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Friday, September 25 2015

I apologize in advance for this subject. I'm a retired Crime Scene Investigator and it still grosses me out. But nevertheless, my blog tries to paint a realistic picture of life on the farm, and Friends & Neighbors, this is it.

Today I want to give a shout out in praise of the Ninja Cats. Read my lips: If you have a rodent problem, run, don't walk, to your closest Animal Rescue Organization, and pick up a pair of feral cats.

At the old house we had become overrun with rats and mice. They were not only in the barnyard, they were coming into the house. I'm not a big fan of traps, and I really dislike poison, but the rodent issue was so bad that I gave Other Half free rein to do whatever he had to do to kill those rats. They laughed at his attempts.  Nothing was effective. And that's when fate stepped in and our local rescue friend down the road announced on Facebook that she had feral cats in need of a re-homing after they were spayed. Other Half saw her post and decided that maybe we needed a cat.

Yes, there was a disturbance in The Force. A man who hates cats finally accepted that he needed help from a cat. So being a woman, I grabbed the opportunity and told Dear Friend Michelle that we'd take 3 cats! She sent us 2 black cats and a tabby. And the rats packed up their bags and left!

It was as easy as that. No more rodents. (Really. You should try it.)

So when we moved north, we naturally planned to take them with us. The black cats were easily captured. The tabby cat opted against the trip. I really wanted to take her, but she didn't get along with the black cats and she had no intention of getting anywhere near a cat carrier.  Because we couldn't catch the tabby, we had to leave her behind in the care of the neighbor who used to care for Briar while we were gone.

He and the rancher next door (who bought the place) actually were okay with the cat staying because they knew as soon as she left the rodents would return.  Because I wanted to be sure of her care though, I really wanted Tabby to go back into the custody of the rescuer who would put the cat in her own barn. Although she would probably have been fine where she was at, I knew Tabby was safer with her rescuer, so the neighbor trapped her and called Dear Friend Michelle.

I really didn't think we had a rat problem at the new place. After all, it isn't a problem unless I see a rat. But when the cats moved in something started to happen.

Every morning after the sheep file out to graze, the puppies run with them.

And each morning they find a dead rat, or two. And every morning I have to listen to the crunching of little bones as Judge or Jury happily have rat for breakfast.

It is truly disgusting, but consider this:

It's fresh. It's free range. It's raw. It's more natural than processed dog kibble. And what are my chances of actually wrestling a dead rat from a 35 lb puppy who has access to acres and acres? Even the other dogs can't get a rat away from him, and they put a lot more effort into it than I do.  And no, I cannot patrol the area for dead rats prior to releasing the dogs and sheep.

Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.....  I weigh all the above facts in my head and still don't like the dogs eating rats. Rats are nasty and carry diseases. (and are probably more nutritional than kibble) And so while I still cringe each morning that I hear the crunching of bones, I accept that I cannot stop it and just and chalk up another kill for the Ninja cats. Thank you cats. That's one less rodent around here attracting snakes.

Sometimes the key to happiness is just accepting your limitations.

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 07:18 am   |  Permalink   |  3 Comments  |  Email
I would have decided the exact same way!!!
Posted by Patty on 09/26/2015 - 07:25 PM
I would only be afraid of diseases that rats carry -- ticks plus other creepy bugs ??? Hope they are healthy, disease-free rats. ;)
Posted by Terri's Pal on 10/01/2015 - 12:59 AM
i've fed raw to my dogs for 14 years.. just think of it as feeding the 'full prey raw' which is the best type of raw to feed! better than any kibble. and dogs digestive tracts are so much more suited ti raw, the rat 'disease' stuff won't bother them.
Posted by kris (lower case) on 10/15/2015 - 11:09 PM

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