LJR Enterprises

Our homestead, Our links

Month: December, 2005

Don’t Be a Hater

by Scott Smith

My step-father grew up on a farm in Iowa. As with all farms there was always a struggle with the cat population and a hunting rifle was a normal way to take care of that problem from time to time. I don’t know how old he was, but there came a time when his father let him know that it was his turn to “take care of the cats.” Often the animal lovers I tell this story to are shocked and horrified at what my step-dad did but I really believe that his heart was in the right place. Instead of killing the cats outright, he borrowed books from the local veterinarian, studied, got some ether, a rag and an old boot and proceeded to operate. He never was successful with a female but he became proficient at rendering the male cats sterile.

I was just reading through someone’s post about feral cats and how we should all be keeping our cats inside because apparently outdoor cats are the source of all of the world’s problems. There are so many holes in the writer’s logic that I don’t think I should even address that part (for instance she first points out that cats are not good for keeping down the rat population but then goes onto complain that cats are taking away food from owls and other predatory birds). I know that there are plenty of good reasons to keep one’s cats inside, most of them actually benefit the cat, however ranting at people who have and like cats with no willingness to have a conversation about it doesn’t really seem to solve any problems.

The real problem is unaltered cats. There are programs to kindly quell the over population of cats that don’t involve shooting at some poor cat who is just trying to survive by picking through your trash or catching a bird from one of your bushes (unless you have an Ivory Billed Woodpecker living in your yard that cat is probably not going to end the existence of that species). If there isn’t already a program in your area then do some research to see what it would take to get something going. Talk to the people at The Neuter Scooter and see what you can do to get a visit to your area or talk to your vet and see if he or she is aware of any of these programs in your area. The people at The Neuter Scooter will spay or neuter an actual feral cat (don’t try to put your cat, Fluffy, in a live trap to get a good deal, they’ll know) for $20. So have a bake sale and gather up some feral cats if you don’t want them to crap in your garden.

Clicker training

by Scott Smith

Clicker training is normally for the dogs. Madel has decided Georgie needs some training, and she thinks a cat will respond well to clicker training. I think George would pen a novella for doggie treats.

Winter Lethargy or Just Plain Lazy?

by Scott Smith

I definitely don’t want to mop my disgusting kitchen floor. I definitely don’t want to finish up the laundry with my homemade laundry detergent. I definitely don’t want to go pick up the half dozen or so things that are out laying around the property and should be put in the barn for safe keeping or shovel the front porch or finish painting my living room/kitchen or even go to the grocery store. I’m definitely not feeling very farmgirlish today.

Getting into the Holiday Spirit

by Scott Smith

A week or so ago I was feeling like a real Scrooge; Dreading the thought of putting lights on a real tree, itchy arms from the real tree, taking lights off of a real tree, itchy arms from the real tree, vacuuming up needles until next Christmas. I’d even threatened to buy one of those fake, prelit trees much to Madeleine’s consternation. I’m not saying I’m totally in the Christmas spirit yet, but we did go out and buy a REAL tree this afternoon and we had the perfect weather for feeling Christmasy. There were big fat flakes of snow falling and sticking in the hair of the boy who’s scout troop we were supporting… ahhh, how Norman Rockwellesque. Perhaps this evening while we are decorating with the kids and having hot chocolate the Christmas Spirit will overtake me and I will be Scrooge free for the remainder of the year.

I can hope.