very pleased with this and that the vet bill all told was not terrible. Totally worth it. We had to seclude him for a week as his wounds healed so he was up by the house in the good old Hog Barn (Roof Top and Rocky have been moved back to the flock) and I have to say that he is loving it. Ultimately, he became my little shadow. He followed me all around the yard as I went from my garden to the play set, to the garage.... he would lay in the grass as I worked, or wander just a bit into the woods, but would always race toward me if I began to move off toward a new destination. He's become my little buddy.
Meanwhile, his brother, Tigger, had been out at the barn by himself. He has a scratch across his nose and a puncture wound in his back leg as well, not to mention a few healed scars here and there on his ears. I felt terrible! Here Oscar is being pampered and living the dream as a family pet while Tigger is out fending off a stray cat all by himself. After his last excursion where he came back very beat up- limping, more face scratches, chunks of his ear missing, dried blood all over- we decided that was enough and took him in for the same treatment (fix him up and fix him up). The vet chuckled at us and our little twin barn cats. She said he was really beat up but that it was common for male cats to seek each other out for a fight and plus it was mating season. Now Tigger is up at the Hog Barn with Oscar and he is getting used to things near the house. He's more skittish since he's still fresh from the street fights, but he's warming up to us. I recently found him sleeping in the door of the hog barn and when he heard me coming he raised his head only slightly and only enough to open one eye just a slit. That eye slit followed me as I pulled weeds around the driveway. I think he's getting used to the easy life.
Tonka, our lab, also took a trip to the vet to have CCL surgery on his hind leg. Everything went well but he's going to be out of commission for 8 weeks. I think he's becoming depressed with his situation, but he's hardly any tamer- he still drags you along by the leash despite only having three legs to do it with.
The chickens are all just fine. We are getting six eggs a day - one from each hen- and are able to give away a fair number to family and friends. Roof Top has become a tad bit of a problem- for Joel. Roof Top does not like Joel! I find it a little bit funny, but Joel is pretty fed up with Roof Top attacking him every time he goes into the coop. I like to think Roof Top leaves me alone because I'm the alpha chick.
We initially got Roof Top to protect the flock so they could do some more free ranging, but he has gotten really aggressive. I can just imagine Joel's hopping dance while kicking at Roof Top and juggling eggs. I think I may get him a little egg-collecting apron. :)