Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Tails From the Farm


We’re responsible pet owners. We’ve always been responsible pet owners. We spay and neuter our pets, and keep pur dogs at home. We’re not the sort who think it’s a good idea to allow cats or dogs to have kittens and puppies so that our children can experience the miracle of birth. If we want to add a puppy or kitten to the family, we save one. We keep one out of the shelters, or get one from a shelter. Unfortunately, far too many don’t think like that, and therein lies the big problem, especially with cats. Cats aren’t fixed, and they produce more cats, and more cats, and many of these become homeless.
I don’t know why people think it’s a good idea to drop off their unwanted pets out in the country, or by farms. After all, don’t all people in the country, have room for herds of cats? Never mind that there are likely already cats there, territorial cats that will fight, or large, aggressive dogs that aren’t keen on interlopers. As long as I live, I will never underestimate, how people can discard animals so easily. It breaks my heart to see the unwanted pets at shelters, the sad eyes, the confusion, the despair. If I could, I would take them all home.
We live on a farm, out in the country, and a good many animals, get dumped at our doorstep. Skunks, racoons, squirrels, and of course, many cats. Sometimes the cats are feral wanderers that should’ve been neutered. Sometimes they’re cats that used to belong to someone. They’re frightened, hungry, and often so freaked out by the change in their circumstances that they may as well be wild.
When the kidlets were small, we got them kittens. Sadly, I was unaware that Tom cats will kill kittens, and a wandering, big brute of a Tom did just that. The kids didn’t know what had killed their kittens, but they did know that they were dead. It was hard on all of us, but eventually we got a couple more kittens. The boychild’s kitten died quite unexpectedly, but the girlchild’s grew and thrived.
Pumpkin, she named the big, orange cat with the longest, fluffiest coat. He was about five months old, huggable, luggable and ever so friendly. It certainly seemed like he would be a part of the family for many years to come. Until we came home from a quick run to the nearby, small town for a hot drink and treat. We returned home not a half hour later, to find the lovely Pumpkin dead in our driveway. There was no way to hide such a thing from the kidlets. He lay there right before us. The poor kids were devastated. Of all the horrible, bad luck. We leave home for a short time, and someone drops in while we’re gone, and the cat gets hit.
“Mom! Mom,” sweetpea excitedly called me to the window to see a few hours later, “look Mom, there’s a cat!”
The strangest thing had happened. A cat showed up. A grey and black tabby, ears half frozen off, about as frightened as it was possible to be, and pretty well, right where Pumpkin had met his demise.
“Will you look at that,” I met her excitement with as much enthusiasm as I could muster. I don’t know why I said what I did next, but it certainly slipped out, “it must be Pumpkin come back to you.”
“But it’s not orange,” frowning, she was contemplating the possibility, “shouldn’t it be orange, like Pumpkin?”
It was too late to backpedal now. The hope in her eyes was clearly evident, “That’s the way it happens sometimes. I’m pretty sure that’s Pumpkin come back, or Pumpkin sent it to you.”
So began the journey between sweetpea and the cat. It was winter, and there were little piles of cat food left wherever she saw the cat. It remained skittish and fearful. She remained tenaciously persistent over the next couple of months, but to no avail.
One early spring day, I heard hubby come home with the semi. Busy doing this and that with the radio on fairly loud, I was surprised to see him suddenly standing in the livingroom doorway. He appeared a bit flustered, and I wanted to know why.
“What’s up? Something happen?”
“I named it”, he practically gasped with a grin and slow shake of his head.
“You named what?” Confused, I had no idea what he was talking about.
“That cat,” he said, “I named that cat. The one she’s been putting the food out for. I named it?”
“Oh?” Already amused, I had no idea what he was about to say.
“Spook, I named it Spook, because it’s just like a spooky Arab horse.”
As it turned out, sweetpea had propped the porch door open, and placed little handfuls of cat food as a lure to entice the cat in. Hubby had walked in on the cat, and it had panicked. That cat spun around the exterior of the porch with mad speed. Ricocheted off the walls, while the hubby stood to one side, holding the door open.
“Go out! Go out! Go out,” he encouraged, and it finally did.
Two days later, Sweetpea was patting and feeding Spook by hand, and so began a long and lovely relationship.

  1. Well this is a little more effort – but glad to see today’s episode in the Life of Trudy! I don’t know what caused you to become an outcast but hope it gets cleared up soon. Thank you for the kitty memory, too – warm regards, Carole Jones

  2. Hi Trudy, I was soooo worried about you. When I didn’t see your Fb post, I thought I missed it. Then today, I was looking again and when I did not see it again, I thought something happened to you. Glad your ok.Loved your cat story!… Florence

  3. Great story on life. I just rescued a cat that might have occasionally been let into homes in a mobile home park, but was mostly left out to fend for herself. Local group had spayed her, but let her go again. She now has a permanent, inside home with me. Sweetest cat ever!

