My Dear-Hearts - Kittens & Goats

So, what is a farm without a cast of critters? 
  • Living at Meadowview Farm are:  (deceased)
    • The goats:  (Little Moo), (Taffy), Charlie & Ralphie.
    • The cat herd: 
      • Indoors - (Shawnee) & (McCoy)
        • (August Rose) came in in July, 2013
        • Adopted Lucy Lily on 5/22/15 from the Eau Claire Humane Society
        • Adopted Daisy Grace on 10/22/15 from the Eau Claire Humane Society
      • Outdoors: Hope and her babies: 
        • 5/10:  (Whisper), (Chippewa), (Pumpkin) & (Shadow)
        • 9/11/10:  Adding: (Cinnamon), (Tinsel), (Clover), (Marmalade) & (Chestnut)
        • 5/10/11:  Adding: Winter-adopted, Spring-adopted, (Summer)
        • 4/17/12 Adding: Luna, Pearl & Meadow/Riku - adopted by Ian
        • 8/15/12 Adding:  (August), (Autumn/Sora) - adopted by Ian & (Acorn)
        • 5/28/13 Adding: SEVEN babies -- two adopted.  (Ojibwa), Big Sawyer, (Sweetie), Sable, Chippewa remain. 
        • 2016 and dear (Midnight) arrived...older, feral cat that finally found a home
        • 2017 and Patches arrived...another older boy that was out looking for a home
    • Birds of all kinds - from eagles to wrens!

And of course...my best friend & husband, Dave ---- and my awesome son, Ian!


Kitty Diary:

June, 2010 - the kittens are a little over a month old...and we now take them out several times a day to play.  Hope gets a little anxious - and looks to us to help her keep track of these busy babies.  Pumpkin is most adventurous - already discovering the goat pen & touching noses with Charlie.  We tote them about in an old bushel basket -- won't be long before they climb out of this too.

July, 2010 - the babies have been out of their nesting box for more than a month now.  It has been amazing to watch this new mother, Hope, teach them the ways of this big world.  They have instinctively come to trust us & the goats -- because Hope does.  They have come to love the barn and seek it for their refuge.  They venture out around the goat cabin -- exploring one area over & over until they really know it....learning thru play.  Even when Hope is off, they stay to the area she has deemed O.K.  Their day is full of play, tree climbing, and sleep...they find the sweetest places for their naps - most recently a bike basket.  Last night I watched Pumpkin discover a dandelion that had gone to seed.  Personalities:  Pumpkin is the outgoing one, always ready with a purr.  Whisper is the smallest and very very sweet -- a peanut of a kitten.  Chippewa is often the last to arrive - quite independent.  Shadow is the observer -- may find him just watching...he also has the biggest paws.

August, 2010 - the kittens explore a greater area each day -- sometimes on their own, often still with Hope at their side.  They climb the trees in the back yard, jump in the tall grass behind the barn and play under the corn crib.  Dave has also found them on our porch steps -- quite a distance from the barn.  They tend to stay together, but also will venture off independently.  They still run to the barn when afraid and to sleep.  I am trying to prepare myself for the day when they don't greet me at the barn in the morning...when they "fly from this nest".   I'm not sure my heart will bear that.

September, 2010 - Hope, the mother cat, appears to again be "with child" --- and she has made it known to the kittens that she is now just another cat to them.  I guess this is how it goes....although we hope to sneak in a spaying at the right time after this next litter....hard to do with barn cats.  The babies found their way to our back deck -- and can't believe that we just "walk out a door to them".....purring is at a high volume!

September 11, 2010 - Hope "gifts" us with five more kittens - born in the same nesting box near the barn door.  She is so proud and now reaches out to her first litter, only Pumpkin is unsure of her.  The new kittens are three grays, one orange, & one sandy...looks like one could have Hope's variegated coloring.  We tentatively make a list of names:  Marmalade, Cinnamon, Chestnut, Tinsel, Clover.

