I’d like to introduce Beatrix, Gertrude & Maude… our backyard friends here at 2905. They are funny little chickens with such rich personalities that every morning or afternoon I spend with them leaves me feeling happy and inspired. They are hand raised birds and love being in good company (especially when it grants them access to roam free) which is why its probably taken some time but they have finally adapted well to their new home. For the first few months upon arriving here they weren’t laying at all until Christmas morning when we found one egg and joked about it calling it the, “Christmas Miracle!” But since then each of them has laid one egg a day and have fallen into their roles of the Flanders hen house.. Gertie’s definitely the ruler of the roost while Maude is the mediator (and looks be deceived is just a big sweetie) and Bea is like the younger sister who is always looking for approval of her big sisters. Their presence is such a great edition to this place and I’m so happy they are here!
But before this house inherited these chicks they had a whole different life. They were part of a family with kids until half of their chicken friends were attacked and killed by some raccoons or dogs (I can’t remember). The whole experience was very traumatizing for the family that they asked Janan & Levi (the house owners) if they’d like to adopt the 3 that survived which is how Bea, Gertie and Maude came to be.
I was thinking of their hard luck story after we had a close run in the other afternoon with the next door neighbors mane coon cat. Just as I was inspired to grab my camera back inside I saw him slink into the yard out of the corner of my eye (one part of the fence is down so anyone can just come up into the yard from the road). My protective instincts kicked in and I ran across the yard to scare him off because I was afraid he was interested in the chickens. He ran straight for the chickens and luckily, he shot right over the fence. It gave both Gertie, the leader of the pack and I quite the scare. She had ran back into the coop and was frantically pacing back and forth for several minutes until I coaxed her back out.
But the way in which the cat looked at me (more frightened of me than mischievous) and how it bolted over the fence made me feel like his interest was not in the chickens. I had seen him in the yard before, poking about and enjoying the sunshine but never near our girls. So, after I put the chicks back in the hen house and went in to grab my camera I saw Mr. Kitty slink back into the yard behind the fallen chestnut tree trunk. I observed him. He began to trot across the yard to the woodpile where he perched up like a bird, head cocked, chest fluffed up and was most happy and content. Perhaps he liked the buzzing by the bees or the cool nestled spot amongst the mossy logs or maybe for another reason.. but I don’t think this cat has it out for our hens. If anything I feel like he enjoys their company or maybe he’s protecting them like a pseudo rooster from the family of coons that lives under our porch. Whatever the case may be I like him… he actually reminds me of an Edward Gorey cat drawing (if I only knew his name.. I might just have to give him one).
The whole experience made me sit back and think though. Of course, upon seeing him that first time I felt protective of my helpless girls and took action but is it possible to say that despite his size (he must be as long as my legs and weigh at least 20 lbs) and the character traits of his breed that his intentions are good? How can one really know? It’s hard to say.. but like anything with a little more time and experience Mr. Kitty will show his true intentions and I hope that this is just his way of harnessing his true farm cat from within.. in that case I think we might just be friends…