  4. We had a cat show up in the middle of winter about 2 years ago, she must have weighed about 5 lbs. we don’t have cats because my dogs think they are eatable.i grabbed a bowl of dog food and took her to the shop. she was gobbling down that bowl of food as fast as she could all the way to the shop. we got her nice and healthy and found a new home for her.
    my sister lives in Saskatchewan and has over 25 cats that have been dropped off on their farm. some pregnant some not. she had had every single one of them spayed and neutered. her husband took an old grainery, insulated it and put heat in it to keep the cats warm in winter. He also built shelves and beds for them to climb and and sleep in comfort. i can honestly say those cats are the most lucky cats in the world to have been dumped on their farm. Btw they all have names too lol

    • The next time you talk to them, pass along how impressed I am with their kindness and compassion, and kudos to you as well.

  5. Sweet story – we had a feral kitten dropped off on the doorstep by its own dad, who proceeded to box the kittens ears every time the poor thing tried to follow him. We were happy to adopt the little creature, but we did have fun convincing our rather large German Shepherd that it wasn’t a snack! They eventually became great friends, but the cat was always considered fair game when outside the house. He would peer around the door to make sure the coast was clear before venturing across the yard!

    • Animals are such characters. Our dog was fine with the cats, as long as they didn’t go near her things!

  6. So sorry the kidlets had to witness that. I witnessed a few as a child as did my kids. I’m glad Spook had 9 lives.
    I hope your able to return to the group if not I’ll meet you here.

    • A harsh reality but part of life too. So pleased that you found your way here to read the daily story.

  7. Found i!

  8. Poor spook! Very happy at last! And I’m very happy to finally get to read this post after many trys to get fb to let me in! If one for won’t open find another or kick down the first one lol!

  9. How awesome. So glad I found your blog. Woohoo.

  10. Lucky Spook. Miss you on FB! Hopefully resolved soon

    We have the same problem here. People see a horse barn or cow barn and they drop off their cats. I now have a cat that had 10 kittens. There’s no way I can afford to neuter or spay them. Even the vet clinics are way too expensive. Best I can do is feed them and hope the coyotes don’t get them. Another one had kittens and the Tom killed them. Just like the big cats in the wild. They kill the babies so they can breed.

    • Hey Loui, up here, there are programs that help spay and neuter strays and feral cats. Maybe make some inquiries with the local animal shelters and rescues to see if that’s available to you. So awful that the problem was dropped in your lap.

    • There are TNR programs to help with feral cats. Check and see if there are any near you. At the very least, they get huge discounts from participating vets. Down here it’s like $10 for a spay or neuter. Good luck!

  11. Awww- so sweet! My dear Katie (my heart dachshund) after passing from Cushings, sent me my beloved Pretzel only a couple of days later <3 They were both red dachsies, but Pretzel was my first longhaired. She is the dog I take to the senior living center for pet therapy- sweetest girl ever 🙂 So glad SweetPea was also sent another furkid to love!

    • Hello Nancy, Spook always remembered sweetpea’s care and kindness. He remained her cat to the very end.

  12. Ahh, he knows what happens when an animal is named!

  13. It makes me angry that Facebook has blocked you! So glad you have a blog too! Thank you for your stories, I enjoy them every night! Best wishes to you, your family and all your critters! I rescue kitties and especially enjoyed the story about Spook! I hope Facebook it’s a tad out of it’s a** very soon!

    • Facebook certainly is frustrating at times. Thanks for the compliments and we’ve rescued cats forever! It seems to be a neverending story. So pleased you found the blog.

  14. Like you, I am appalled and saddened by people who just throw animals away like trash. I have three rescue cats, and I also would empty the shelters if I could. Wish FB would smarten up, but glad you offer your wonderful stories here as well. Thank you so much!

  15. It kills me that people just dump animals off to fend for themselves. I have 2 cats that are from the feral colony here, that I brought inside and made into house cats. They’re quite content with the change. I do have to watch the female in the spring, because when she hears kittens, she wants to go outside and steal them. The male, if I open the door and he’s near it, will dash as far from it as he can, to go hide in the bedroom. No way does he ever want out again.

    There is one out there I feel horrible for. I would take him in, but Mittens (the male) does not want anyone else in here. I do feed all the ferals, and make sure they have water. But this black male that showed up one day, probably around a year old, was obviously not a feral. Every night for quite some time, he cried and cried at the door. It was easy to see, he was used to being let in at night. I tried to find him a home, but he’s black, and people don’t like black cats much. My own two are black – well, tuxedos. It’s not even that I picked them; they were the two who adventured inside. lol

    I’m pretty sure what happened. Some idiot didn’t neuter the poor guy, and as he started maturing, he likely started spraying in the house. Not his fault. If he’d been neutered, it wouldn’t have happened. So instead of rectifying their mistake, they just dumped the poor cat. When I brought my two inside, broke as I am, I had them fixed a month later. Only waited that long because I wanted to be sure Mittens was 6 months old, and could only guesstimate his age.

    • We have three black cats, the boychild has 3 as well, plus we both have others too. All fixed. Now there are two new strays outside. It never ends.

  16. Oh I found you! Been missing your wonderful tales! Spook…..I love it! We currently have one named Mooch. Cuz he mooch ed his way in!

About Trudy Andrew

Trudy Andrew lives on a small farm just east of Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she enjoys her Morgan horses. A dreamer since she was a child, its no surprise to those who know her well that her imagination would find an outlet in writing, as it has in the past through artwork.
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 Oakbank, MB