September 19, 2010 - Chippewa is hit on County Road R.  Their journey now takes them to the road -- we can't protect them.  Perhaps we have also done a disservice by always being so careful in our cars around them.  He seems to have passed instantly.  We discover his absence this morning, and Dave immediately looks to the road.  We bury him with wild flowers behind the barn.  Ralphie watches from his goat bridge -- reminds me of the bagpiper at my mom's burial.  Fitting.  Farewell my little Chippewa -- remember how we fell in love "while they were sleeping".  You were a good little guy - I will miss you and that "c" on your little head.  Your face was your mother's.  Tonight, Hope played with her first litter in the pasture -- does she feel their loss, does she feel this loss?  What a brave momma.

September 19, 2010 - I struggle with this circle of raising barn cats.  I am so out of control.  Circles.  Circles. Circles.  Would I, should I bring them in safe into the house?  Would another month, another year living in a house be the equal to even one more day in the country -- running, climbing trees, living in the barn they were born in? 

October 1, 2010 - The new new baby kittens, Clover & Tinsel passed on this week -- buried with Chippewa.  Just didn't thrive.  Took them out of the nesting box, Hope washed them one last time before they were buried...my heart aches for these little ones and their momma.  But, she knows...and she goes back to the remaining babies --- Marmalade, Cinnamon & Chestnut.  They are healthy - growing so fast -- soon we will know one another, soon.

October 2, 2010 - Began to take the new babies out to introduce them to the older babies.  Whisper wants to babysit, Shadow is curious, Pumpkin hisses at them.  My little Pumpkin -- his innocence was interrupted when Hope first turned him away to prepare for a new litter and when his Chippewa never came home.  I will need to work with him to accept these new siblings.

October 7, 2010 - Took the new babies out to the yard.  They are little puffs of such sweetness.  They cry until I purr to them.  Hope trusts me so.  Won't be long until they are out and about.

October 11, 2010 - Shadow, Pumpkin & Whisper got to spend the weekend on the porch -- just too friendly to be out & about during the Barn Sale.  Would be charming greeters -- but safety comes first!  They loved the porch....and rather than run out at the end of each day, they took their time leaving when we propped open the door --- so sweet.  Had the new babies out on Monday -- such adorable littles.  Hope is an absolutely fabulous mother -- when Pumpkin hissed at the kittens, Hope walked right over to him with such confidence and then licked him on the nose.  Was she letting him know to lighten up and let it be?  I am so very proud of her natural abilities ---- and my, my, my --- her babies are beautiful.

October 22, 2010 - Marmalade, Chestnut & Cinnamon climbed out of the nesting box today -- their first night out in the big barn.  Pumpkin still doesn't like any of this, Whisper is warming to the idea of fluffy pillow-cats when it is cold, and Shadow has taken on such a loving role of big brother.  They seem so much smaller than the first litter...but are very full of confidence.  We shall see in the morning light how it all went.

November, 2010 - Whisper, Pumpkin & Shadow will visit the Vet. this week -- overnight, then recuperation on the front porch.  It is so hard to put them thru this -- but the responsible thing to do.  I will give them a little space heater to keep them snug & warm as they get better.

November 12, 2010 - Gone.  Gone.  Heart just broken.  My Shadow has been missing since we last saw him at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday night sitting next to the evergreen tree.  We assume this gentle protector took on a predator, sacrificing himself for the little ones.  Ever the hero, ever the hero.  May his memory be for a blessing.  Sweet sweet Shadow ----- how I will miss your kind ways.  My adoration and admiration to you....your character traits were just too good & grand for this world....an angel you are.

November 26, 2010 - Thanksgiving in the barn.  I felt such joy watching Ian with the kittens...at one point he had Pumpkin, Marmalade & Chestnut in his lap.  He laughed so at their sweet antics.  My Ian is indeed a cat person -- he is already figuring how he might budget to have two cats while still under a student's earnings.

