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The Manure Spreader: Barn cats

Published on 29 September 2017

Cats. Some people love ’em and some people can’t stand ’em. Internet cat videos constantly rank among the highest number of views. But always running a close second place to the 2016 Buckeyes’ football upset loss to Penn State, 24 to 21. That was for my readers in Michigan.

In photos and artwork of cats in a farm setting, the cat always looks clean, friendly and huggable. In real life, barn cats hate you! One of the funniest things to watch is when a youngster from the city spends hours chasing a barn cat just trying to get a chance to hold the furry creature.

If you yourself do happen to rustle a barn cat and get your hands on one, go ahead and book a trip to the veterinarian’s office. Not for the cat, but for you to have the cat’s claws removed from your body!

Wikipedia defines the farm cat, also known as a barn cat, as “a domestic cat, usually of mixed breed, that lives primarily out of doors in a feral or semiferal condition on agricultural properties, usually sheltering in outbuildings. They eat assorted vermin such as rodents and other small animals that live in or around outbuildings and farm fields.

The need for the farm cat may have been the original reason cats were domesticated: to keep rodents from consuming or contaminating grain crops stored for later human consumption.”

I think Wikipedia did a good job of defining a barn cat, and there is also a website where you can purchase barn cats for your farm. Nobody in their right mind pays money for a “barn cat”! Barn cats just show up! You’ve never seen that cat before and one day he’s just there!

They don’t show up as kittens either. They’re usually middle-aged and alone. Like they were put into some type of witness protection program overnight. Generally, the male barn cat looks like a street fighter with one torn ear, squinted eyes and scars. A lot like Kenny Rogers after his fifth plastic surgery.

Barn cats do an awesome job of cleaning up the place by catching insects, frogs, birds and mice. But what they are even better at, is leaving their latest victim in front of the milk room door, office door or on that picnic table where you like to eat lunch. Just to say, “Here. Look what I did, you need me. I’ll be taking a nap.”

Even if you’re not a fan of Ohio State … let me start over. Even if you’re not a fan of cats, we’ve all had that one barn cat that we always looked forward to seeing every day. Thankfully, cats have nine lives, which is one more than Ohio State’s conference wins last season.  end mark

Tim is a Florida dairy farmer and comedian. Visit him at Tim the Dairy Farmer.

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