Wednesday, September 28, 2016


Guess who?

Millicent now comes when I call her but she is pretty skittish and has found a few hidey-holes around the barn. Yesterday I just fed her in one of them. She is getting along fine with the other barn cats, although Keaton chased her upstairs yesterday. Mind you, he does that to all the cats!

Now for the "irked"... a man dropped by on the weekend to see if I would take in two more cats that someone had dumped on his property. His family is allergic and he wanted the cats to be somewhere warm before winter, and the OSPCA doesn't have room for them right now. 

Do I want 19 cats? Well, maybe if I had some full-time cat-servants here to help out. So I told him that I was sorry, but I couldn't take them because I already had 17. And he said, "What's two more?"

And he was a nice man, and I wish I could have helped because he was trying to do the right thing, but I do get a tired of this "You already have X number of , what's one more?"  I'm not really irked at the man, but I hear that all the time. Well, where does it stop? I never want to cross the line into becoming an animal hoarder! And these animals all cost money to keep and so far as I can recall, only one person (the lovely woman who asked us to take Millicent and offered to pay for her spay) has brought an animal here with any offer of compensation. And I'm okay with that, but at a certain point, you have to say "no" or bankrupt yourself, whether monetarily or emotionally/physically (by no longer having time to do anything but care for animals.) I'm at neither of those points and I don't ever want to be.

It also irks me that the person with the 17 cats is the one who hears "What's one more?" I think the person with one or two cats is the one who should be taking in an extra feline. Unless you have an allergy or simply can't afford to care for another animal (completely understandable!) how about taking in that stray yourself instead of adding it to my cat pile? Our OSPCA shelter has the highest cat intake in Ontario, which is appalling. Use your imagination about how many cats must be euthanized there every year, because people refuse to spay/neuter, refuse to commit to a pet they once thought adorable, or simply refuse to be humane. If everyone else pitched in a bit more, maybe fewer cats would die. Obviously some people simply can't take in more, and I completely understand that. Not all cats get along with other cats, not everyone can afford to care for multiple animals; there are many valid reasons for not adding another pet! But for the people who might be able to give a home to one more needy cat, or a barn cat who would do a fine job taking care of your rat problem,  I would just say to give it some though before asking the person with 17 cats to take in another. And if you do, please spay/neuter and vaccinate them, and provide them with food and veterinary care, and most of all, LOVE.

And then of course I spent most of Sunday feeling sad for the two cats I didn't save that day. I did encourage the man to keep in touch with the OSPCA and get them in there before winter, and I will ask around as well. But I know I could have 100 cats tomorrow if I never said "no."

And finally I got angry. I got angry at the morons who allowed a cat to breed, then dumped the offspring on someone who actually gives a damn, but couldn't keep them (this man says cats are dumped at his place every year. He also said these two cats are friendly, which means someone played with them and gave them attention before they were dumped.) I got angry at all the idiots who have dumped cats at our farm (Redford, Emerson, Naomi, Emily, Keaton.) I got angry at the people who were once kind to many of our cats, and let them know how it felt to be loved and cared for, then callously dumped or abandoned them (I'm not talking about the animals that came here from loving homes were the owner took the time to find them a new home when circumstances changed.)

 I've had to work hard  to win back the trust of  neglected animals like these. It is something to behold when you see a scared cat like Millicent (abandoned to the elements when her owner went into a nursing home) realize that maybe she has a home again, maybe she can trust a human being again. The first time she purred while I cuddled her brought tears to my eyes. Her whole demeanour is now beginning to change. I just keep telling her that yes, this really is her forever home and she doesn't have to worry anymore. I hope she believes me.

And I'm angry at the people who get pot-bellied pigs on a whim, then dump them at the shelter because they start acting like pigs. Dogs, ponies, goats... the list of unwanted animals is endless, and their suffering is so damn unnecessary. I wish I could help all of them, because it breaks my heart to know animals are suffering. But I know my limits and Gordon knows his.

And of course I still can't get those two cats off my mind... it irks me that I am the one feeling bad about those two.

Friday, September 23, 2016


Sorry for the long delay between posts. The last week and a half has been nuts. But I did fit in a whole lot of horseback riding!  And made my television debut, ha ha...

In June, Dave Brown and a crew from AMI This Week came to film a segment about the farm and our rescue animals. It was a ton of fun and here is the result:

Watch it and you'll get a mini tour of the farm and animals! Speaking of which...

Monty is doing well. He is 7 months old now and is going through his annoying teenager phase.

But he's still a good boy. Kevin keeps him in line!