December 4, 2010 - Snow.  The first trackable amount.  Kittens in Snow!  Goats in Snow!  Love this first.
I spent time shoveling paths in the pasture - paths that wind around, connect, re-connect.  Ralphie follows me.  For the goats, the paths lead out to a large shoveled area where I leave hay.  For the kittens, they play, follow a path than jump into the snow.  They run - aimlessly.  Such fun.  For the goats, they come out where I have shoveled - and get fresh air.  I add new straw to the barn and their cabin.  Animals need love & care & warmth & play.  This responsibility makes me smile...doesn't hurt that Chestnut (Nut-skie) is first covered in snow, then in straw.  They bring me such joy.

December 14, 2010 - Cold.  They look at me wondering why their world has become so cold.  Hope knows and settles in for another winter.  The goats know - even Ralphie & Charlie.  But the kittens try to understand.  They play to keep warm.  They huddle near the space heater we have offered them on this -20 below morning.  Straw, blankets, little places to snuggle in...mangers here & there.  Born in a barn, innocent & new.

December 21, 2010 - As I walked out to the barn this morning, I noticed tracks down the driveway in the new snow --- tracks from a larger animal.  As always, I entered the barn and counted all the animals...no Whisper.  No Whisper.  I called for her.  No Whisper.  For some reason I decided to go out into the pasture and see if she might be in the goat cabin.  No Whisper.  Then I looked up --- and there in the top of the tree inside the pasture was my little girl --- high in the limbs -- limbs covered with ice.  Not sure how long she had been up there -- but she was there & O.K.    I was able to talk her halfway down and then bring out a ladder to get her down the rest of the way.  She was filled with fear -- we figure a neighbor dog had visited during the night.  We will have a talk with the neighbors...I understand that dogs roam free in the country --- but, but ---- "thus far, and no further."  The first shot will be a warning....that is how things are also done in the country --- we have animals to protect.

January 6, 2011 - I start & end my day in the barn.  The animals greet me as I enter through the milk house -- all excited for their meal...the kittens climb up on the pail of water, purr for the milk, and wait as I refill their chips.  The goats get fresh water, goat chips, hay, and leaves or corn shucks we put up for them the past fall.  I reshuffle all the kittens play areas -- providing boxes to climb into, bales of straw to climb upon and toys.  They are happy, content and oh so loved.

February 14, 2011 -- Take a look at "Seriously?" post of February 16.  Dogs and Cats and Goats just don't mix.

March 5, 2011 --- Ready --- that is what they are.  Ready for no more snow.  Ready for grassy lawns to explore.  Ready for a meadow bursting with life.  Ready for warmth and naps in the sun.  Kittens and Goats are ready.  So am I.

March 19, 2011 -- So this is how it will go.  My heart now understands that the life of a barn cat is indeed measured in months not years.   So, as I watched for spring's return -- a robin dancing at the road's edge -- I wasn't surprised to also find a farewell at that same road's edge.  And so there he was, my Pumpkin -- more accurately, Dave's Pumpkin.  Our spirited little boy -- almost a year old -- pure pure joy.  Last Sunday I had sat at the base of the silo -- holding Pumpkin -- sharing with him what a sweet boy he was -- and he was -- so genuine, just full of life.  He will be buried next to the pumpkin patch...next to his brother, Chippewa.  Farewell sweet boy -- how blessed to have held you & loved you.  Your lesson was to love, just to love -- no questions asked.  I will always be glad to have had you in my life.  Farewell.  And then there was one.

March 20, 2011 -- I watched from the foggy barn window as Dave buried Pumpkin tonight.  I thought to go out, but it was after dark & all the kittens would follow me...so instead I watched.  He readied the ground, and set his little boy in the hole - I could hear him saying quiet words of good bye.  Then Dave took off a glove & reached down, touching this sweet sweet kitten one last time.  It was fitting in so many ways that Dave buried this little one on his own -- cause Pumpkin was indeed his special boy.  I watched from the barn, and as I did, Whisper -- Pumpkin's sister came over to me purring -- I lifted her, she watched with me -- her purring stopping.  She was now the last -- the last of this first litter.  She watched -- and we all said our good bye -- Pumpkin was indeed special -- so so pure & loving & good.

