One of the disadvantages of renting is that you’re not in control of your situation. You can’t do any real landscaping without getting permission, you don’t want to do extensive improvements to the house because you don’t own them – so you’d have to leave them behind, and you need to get permission for any livestock/pets you want to bring in.
We were able to secure permission for the chickens and other poultry while renting, but were never able to get the permission for a cat. I can’t remember where I heard it – but I remember reading or hearing at one point that permaculturists prefer to ‘use an animal to solve an animal problem’. We had mice at the rental place – not nearly as bad as we had one winter in our place in the city – but still annoying.
In the city we were able to bring in a cat to help us out. He was born under our back porch to an extremely feral mother, and we took him in on his first real day out of the den. He was death on four paws. I’m not a big cat person – I don’t really see the draw at all – but Tulkas wasn’t really a pet to me, he was more like an appliance – and one that worked really really well.
Our experience in this matter made it a no-brainer that we’d be getting a cat shortly after moving. We haven’t seen any signs of mice here – but why take chances? And an indoor-outdoor cat can patrol both the yard and the house. After moving in and talking to the previous owners we realized that we’ll actually need two cats – there’s going to have to be one that lives in the barn – but one thing at a time.
Last Wednesday Beth was looking through the classifieds at church to see if she could find any kittens. That same evening one of her friends from church called her up to let us know that there had been a cat dropped off in front of her farm that night (a somewhat common practice) – and asking if she wanted to take a look. Beth went right out that night.
Enter ‘The cat’. She doesn’t have a name yet, but we’re still working on getting something we can all agree on. Jesse wants to name her Peanut (but has agreed that this can be her middle name), Beebs wants to call her Violet, Beth thinks she may like the name Luna, and I’d like to name her Pakhet.
Without going into it too much – I get a kick out of naming cats for mythological gods. They’re gods in their own minds anyways, and with so many to choose from, it’s often a fun challenge to try to find a name that matches their personality – although with the name Pakhet it may be partially wishful thinking.
I’m wondering about our wisdom. She’s extremely friendly, but a quick (and expensive) trip to the vet has shown us why she was abandoned – she’s pregnant.
So instead of one cat we’re about to have multiple kittens – and instead of helping out in the fight against stray and abandoned cats we’re actually going to be contributing to the population explosion.
On the one hand – the kids are going to love seeing her have her kittens, and playing with them as they learn to explore the world – but on the other hand that’s a lot of mouths to feed and a lot of vet bills. I’m still trying to figure out how we are going to deal with this.
I expect one of the kittens will turn into the barn cat – possibly more than one… but it’s frustrating. Still – Beth and the kids really love this cat, so I’m really glad she’s making them happy.
I’m waiting to see if she can hold a candle to Tulkas’ mousing abilities though.