Buttercup is keeping busy with vermin control. She is the best hunter in the barn!

And Millicent... quite possibly the sweetest cat of all.

She has met all the other barn cats now. Her response to all of them was to purr, head-butt them, and wash their fur. She is just adorable.

And that cute little tongue!

Meanwhile, Princess Mootie is very happy these days...

And Alex loves a good box!

Honey and Daisy, who are Buttercup's sisters, were sparring on the bed this morning!

It's not serious, though. :)

And here is Archie, all ready for bed...

This is not a cat...

It's my sweaty horse! I got in two very nice trail rides this week. Yesterday Roo decided that he didn't want to get his feet wet, so he jumped a stream. I managed to stay on, even though I don't do jumps and didn't see this coming.

On today's trail ride, he decided to lie down and roll without giving me any warning. I managed to get out of my saddle when he went down to the ground, and stop him from rolling over and wrecking my saddle! That was a first for me. Sandy did this to Gordon once but she at least gave him some warning by pawing at the ground. Anyway, Roo got right back up and I got right back on.

And last weekend, I took a spin on Gordon horse Sandy!

In between all this, I have been trying to finish extracting and bottling honey...

The OSPCA Friends for Life walk is tomorrow. If you would like to sponsor me, there is still time. Click here to go to my page.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Sponsor me? or him?

Just FYI we are doing the OSPCA Friends for Life Walk again this year, and have ten days to meet our combined sponsorship goal of $3000 ($1500) each. If you would like to sponsor me or Gordon, you can do so at either of these links:

It's in Canadian dollars, so Americans, your dollar goes farther! ;)

We currently have 41 (!) OSPCA rescue animals and it goes without saying the the SD&G OSPCA  is our "pet" charity (Get it? PET? Get it? har har har!)


Thank you in advance for your support. I believe donations over $10 get a tax receipt!

Monday, September 12, 2016

I am putty in cats' paws...

Remember me saying "No more cats, we have sixteen cats!" blah blah blah yadda yadda yadda...


Meet Millicent! A crappy photo, but that's all you'll get until she's back from being spayed, vaccinated and microchipped at the vet. 


Do I really need another cat to worry about? Of course not. But this gal deserves a home! Sometime before May, she was abandoned at the nearby farm she was living on when her elderly owner went into a nursing home. An elderly neighbour of the elderly cat-owner-turned-nursing-home patient saw the cat had become a bag of bones and started feeding her every day, but couldn't take her in herself.

This very kind cat-feeding lady is the same one who brings us Cheerios for the pigs, and she also found the awesome used hard plastic kiddy-pool of which Henry is particularly fond. She asked our mutual friend Debbie to see if we would take in this cat, and even offered to pay for neutering.

So after thinking about it for 24 hours, we said yes. And now I'm glad we did. The kind lady's husband had a stroke last Friday morning, so Debbie went over and caught Millicent in a live trap and brought her to our barn that day. We didn't want the lady to have to worry about the cat on top of her hospitalized husband!

Millicent went off to the vet yesterday. Her nose is bashed in the photo from trying to escape the cage, poor thing. But she is a very sweet, cuddly cat. The vet was quite smitten with her. She was a bit dehydrated when we took her in and so is receiving IV fluids for a couple of days. I think she may be spayed tomorrow. She is otherwise in good health, and approximately 1 - 2 years old judging by her teeth.

Gordon wanted to call her Millicent, and I am not about to argue with the man who let me adopt seventeen cats. Plus it's a cute name and I know I am going to end up calling her Millie! I hope to soon have photos of a spruced-up Millicent looking happy instead of terrified.

Speaking of rescue animals, my website for the farm is done! You can check it out here:

I wrote bios for 60 (!) rescue animals. I am hoping to turn this whole thing into a registered charity at some point in the not-so-distant future, so I set the webpage up for donations, animal sponsorships, etc. It will take time to work out charitable status, though. Meanwhile, enjoy the animal stories on the website! I also put in a section about the amazing people I have helping me here.

And now onto things other than cats...

Sandy needs a haircut, er, a mane cut. This horse is a sweetheart, let me tell you. Just a big pussycat. Ooops, there I go bringing up cats again!

Gordon and I went riding in our new sand ring last night and let me tell you, it was wonderful...

...we even cantered together! Riding is so much fun and we both find it takes our mind off anything that might be worrying us. You really have to be in the moment when you're riding; I find it almost meditative. Lately I have been waking up at 3 am every night (morning?!) and worrying for an hour, so I can use all the meditation I can get.