March 31, 2011 -- Sitting on the top steps of the barn stairs tonight -- an open coat, no mittens...and kittens -- Whisper & Marmalade in my lap, Chestnut & Cinnamon on the steps above me -- a chorus of little kitty motors.  Remember this moment.

April 22, 2011 -- Chestnut is our one girl from our September litter -- and she visited the Vet. this week.  We readied the porch for her recuperation - anticipating that she would likely pick the barn.  And so it was -- the porch remained empty, the barn embraced her sweet rest.  On Friday night, I checked on her -- she shivered in the hayloft -- so I took her in my arms, offering her my warmth & love.  As we sat in the lit hayloft, the birds sang from the rafters.  Indeed it was Good Friday -- and I felt such joy & gratitude & hope.  Often this barn offers sanctuary to me -- and to the little lives that call it home as well.

May 10, 2011 -- A spring litter... with excitement we check on this sweet little group - tucked among the boxes in the hayloft bin.  A special secret at the spring Barn Sale - just on the other side of a wooden wall from shoppers - three new kittens sleep:  Winter, Spring & Summer -- with their wonderful mom, Hope.

May 28, 2011 -- Kitten miracles - kitten prayers answered.  In my world, day begins & ends at the barn - feeding the animals, counting noses, sharing a word & touch.  So, when a little one is not there - my heart grows so heavy wondering if they will be there in the morning.  So it was this past week with Cinnamon & Whisper -- Cin. missing from breakfast & supper for two days, Princess for one.  I began to ready myself for their loss - when who should appear but Cinnamon, laying on the barn floor.  And so, I sent my prayer for Whisper's safe return too -- bring my Princess home I called out to the skies.  And, Dave called as I drove home from work Friday night - "Guess who is home?"  Kitten miracles, kitten prayers answered.

June 1, 2011 -- I climb into the bin with the new babies -- the first time or two they hissed in their little kitty voices -- sort of a "snap, crackle, pop" sound -- now they don't.  They figure out soon I will not harm them, they watch that momma Hope trusts me.  I hold them, pet them, talk of how we will become friends and maybe even fall in love.  Such an adventure.  I feel so blessed to raise kittens -- they fill my heart every day.

July 1, 2011 -- The babies came down the big stairs and spent their first night in the big barn with all the big kids....shall see how that went.  The hayloft was just too hot with the 90 degree+ temperatures -- and their wise mommy brought them to a cooler place.  Winter is the most trusting -- comes right to me, very demure - a cuddler.  Spring is quiet - appears timid -- but I think can hold its own.  Summer is sweet - a watcher & a player.  Will be such fun to watch those little personalities come out.  Speaking of personalities...the big boys:  Marmalade & Cinnamon have been duking it out with a hiss & a growl for "top cat" honors.  Cinnamon leaves & returns -- and becomes more of a Tommy each day.  Marmalade seems to be the Barn King at the moment -- more because he just stakes out the barn as his.

July 15, 2011 -- Kitties are now outside.  Watched as Hope walked little Winter over to the corn crib last night -- 10 minutes later came out without the baby and momma went back to the barn.  Hmmm -- the corn crib backs up to corn -- lots of it.  A little 2 month old baby - left alone in that big world.  Wouldn't have it.  I know, I know -- shouldn't second guess a mother's plans or instincts but -- come on.  I marched out in my p.j.s and insisted that Hope climb down from the post she is scaling and get back over to the corn crib & find that baby.  Guess she heard -- she ran back.  From the house I watched Hope walk back to the barn...minutes later out came Winter.  Such a big world for these little ones to learn.  I guess I must keep my faith in Hope.

August 2, 2011-- The Corn Crib fascinates the little ones -- like going to Disneyworld.  They play under, and on top...just far enough from their safe barn to be an adventure, but close enough to run "home" when it is too much.  I want them tucked in safe & sound at the end of the day -- but this is becoming less of a reality as they get older.  Little kittens at play on the farm -- night & day.  I never know where I will find them next as they learn about their big red home and their even bigger playground.

August 10, 2011 -- Worry -- I worry a lot about my babies, my animals.  Marmalade limped home last week -- very hurt, very weak --- he is just beginning to bounce back -- but now I worry that a virus or infection or something has found the newest kittens.  Spoke to the Vet for a bit yesterday.  We shall see....  Worry.

