If I thought the winter was a rough one this past week has been even worse here in the End of the Rainbow Valley. Two events caused a couple more grey hairs and some panicky moments with two of our critters MIA.
You see Friday I returned home to a frazzled Natureman. He couldn’t find Sprinter, our not quite one week old goat kid. I had seen the adult goats in the pasture as I made the last curve home and really wasn’t alarmed to not see the baby kid as she could have been in a shady knoll nearby. Besides it’s really unusual for a new Mom goat to not have at least one eye on her charge.
Don’t get me wrong as Natureman is a good hunter & gatherer and I don’t want to make a generalization about how the opposite sex can’t find things, but sometimes the most obvious escapes him. Can you relate?
As I quickly changed clothes to do some serious searching, my questions starting flying – “Did you check in the barn beneath the manger?” Yes, he had scoured the barn. “Did you check the perimeter of the barn?” Another yes. “Did you look in the tobacco shed?” “Well, yeah,” he did check there. He couldn’t figure out where she could have gone. He was concerned that maybe a coyote had come in during the night and left with her. Wouldn’t we have heard some commotion?
I double checked around the barn just in case Sprinter had ventured in the opposite direction. Her mother Zelda was bleating like crazy and what had me really worried there was no response from Sprinter. Could she be that far away we wouldn’t hear her? I double backed to the door to the back of the barn. Nothing caught my eye in the center section so I went to where used to be the tobacco section of the barn with a lot of tired farm tools and not one single small bleat did I hear. I moved some larger items around and still didn’t see nor hear a thing.
I noticed the 2 teetering stacks of bee boxes. There wedged between the stacks was a little black blob as still as could be. Relief of the sight of Blanca but she didn’t even raise her head. I called for Natureman to come quick to right the stacks to prevent them from toppling. The precarious boxes were not easy to access and as I crouched down, my fingertips surrounded Sprinter’s small frame, she moved but not one sound was uttered. Sprinter was exhausted from struggling to free herself. Once freed, I held her close as I caressed her and returned her a bit wobbly to her mother. She was traumatized and thirsty and couldn’t have been happier to latch on to her Mom.
One lost kid accounted for and all was right with the world. Well, that peace was rudely interrupted yesterday when Natureman mentioned the cat food was barely touched from the day before. What? I saw Bebe, the black and white cat this weekend, in fact, she had been hanging around up at the house. Totally unlike Bebe. Hmm, and then no sight of Blanca since Friday strange.
Blanca is the one who yearns for human attention and when I enter the barn she ‘s the first one of the two down from the loft ready for breakfast and to be stroked. Strange this past am she hadn’t shown up for breakfast. Bebe had been at the house’s front entry and then followed me down to the barn hanging with me. Something was up for sure. I kept an eye out for the black cat Blanca but the afternoon went on with no sighting. It had been 2 days since the food was not eaten.
In the a.m. it had rained and the dark clouds reappeared in the afternoon. I was taking the opportunity to go the my art workspace above the garage when I heard an unusual sound in addition to Balto’s whining. I headed towards the back of the house and the sound seemed to be coming from inside the back bedroom’s corner wall. How in the world?
The moan sounded like a cat in heat (our barn cats are neutered ) but the sound was echoing from elsewhere. Next to me was the downspout. The sound was coming from down below.
I ripped apart the connection and lo and below me was a soaking wet cat, unrecognizable screaming her little head off. There was no way I could stick my arm down to grab just her head. Nearby was a mop and if she could get something to help her scale the inside of that PVC pipe, I could get hold of her. My adrenaline was soaring. I pulled off my t-shirt and as Blanca’s outstretched paws made it to the top of the tube, her nails crept over the end of the PVC pipe holding on for dear life, I used my shirt to grab as much of her forearms as possible and eased her out of the small space trying to soothe her with ” you’re ok” and to sound calmer than I really was.
I used the shirt to swaddle and dry her until a towel was found in the garage. Natureman met me as I returned with her to the barn, her home. He couldn’t believe how I found Blanca. Bebe, her sibling, gave her a look as if she didn’t even recognize her even though she was the one who was trying to tell me something was wrong for 2 days.
Another life saved. Two lives in one week’s time. Who’d a thunk?
I need a vacation from this quiet country life right here in the End of the Rainbow Valley. Sorry I couldn’t even deal with adding photos until much later, this city mouse is mentally exhausted…