Today's game plan was foiled by weather; it was one of those Shakespearean "dog days summer." Probably not as hot as Romeo and Juliet's setting, but still, for our mountain, a fan day for the girls. Did not halter them, did not groom them, and did not take them for a walk beyond the fence. Before the temperature rose, I did (for the first time since I'm home from the hospital) clean the pastures. In that I-want-to-be-with-you-fashion, the girls obligingly followed, but did not last longer than I. The fan was turned on early. Tonight, on my PM visit to turn the fan off, I spied a backyard resident who posed for this picture. Wildlife is really not as wild as I thought; they seem to blend into the landscape, knowing that no harm will befall.
The meet-and-greet committee of one is our barn cat, Allie Cat (you guessed it; I couldn't resist adding Cat when we adopted Allie). She is, like Rev, a talker, as well as a purrer, a follower, a lap cat, just the best cat ever. She is an A+ mouser, but is too well fed to eat her prey; she just disables them like a great barn cat should. Allie loves to be petted, loving attention, eager to be groomed. If I did not know better, I would think her a dog in cat's skin. Surprisingly, I seem to spend more time with her in the cold months, although this summer she is getting an unusual amount of attention. She is unique because she never leaves the outer edge of the concrete lips of the barn. She will sit on the very edge, but she never ventures farther. That's a very good thing indeed, because she could be lunch for a fox.
When we began looking to adopt a barn cat, we had a very difficult time with shelters. It seems that everyone wants cats to go to a good home, not a good barn. Our barn is a two-story very big barn, loaded with hay and straw, tons of space to roam, great views, and is cool in summer and very warm in winter. We have three kinds of beds, embedded in igloo fashion among the hay, and she nestles snugly. This winter promises to be colder, so my husband is fashioning a porcelain fixture with a heat lamp. We also have a heated dog bed. We told all the shelters this, but they still would not let us adopt. Finally, we found Allie through a neighbor who breeds Thoroughbreds. She is a love, and our unsung hero.
Then there's our Tess. In lieu of Cierra, this young lady has assumed the role of guard llama. Watchful, especially with strangers whom she warns with air spits, she is still my girl, and follows me everywhere. She is always the first to know my movements, even when I'm inside the house of many windows, as locals have dubbed it. Rev is another story. Same breeder, but different parents. Both as genial as you can get, but they remind me of my students. Like them, llamas prove that differentiation to meet needs exists in the animal kingdom as well. Rev also reminds to work with that shy student, the one who is quiet, off in the distance, hugging the back of the room, perhaps.
As night falls and I make my evening rounds, my ever-watchful girl bids me good night. I almost hate to come indoors. It has been a very good day indeed.
Although the video below makes no reference to llamas, it is making the rounds on the internet. Since I referenced Romeo and Juliet, this parody of West Side Story, the modern R&J, seems appropriate. According to a friend in my PLN who added it to his Facebook news feed, "it is hysterically accurate." I agree. What do you think? Enjoy watching Web Site Story.