August 20, 2011 -- Sick sick kittens -- now all better.  See my August post, "Sweet little ones" for all the details.

September 11, 2011 -- One year - today Chestnut, Marmalade & Cinnamon are one year old.  In the life span of a barn cat -- that is remarkable.  Chestnut Violet, my sweet little girl from this litter, is pure -- so adorable, demure...living for a moment on the porch with Whisper (her big sister) at her side.  Cinnamon has been banished from the barn in the pecking order of tom cats - and sleeps in a hollow log across from the house, sneaking in the barn every now and again.  Marmalade, certainly has used and abused his seven lives - and guards the barn door with a purr.  His beat-up little skinny body looks so much older than his one year.  But he made it and we celebrated with a hug & a can of food.  He is loyal to that big red barn and his cat family - a fighter pilot flying his little mission from the door of a barn.  One year -- they have taught me so much in that year about joy, loyalty, perseverance and time.

September 19, 2011 -- Good bye sweet Marmalade -- buried now behind the barn.  How often we sat on the stoop of the barn -- said "no one in the world knows we are here, just mommy & Marmie."  I am certain there is a stoop just like that at a big red barn in heaven....save me a spot little one.  I miss you already...you were just too sick, too worn out....but you purred right until the end, didn't you.  And who got that last moment, just mommy & Marmie.

September 21, 2011 -- Two more sick kittens -- Winter & Spring -- picked up the bacteria or virus that Marmie must have been shedding.  Kept them on the porch for a time, but too sick.  Surrendered them tonight to a Vet from the Trempealeau Humane Society -- she will be their angel...her name is Suzie.  And then there were 5.  Both kittens have survived -- quite a fight -- now renamed Maxwell & MiMi -- and adopted to homes in Eau Claire  -- happy lives to you my sweet ones.

September 23, 2011 -- Heart broken & alone, my little Summer passed on on the first day of fall.  Ian was to adopt him, but he was just too sick.  He did have the love of a boy at the end, my boy Ian was his final grace....and he purred for him so.  That is love, brief as it can be, but worth every moment. 

September 26, 2011 -- Chestnut and Whisper sleep on the porch -- antibiotic in their milk -- for sure measure.  Cinnamon now guards the barn with Hope at his side -- antibiotic in their milk too.  And then there were four.  I am tired, love is not easy.

November 1, 2011 -- The weather is changing -- animals know their days of warm play are numbered.  The goats stay out past dark, eating, head butting -- Little Moo even sleeps out under the stars.  The cats begin to find their cozy havens to sleep -- Hope in the nesting box, Chestnut in a bag of leaves (put up for a treat for the goats this winter), Cinnamon on a straw bale, Whisper on her beloved porch (not to mention the heating pad waiting for her).  We will work to get everything in order----enough straw & hay, leaves and corn, barn tucked in as best it can be....we all know colder weather is coming.  We already begin to wait for spring.

December 1, 2011 -- And so it is here - snow & cold have arrived.  The barn provides warm spots for all -- with a space heater at the ready when temperatures dip below zero.  Animals now spend their days tucked in bags of leaves or burrowed in warm straw.  Hunker down my little family, warmth will be the goal now.

December 25, 2011 -- Apples for the goats, canned food for the barn cats, a stocking with catnip mice for Shawnee & McCoy --- we celebrate our animal family too this Christmas day.

January 12 & 13, 2012 -- All the Barn Cats travel to the Vet -- two a day.  All their immunizations given.  Will not travel again thru a summer like last year.  Cats are healthy & happy.

February 26, 2012 -- No sign of Hope....worry always sets in.  But that is the life of barn cats.  We celebrate their homecoming -- and mourn when they are missing.  Come home Hope -- we miss you.

March 5, 2012 -- Hope & Cinnamon are missing.  Heart aches.

