Okay, were going to start off with some… weird? and kinda sad news. I’ve been putting off writing about it, but I am documenting the farm, and this has been a big, frustrating deal on the farm.
Juliet has moved in with the neighbors, and no longer lives on the farm. The good news is, when she was disappearing for days at a time, she wasn’t pinned down by coyotes, or antagonizing an old farm dog, she was camped at the neighbors. The other good news is that, realistically, she’s probably happier over there as she is the absolute center of attention. The bad news is, the way it went down semi-soured my relationship with the neighbors, and honestly? I did my best for that to not happen.
I’ll give you a brief rundown, and then I’ll let it be, because I’m still just a little heated about it and it’s not good for the soul to harp on angry things.
Basically, one day, after Juliet had taken off again, my neighbor called to let me know a little black and white cat was over at their house and asked if she was mine, since “she’s so well taken care of”. She talked for over an hour (which I did not mind at all, if an elder is willing to story tell, you usually learn a thing) about how Juliet looked just like their old cat Hemingway and how they’ve had so many strays dropped on the farm. Side note, this is a topic I think I’ve touched on before, and may eventually dedicate a post too, because abandoned animals are a huge rural problem. Anyways, she casually mentions if I don’t come get Juliet, they were thinking about taking her to the humane society. I told her to please not, and I’d troubleshoot how to entice Juliet home.
I’ll spare you the long, drawn out, two week period where nightly I’d get a call from my neighbor telling me I needed to better take care of my cat because she was over at her house again. I went and physically picked up Juliet several times but shed bolt from the car back to the neighbors as soon as I parked. We started feeding her more and fancier food, lots of scratches, even separated her and her sister, as we thought there was maybe a territory dispute going on.
Friends, I could not for the life of me work out how to keep this outdoor barn cat at home. She could not come in the house, as not only is she pretty dang destructive, my mom and brother are both dangerously allergic to cats. I tried locking her in one of the outbuildings with food and water and you’d think I’d threatened her with death. I was at a total loss.
Meanwhile, my neighbor is calling every night, and getting more and more pointed. Suddenly my “well cared for” cat was being abused because I didn’t feed her whole cream and fresh fish every night, I should be letting her in the house despite the fact that it would almost certainly end in an ER run. I was trying my best to keep up a calm, accommodating tone, but I admittedly was getting frustrated with the whole situation.
And then one night she says this: “well Amanda, I simply find it so inhumane to not feed an animal, so we’ve been feeding her canned fish and cream. You should try to buy the treats we give her, and she loves watching the nightly news with me. If you just tried a little harder, it’s easy to keep this cat around”
That’s right friends, all this time I was competing with canned fish and whole cream served inside and wondering why suddenly her warm barn accommodations with an always full food bowl weren’t enough, after three years. I was set up to lose. I didn’t even say anything in retort, I was shockingly calm for someone who got this information very late on a work night, and then still had to go out, in the driving rain, to pick up Juliet and fruitlessly bring her home, knowing it would change nothing.
I’m now fairly convinced my neighbor fell in love with Juliet and was essentially hoping I’d release her to them. I just wish she’d mentioned this before I spent a ton of time, effort, and funds driving over there every night to pick her up.
The final tally? I miss Juliet terribly, and I worry because it feels weird still to not have her check in every night, but if she’s truly happier over there I won’t stand in the way. I hope they’ve given up on the humane society idea, or that they would at least let me know so I can go re-adopt my own cat. I tried to let my neighbor know of the cat becomes too much to send her back my way, but somehow, she got it in her head i don’t feed my animals and isn’t really speaking to me. Which is doubly annoying because we used to have a little inkling of a neighborhood watch.
The only upside, Cordelia is an absolutely spoiled princess of a barn cat now, two warm beds, no sharing food, prime mouse hunting grounds to herself. Living the dream.
Well, that’s story took many more words to write than I thought it would, and as it turns out, it’s a pretty fresh wound because I’m a little sour about it all over again. But that’s the story of how my neighbor waged minor psychological warfare and ultimately stole my cat. Told you it was weird news.
Anyways, happier topics next time. I feel a lot better now that y’all know. It’s a weird thing, because I could’ve just ignored this event and never written about it and y’all would never have known, but I felt like I had some big news I had to break, like when you have to tell a small child their playdate was cancelled.
In case you were wondering if I take this blog too seriously? Yes, clearly.
Alright you lovely souls, hug your felines close today for me, keep a little dirt under your nails, and say hi to your neighbors if you see them.
Until we chat again my friends!