Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Yowling Kitten is Irritating but Seriously Jasmine

 They told me that yaks were dog killers, as a rule they hate them, but cats? Someone told me that yaks circle like musk ox, after all they are cousins, and place their young in the middle and heaven help whom ever interferes. Yaks can be formidable characters. With a hump like a musk ox and a bison, another cousin, they have a tremendous amount of power in their heads for snow removal in order to get to the grass under the deep drifts and they aren't afraid to use that power to rid themselves of annoyances or danger.

Yes, I'm off track but please be patient and I'll back up and tell the story. I went to do chores last night, quickies, for I usually do the bulk of the work in the morning. Before that I'd been working in the garden watching as dark luminous storm clouds rolled in. Even though it has rained and rained for a week. I was able to do a bit of planting in the garden become there is a tremendous amount of humus in the soil which dries quickly after a couple days of high winds.

I thought I'd better get to the corrals before the down pour hit and lightening was overhead. What I found there was Jasmine outside of her pen. I learned, she'd pushed on the cow panel fence to get to a juicy bit of grass, as it was bowed out a bit, and it popped open. Off she went in search of  greener pastures. It was a disconcerting sight for this was the yak we'd not made good friends with. In fact, she's shown mild aggression towards us. Some may not notice it but we have and that slight shake of her head at us means trouble ahead if we don't fix it.

To entice her back inside, I went and got a bucket and put a little grain in it.
It is not this kitten that is in the story. This is it's sibling. There were four kittens dropped off by an uncaring owner. One is already dead and though we feed the other three, I'd be surprised if they live either. Our youngest grand daughter hauls them everywhere and that isn't why but the tom cats, raccoons, badgers, and other such critters not to mention passing vehicles. The kittens arrived friendly and it just burns my butt to think how cruel people can be. Out of sight out of mind I guess but these little ones are too small to defend themselves or hunt. Few kittens make it that have moms, let alone not. They have a better chance at a animal shelter. The kid goats in the photo are Chicory's triplets.

In doing so, I checked on the newest arrival, the little doeling that had been struggling, not wanting to nurse. She had looked much, much better that morning after the day before when I force fed her several times. I'd ended up not getting a chance to check on her in the middle of the day and I was anxious to see how she'd fared.

I found her laying curled in the corner, not volunteering to get up when I approached so I lifted her and set her on her feet. She limped forward as she rearranged her legs in order to hold the right front one up. It was obvious she'd been pretty battered but I consoled myself with, at least her tummy was nice and full. Sometimes it is one step forward and another backwards in a different direction. Raising stock can be really frustrating at times. 

Even though I know does often butt another's babies, I was ticked. I prefer those that don't and I knew just who the culprit was. This wasn't the first time either as I had found this same little doeling limping on her back leg several days before but just figured that she'd caught it somehow or hurt it playing. We once had a kid goat with broken ribs over just such a deal, a mom supposedly protecting her young from another's kid. I needed to deal with this right away before matters got worse and it usually does. 
But first I had a yak to deal with. Before I tell you how horrible she was, I want you to look deep into these sweet little eyes. Does this look like a cat killer? Well, I'm not sure she is. But there I go again rattling on. Holly, just tell the story. 

 I walked off from the goat shed around the hay shed and headed in Jasmine's direction to undo the fence to let her in and a small gray motherless kitten was trailing along behind me in wet grass and mud, howling for all he or is it a she, I can't remember though I did check once, was worth wanting me to pick it up and cuddle with it. I ignored it as it's always yowling for attention and I felt more pressed to get Jasmine inside her pen and chores done before nightfall and the pressing storm. After all, I still had the kid goat mess to deal with.

When I approached Jasmine, her head whipped up from placidly grazing and after a moment of listening to the horrendous commotion heading her way, tore out after the tiny gray kitten, her head down thrusting it forward at the kitten like a battering ram, grunting in rage. You could almost see her eyes turn red and smoke roll out of her nostrils, so furious was she. Gracie, meanwhile, just stood placidly watching the show. A curious onlooker.

When Jasmine couldn't demolished the kitten with her head, because it was too small, she tried to stomp it into oblivion. Luckily by this time the kitten had been scooted near the manure spreader and it limped under.

Where was I? Staying out of the way. There is a time to step in and a time to get out of the way. I've not yet established clearly who's the boss. Yaks are a bit touchy and hold grudges I hear so it has to be done with great care.  So instead of saving the kitten, I hurried as fast as I could to undo the fence. After I'd pulled it aside, I walked in by Gracie and called to Jasmine shaking the bucket making the grain rattle, hoping she'd quit trying to get at the kitten under the spreader and come inside. When she perked her head in my direction and still fuming, walked into the pen. I prayed I wasn't going to be next on her hit list.

She didn't want anything to do with the grain I'd dumped on the wet ground and walked past me and began single handedly forming her own game trail as she agitatedly walked back and forth still agitated. Whew!! I knew I had to hold my ground as she entered or she would think she'd driven me off and I'd fall lower on her totem pole but it wasn't easy watching her trudge toward me with such a mad look on her face.

Quickly, I fastened the cow panel to the steal fence post and began walking the enclosure's perimeter to find out where she had gotten out. Holding up its back leg and limping along, the kitten crawled out from under the manure spreader and followed along after me, yowling but not quite so loud and insistent.

My first thought was that Jasmine would surely attempt to tear down the fence and take after the kitten once more. Where could I put the kitten that it couldn't get out of and trail after me once more. As my mind raced testing through ideas, Jasmine hurried to the fence irritated but not furious. The miniature idiot behind me, stood its ground, hunched up its back with gray fur sticking out in every direction, and hissed as insistently as it has once yowled.

Jasmine's face changed, she looked down in fascination, all anger gone, and watched this loony tune, no taller than a pint sized jar, defying her. It was David and Goliath all over again and since the kitten was still alive, God surely must have been on its side or it would surely have been dead. I continued on around the fence fastening another wire around each post to make the fence more secure from grass searching muzzles.

As for the goats, I had to shift everyone around, putting Chicory and her kids in the far, unused pen, clean and bed the shed as the thunderstorm rolled every closer. Katarina, the little witch, I put in the pen Chicory exited, cleaned and re-bedded the shed. And Contessa, I left where she was. It is the warmest and nicest enclosure. Her kid being the youngest. I watered everyone, grained the goats and fed a little hay, then gathered eggs and was blessed to be home before the down pour hit.

I've sung "rain, rain, go away, come again another day", but to no avail, it just keeps on raining. Really, I mustn't complain because around us the rivers are over flowing and flooding homes and taking out bridges. I guess that is one blessing for having so little running water in our county.

When you kneel at night to pray, there are so many souls to include with the floods and tornadoes, one really needs to stop and count their blessings. And though it was a trying evening, in perspective, it was really nothing but an short irritation for all was well once more.

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