March 11, 2012 --  We hear of Hope & Cinnamon sightings from our neighbor -- and wonder where they are & why they left.  We take the girls, Whisper & Chestnut, onto the porch at night.  And we discover a new cat in the barn -- and fluffy black & white one that has seen some rough days.  It has a matted tail, lost fur and appears worn out.  I call to him and give him food & shelter....We shall call him "Faith".  And our journey begins again.

March 17, 2012 -- I look out to the barn this morning, and luck of the Irish....who is on the bench, but my Hope -- no Cinnamon yet, but Hope has come home.

April 14, 2012 -- Faith is now in the loving care of the Trempealeau County Humane Society...they will find him a good home.  And as if on cue, Cinnamon has come home!

April 18, 2012 -- We have kittens!  Born under the corn crib, have not yet met them...but soon.  Can't wait!

April 27, 2012 -- Three -- that is how many kittens are tucked up in the back room of the corn crib.  All shades of gray...all with their little eyes now open.  Soon little ones, soon we will play.

May 16, 2012 -- Living now in the barn, the kittens begin the big adventure of getting to know this big farm and all who live here.  I can't love them anymore than I do already!  They are so gentle & sweet  -- pure, just pure.

June 18, 2012 -- Love to go out to the barn, call "Luna, Pearl, Meadow" and have three little kittens that now know their names come running.  Joy, joy, joy!

July 10, 2012 -- Babies are out & about...Hope takes them on "field trips" each day -- she is such a fabulous mom.

July 31, 2012 -- Hope separates from the babies...this is natural and instinctual for the momma cat, but does not make it any easier for the kittens.  They do not understand why she now turns away from them, even hissing at them.  The big sisters - Chestnut & even Whisper step up...bringing them "treats" they have caught.  And life goes on.

August 7, 2012 -- Ian adopts Meadow.  They bond on the drive back to Madison.  My two boys in an apartment together -- youngest and oldest.   Ian states, "he means everything to me".

August 15, 2012 -- New kittens are born, in the garden next to the potting shed, tucked in next to the fence.  Three little hearts to fall in love with.

September 11, 2012 -- Naming Ceremony:  August, Autumn & Acorn.....now moved safely into the nesting box in the barn.  Sweet, sweet, sweet.

November 8, 2012 -- Kittens are all growing so big -- meet us as we enter the barn at the start & end of each day.  Play in the pasture with the goats.  Such a happy little flock we have!

December 8, 2012 -- First big snow!  Kittens & goats play in the paths I shovel.  Little Acorn comes in looking like a little snow ball.  We put on the "cooker" (space heater), build forts in the barn -- happy kittens mean a happy Kari!

December 25, 2012 -- Ian adopts Autumn.  Little guy says good bye to his farm - on to new adventures in Madison!

March 21, 2013 -- Kittens & Goats are getting tired of snow -- come on spring!!

March 25, 2013 -- Cinnamon appears to have been hit by a car...limped home, climbed into the nesting box he was born in almost 3 years ago and passed on in his barn.  Such a joyful boy.  He so loved this farm and his family.  We will miss you our Bunny -- your were sunshine. 

May 16, 2013 -- My Hope is expecting again.  Seven barn cats and Two house cats feels like enough....until I get to thinking about new kittens.  Makes me smile with the thought of new babies to fall in love with.

May 17, 2013 -- August hit by a car -- broken pelvis, torn leg -- to the vet then to the porch for 6 weeks of contained healing.  The little girl dragged herself to the safety of the outhouse in the orchard -- such courage!  I will bet money on her recovery!  See posts about this sweet girl kitten.

May 28, 2013 -- Seven babies born....seven!  Oranges & Grays!  Will name all the orange babies Ojibwa and all the gray babies Sawyer.  Hope to adopt out all but two.

July 5, 2013 -- August Rose is now officially a house cat!

September 16, 2013 -- Two babies now live with two boys and a family outside of Eau Claire.  Five babies will live out their lives with us!  August has become a house cat -- such a life here at Meadowview Farm....kittens, kittens, kittens!

October, 2013 -- All kittens are officially fixed, including our beautiful momma Hope.  After gifting us with 25 babies over the years, time for her to retire.

