Imperfect.

photo(89)This is Baby Cat (“The Kitten!  The Kitten!”)

I’ll be honest.  I really hesitated in even writing about this, because it’s a tough issue for me, and I like to keep this blog on the lighter side when I can.  I knew going into this farming life that we would face, frankly, quite a bit of death.  It’s the natural balance when you infuse a place with so much life.  There’s lot of animals and lots of plants.  Some of those things are much hardier than others, and some are shockingly delicate.  We lost two goat babies last spring (one to sickness, one to an accident.)  One of our dogs, a big, sweet boy, was hit by a motorcycle last summer.  Chicks and little turkeys are very delicate little creatures, susceptible to all manner problems.  And those are the accidental deaths.  The ones you struggle to prevent, and the ones that are so hard every time.  We haven’t started the process of “harvesting” our animals yet, but it’s in the game plan.  There are meat birds in a back pen, plans for pastured pork, and rabbits.

But knowing that death is a natural part of life doesn’t actually make it easier.  There’s a harshness to it that’s multiplied when it comes much sooner than expected.

I’ve been on the hunt for some decent barn cats for a long time.  There’s mice in the barn, and when we first lived here, we found some in the basement.  They’re on the porch, too, from time to time, and no amount of trapping is anywhere near as effective as a cat.  In one weekend, I managed to get more than our fair share of barn cats, but I was anxious to have them.  We located some in the barn and put the little kitten above on our porch.  She was tame, friendly and definitely seemed more people-oriented than the other barn cats.  She settled in well enough, fell in love with John and tolerated being messed with by our three year old.

And then Mac got her.  He’s about 18 months old, and hasn’t ever really settled into farm life.  We’ve had a few problems with chickens getting too close, but this is the first time he’s ever injured anyone bad enough to kill.

And this is where I realize and remember the imperfection of it all.  Farm life seems idyllic to so many, but it’s far from it.  We all know about the hard work and long hours.  And since we’re all eaters of food, there’s got to be awareness of the loss of life.  But… when you have a dog who, by all breed standards, should be *good* at being on the farm and just isn’t?  Then what?  Our little farm family has some decisions to make, and in a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to.  But it’s far from perfect.  It’s just life.

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Lynn on June 24, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    Sorry to hear this.

    Reply

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