On Labour Day weekend, we went on a great trail ride with friends very close to where we live!

As per usual, Gordon was crooked in his saddle.

As per usual, Roo was hungry.

Gordon lost in thought!

Most times after we ride in our sand ring, we go for a little jaunt along the grassy lane in our fields.

Meanwhile yesterday we also went to some Hunter Jumper trials at Forever Green Stables in Glen Robertson. There was a fancy hat contest. Naturally, I made a cat-themed hat...

See, Gordon had to close his eyes, it was so outrageous.

My talented photographer friend Deborah Wilson took a better shot of the hat:

It was surprisingly comfortable, if a tad alarming.

It was fun watching all this...

Tally-ho and all that! No foxes were involved in this event. Just lots of riding and jumping and also some trained hounds going after imaginary prey.

Fall is in the air here. I am grateful for some cooler temperatures, but we could do with some rain!

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Buck Bridge opens for business

Some friends of ours brought old giant tires over for the goats to play on. Well, our friend Luc got to work and today Buck Bridge (next to Goat Mountain) opened for business!

A thing of beauty!

And HUGELY popular...

Go, Bert!

Little Debbie was undisputed queen of the bridge!

Monty decided NOT to try it out himself.

Debbie and Bert butted heads gently over it all.

Bert is doing great, by the way! He is filling out nicely and seems healthy and happy. Fingers crossed.

Debbie and I made a selfie with Pierre in the background.

It was so much fun watching the goats play on this thing! We plan to keep adding things to the pasture for them to amuse themselves on. It's wonderful watching them play and enjoy themselves.

And inexplicably, Missy came along and started washing Kevin's feet!

I am working on a webpage for the farm which I hope to have up and running soon. People have been kindly offering me donations, etc. so I thought I would take the time to get organized about it all. Eventually we would like to get charitable status for what we do with the rescue animals, but that is going to take some time. I have plenty of ideas in my head! So far we have been self-funding this venture but now that we're up over 60 rescue animals, I am appreciative when people offer help. I was thinking of doing things like animal sponsorships. Anyway, I'm plugging away at it!

I saw an article recently about a place that does yoga with goats, and I thought that would be a hilarious and fun fundraiser. :) Or totaly chaos!

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Gracie has arrived

Well, we've done it. We now have twelve pigs....

Gracie was surrendered to the OSPCA yesterday, and delivered here directly by one of the investigators. She is a six year-old pot-bellied pig who was once a house pig, but was then booted outside to a filthy, junk-filled peb. SHhe was born in 2010.

She has been subsisting on Ol' Roy dog food, Triscuit crackers, and reconstituted pea-soup mix. We are hoping that she won't suffer long-term health effects from this completely inadequate diet. Fortunately, she polished off her first bowl pot-bellied pig food. We have it custom-mixed at our local organic feed mill. 

Gracie is extremely overweight, which can lead to blindness in pot-bellied pigs, and is also very hard on their joints. We hope to get her slimmed down soon. Her weight is estimated at 275 - 300 lbs and to move her from the OSPCA truck to her pen (in a crate), we used the tractor with a pallet and forks.

Gracie is a prime example of how animals can suffer when people obtain pet pigs without doing thorough research into their needs. Our goal is for Gracie to integrate into our herd and live a happy piggy life here, with appropriate food, four acres of pasture, and lots of rooting around and rolling in mud baths.

Before Luc moved Gracie with the tractor, we secured her cage door with ratchet straps. She was very good for the ride! Luc is an excellent, careful driver and moved her to the new pen ever-so-gently.

After we dropped off Gracie, little Luc (named after our friend Luc in the driver's seat!) and Rosie hopped on the ballast-box to ask for a ride.

Gracie has pink front legs! She is a quiet, gentle soul. Monty seems quite taken with her. They went nose-to-nose and I think he might have been telling Gracie that her worries are over now.

Rudy the herd boss was there too, posturing and smacking his lips. Gracie will be kept in the pen for a week or two while she gets to know everyone through the fencing. I doubt she has seen another pig since she was born.

Rudy is such an ass.

This pic doesn't do justice to how big she is! I will have the vet take a look at her soon. She has a small, old eye injury that I haven't gotten a good look at yet. I will get that checked out and also deworm her.

Monty seemed pleased with the new addition!

Send good thoughts for Gracie. Pigs are smart and sensitive, and sometimes it take a while for them to adjust to a new home. Henry had the worst time of all the pigs; I think it took three or four months before he stopped being depressed!

Welcome, Gracie. Thank you, Luc and Debbie for your help in getting Gracie settled in.