December 5, 2013 -- My little Acorn has been missing since the end of October.  I now suspect that our little boy is not coming home.  We will miss him always and love him forever.  So long dear Acorn.

November 7, 2014 -- I knew the day would come to say a sweet farewell to my little boy - McCoy.  He has blessed my life for almost 16 years -- at my side through many difficult days, bringing joy to many happy times too.  He grew up with my Ian -- arriving the shyer of two kitty brothers.  Shawnee was the heart, McCoy was the soul.  He traveled to the farm in 2007, scared at first with this new big house -- growing to love it all.  In his final year he fell in love with a sister kitten -- taking many months to warm up to her.  It tickled my heart to catch him snuggled up to August Rose or protecting her.  And, he protected me -- at my side - always - last year as I recovered from breast cancer he was always next to me.  He was loyal and devoted.  It seemed fitting to bury him beneath the bench in the apple orchard -- he spent many days looking out there.  He will be missed, and will always be my beloved.  Tears for a cat, indeed.  I will bring you pansies in the spring dear Bear.  And the thought of you will both warm my heart and make it ache.  Tears for a cat, indeed and ever more.  May his sweet memory be for a blessing.

December, 2014 -- Our Ojibwa has been sick -- we nurse him back to health with twice daily antibiotics, a warm heater, and food just for him in the quiet of the nesting box.  Can't imagine this farm without this happy yellow cat.  He is making it, and that makes me happy.

December 20, 2014 -- Our oldest cat, Shawnee, has been growing so thin since the death of his brother, McCoy, in November.  We are certain he mourns the loss of this brother who had been at his side since 1999 - but we schedule a Vet appointment just to be certain.  They check for diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and renal failure - all are negative.  They do confirm that Shawnee has lost all sight in his right eye, and likely sees just shadows with his left.  This is a new change in our boy.  We are glad to have taken him in to see if there is any treatment for his condition, and are told it is likely age.  At least we checked.  Our love for this boy is deep - it saddens us that he struggles -- but he copes with these changes like the trooper that he is.  We will enjoy this holiday season with him - not sure how much longer he will be with us.  And little August Rose, cares for him like we knew she would.  Both are blessings in our lives.

February 3, 2015 -- Ojibwa passed away today, with Hope & Luna at his side.  It breaks our heart every time we have a loss.  He had been sick since early winter, never quite responding to the vet visits or the antibiotic.  He had lost so much weight -- he almost seemed like a different kitten, and he had lost his purr to the illness -- that made me the saddest.  But, he was in the barn he loved with the family of cats & goats he adored -- and that is where he took his last breath.  May his sweet memory be for a blessing.

April 4, 2015 -- And so it goes, the circle of life ---- and passing.  With such sadness, we bid good bye to our oldest cat, Shawnee.  He had lost his brother of 16 years in the fall -- then lost his eye sight.  I imagine he felt so very confused.  He had become weaker and weaker -- and we knew his time with us was short -- so we had the gift of saying good bye to him.  Telling him how he had touched out lives, how special he was and how very much we loved him.  His brother, McCoy was the soul  ------ Shawnee was the heart, the joy.  He will be buried with his brother in the apple orchard -- and upon their grave I will plant pansies.  Good bye sweet sweet boy.

May 22, 2015 -- And the search began -- adding a new kitten to our household - a buddy for August Rosie.  And on May 22 the search ended at the Eau Claire Humane Society -- when Lucy Lily was adopted.  She entered our home and hearts with 1 1/2 pounds of furry sweetness -- with no meow -- and an amazing purr.  It took about a week of Rosie hissing and growling before Lucy had her wrapped around her little paw.  By June 5 they were playing, napping together and truly the sweet look on Rosie's face would say it all -- she was smitten by this wee kitten too.  Lucy arrived with no confirmed birthday -- so we picked the first day of spring, March 21, 2015 as her birthday -- seemed fitting. 

