Aside from horses and dogs being critters in my charge in farmsitting land there is a cat. Ohhhhh! I hear you say, don’t you like cats? I do, the reason I mention the cat is that like the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland he’s invisible.
I have gone out to the barn every morning to bring the horses in. Left them tucking into their cookies and opened the stall door to where Cheshire’s food and water are. Every day I fill the bowl heaping it up to the top, fill the water and close the door leaving it slightly ajar for him to get through. You see, Cheshire is feral, untamed enough that he won’t have anything to do with anyone, apparently including me. His food is always gone later when I look in and I top it up again.
Now, you’re probably saying how do I know there really is a cat? Is something else eating the food? I will bring you up to date with the other wild critters in the barn. Chippy the chipmunk I have seen quite a few times. With his tail straight up in the air he tears across the aisle like a deranged dodgem car. He isn’t large enough to go through the amount of food I leave there. There is also Red, the crazy red squirrel who hangs from the maw above the feed room and spits and yells at me with so much venom that afterwards she has to take a nap. Neither of these two could put away that much food. For one I’ve seen Red hanging upside down at the bird feeder so she obviously prefers sunflower seeds to cat chow.
There is a cat and finally after days of farmsitting I saw the proof. Looking out of the back door toward the horses field I saw him. He wasn’t large or small, just a well fed grey tabby that slunk past the water trough in panther like stride as if he had a mission. He did – cat kibble!
I didn’t see him again but I did find the unhealthy remains of a rodent outside the barn door. No, it wasn’t Chippy or Red. It looked like a biology lab experiment gone wrong. Ugghhh! Not very pleasant.
I haven’t seen Cheshire since but the food keeps disappearing and the water is drunk. I go about my chores of filling both in the hope that I may at least, one day, see that Cheshire Cat grin.