Kittens are cute, but I’m not a great lover of cats. Between the barn and our log house, their function here is to help keep the rodent population, field mice, gophers and ground squirrels, down, as well as alerting us when a rattlesnake is in the yard. In exchange, we maintain a community bowl of food between the barn and shop. We lost our strain of Manx cats several years ago when two bobcats picked them all off, one at a time. Great hunters with kittens easy to give away, the Manx reestablished themselves with renewed heterosis among the McKee clan in Elderwood, a few miles as the crow flies over a couple of ridges.
The two white puffballs were deposited in the haystack inside the horse barn with ample rations. Robbin confirmed their survival the next evening with binoculars, but by the second evening only one could be seen. Next morning, both (a.k.a.‘The McKees’) had found the house, mewing incessantly, dashing any immediate hopes that the barn would become their headquarters.
Concurrently, we have declared war on the woodpeckers that prematurely picked all of our cherries, apples, apricots and peaches. Their population has exploded on the ranch and we have resorted to pellet guns to hollow out a no fly zone around the house. All of which is to say, Virginia: the kittens are still alive!