June 18, 2015 -- Our Whisper is missing.  We know it, can feel her absence, but do not want to give up hope -- but she is not in the barn, not on the porch, not at the farm she has loved for over 5 years.  We steady ourselves for her loss...when they just disappear, it is almost harder to understand.  We worry that she is somewhere hurt & hiding.  We worry that this friendly girl kitten was just scooped up and taken.  We worry that something terrible happened.  And we will not know....ever.  So, instead we count our blessings and consider ourselves ever so lucky to have been loved day in and day out by a cat born in our barn.  Dear sweet Whisper Annie - our Princess -- may your memory be for a blessing.

September 2, 2015 - My Ian calls in tears -- Autumn/Sora is sick.  He has taken him to the Vet -- Xrays show a not good prognosis - leukemia.  This sweet orange cat was adopted by Ian -- and has lived in Madison, Milwaukee and Neenah with him.  They understood each other and loved each other deeply.  So Ian made the only decision he knew how to make, to not let his sweet dear boy suffer.  He will pick up Sora's ashes in the next few weeks and bring him home to be buried at the farm he was born at.  Tears for a cat.  May his memory be for a blessing -- my Ian's blessing indeed.

September 23, 2015 - August Rose hides, her breathing is heavy.  I will take her to the vet again tomorrow.  My heart is heavy too.

September 24, 2015 - August Rose passed away this morning.  My heart is broken.  Tears for a cat.

October 22, 2015 - Daisy Grace arrives at our farm.  We needed newborn kitty love -- just too much loss this year.  With a trip to the Eau Claire Humane Society on October 21 -- a little orange striped kitty joins our family.  When they carried Daisy out from the back room - I saw her back & thought, "Oh my".  Then when they turned her around and I saw little eyes like a fawn -- smitten!  The folks at the Humane Society knew, stating - "you are going to adopt her?" -- yes indeed.  I could not complete the paperwork fast enough.  She arrived home to not even one hiss from Lucy Lily.  They ran the house for three hours that first night -- then seemed to high five with little paws -- making them sisters of the heart.  My girls.  Daisy & Lucy -- on a mission to mend broken hearts at Meadowview Farm.

October, 2016 - Circles, circles...Ian is home from Seattle.  We are overjoyed to have him here.  He, too, loves animals - especially cats.  So, it is sad that on one of his days home, I discover Sweetie hit at the end of our driveway.  We bury this sweet girl behind the barn.  Later I find Ian washing the road where she was found -- not wanting us to pass this constant reminder of this loss. 

November 4, 2016 - Our dear Taffy goat has been sick -- growing thinner by the day.  We do our best to meet her needs, partitioning off an area in the barn for her to seek solace.  Finally, the day we sadly expected arrived.  I say my good bye with an apple and a hug in the morning.  Taffy has gifted me with a love I never thought I would have -- for a sweet white goat girl...a gentle soul.  Dave is home when Dr. Norby arrives from the Augusta Vet Clinic to euthanize our sweet girl.  She is buried in the her pasture.  It is a very sad day at Meadowview Farm.  May her memory be for a blessing.

February 22, 2017 - My dear Chestnut Violet -- my Nutter is sick.  She has lived a long life for a barn cat -- and spends this final week on our porch.  We attempt to help her with a visit to the vet and medicine -- I always wonder if this makes it worse.  In the end, as I sit with her, I am thankful for the unseasonal warm weather.  She sits on the table and looks out at her barn, at her farm.  She seems to know that it is time to seek her sister again.  I am certain that Chestnut and Whisper are now playing again in kitty heaven.  I miss you little one, thanks for all your play, your love, your gentle way.   You have been such a blessing to me.

April 24, 2017 - Little Moo travels over that rainbow bridge tonight to see his sister, Taffy, again.  This shy boy came to meet me at the gate on Sunday and let me pet and talk with him -- it was as if he knew these were our final hours together.  On Monday, he was unable to get up...so we sat with him, I petted the head I rarely had the chance to pet...and talked with him about his farm.  We listened to the lullaby that he heard every night, the leaves blowing outside the cabin, the pigeons cooing.  Dr. Linda arrived that evening and gently helped us let go of this strong boy...our patriarch goat.  Farewell my Moo.

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