Monday, December 31, 2012

Ringing out the old year!!

This afternoon, the sun will set on another year.  The older you get, the faster they fly by.  In any case, 2012 was a fine year and we appreciate the people who have been following our blog.  So, best wishes for a healthy and prosperous New Year from us at

Barn Cat Mansion and Fox Farm: cats, dogs, horses, cattle and people.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

So the she is actually a "he"

In case you didn't notice, Little Orangey Blue Eyes is angry.  First of all, the eyes that were once as blue as the sky are turning greenish, yellowish blue.

And secondly, (this is so embarrassing) this cat that we thought was a female is actually a male.  One of our readers was smarter than us and said that most solid orange cats are male...........we should have listened!

Now he's mad because we were calling him a "girl"

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Fur coat, anyone?

It may have been the threat of some old tiger chasing down the Cat Wolf or


the fact that coyote pelts are worth about $60 this year.  In any case, this stray dog is running away!!

Keep running, Mr Coyote!!  A keen eyed hunter will catch up with you and Barn Cat Mansion cats will spend the winter safe and sound.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Cats beware!!

He's back!!

We call him "Cat Wolf", but he's also known as "coyote".  For the next four months, he's an enemy.  He's short of food because gophers are hibernating far beneath the frozen ground.  Rabbits are hard to see against the snowy background.  Coyote breeding season starts in February and he's on the move....... 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Boxing Day is now today!!

Dateline:  Yesterday!! 

December 26 is Boxing Day.  At least in Canada, it is.  That's the day you box things up and take them back to the store to get something you really like.  Or, in the case of Barn Cat Mansion, you box up the Christmas decorations and put them away.

Pinkerton planted himself in the box.  He says December 27th is Boxing Day at BCM.

You can't say we didn't try!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Brrrrrrr.......that's cold!!

Yup!!  We had a white Christmas here in Southern Alberta.  We also had temperatures hovering around the -25C mark.  Its way to cold for competition on the Sports Field, so everything has been moved indoors.  The problem with this is THIS!

Cats in the Mansion want to spend the day sleeping.......
and there's not much fun in THAT!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A poem for Christmas....

Santa came and Santa left
The snowman waved and smiled. 

Bumble danced from side to side

And Orangey Tail got wild.

No harm was done.  It was so much fun
Next Christmas we'll be here. 
So happy day and happy night.  Let's have some Christmas cheer!


Monday, December 24, 2012

'Twas the night before....

Some years, it takes a lot out a herd of cats to get all this decorating done, but its worth it!

Big Kitty, TOT, Little OBE and Flag catch a few Z's while Timbit cleans up the ear of H"C"S.  Pinkerton, being the Warrior that he is, stands guard and won't even shut an eye when Santa stops by.

Merry Christmas to all friends and neighbors.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Wake up!!

Decorating was well under way at the Mansion yesterday.  We have a few new stockings and a piece of baler twine to hang them on.

All of the youngsters gathered round the Big Kitty for a lovely Christmas photo.  Timbit admired a stocking and checked for treats.  Black Panther was thinking about more decorating and momentarily closed his eyes.

When we hollered "SMILE", we realized that the Big Kitty was sound asleep! :)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Look out below!!


So this is what happened to BP.

When the referee called for the race to begin, she didn't notice that Black Panther was stationed at the WRONG TREE!!

The whistle blew, he scampered up the Maple tree as fast as he could go.  Little OBE suddenly saw he wasn't there so joined the race going on at the Ash tree.  Then BP realized his mistake, tried to turn around and almost fell out of the tree!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Continuing Education.....

....that's what we call this installment of prelims leading up to the next race.  Big Kitty grabs the tree with his razor sharp claws while Timbit and......who's that black cat?
Why, its Black Panther!!

Big Kitty demonstrates how to "Get Set" .  His students assume the position and prepare for the final command in the series of three.

We've covered the basics of
On Your Mark and Get Set
Now we have to find out why Black Panther hasn't been climb racing when his name is called.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Training demo.......

On your mark!!

We all know what that means.  Anyone who has ever been involved in a school yard race has heard the cry:


In the world of cat races that include tree climbing,  this phase of the prelims is virtually ignored.

Cats are always, inevitably ready to run.

So when Big Kitty asked Timbit to demonstrate the stance for OYM, it was easy enough. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Macho Men!!

Pinkerton was MIA, but he wasn't really missing, like in "gone".  He was moping around in the Mansion.

"Why?" you say!

Well, his best climber let him down.  Black Panther was called to the starting gate TWICE, and he didn't show up. 
The Warriors have tough guys on their team, not  girls named Little Orangey Blue Eyes!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Almost everyone is happy!

Little OBE gets to enjoy her favorite sport without the burden of being a referee.

Timbit has overcome her fear of heights and you should see her fly up the tree.....oh, in fact you will see her soon.

Big Kitty is proud of his family.  They're all  eager to climb their hearts out!

Everyone is happy except Pinkerton......:/

Monday, December 17, 2012

It's just not fair!!

Brought to you Live from BCM
Our referee refuses to stop racing!!

That's it, Little Orangey Blue Eyes.  You are FIRED!!

Race Schedule:  One race today at 10:15 AM
Call to the starting gate:

Tabby the Speedster

Black Panther

Again, Little OBE blew the whistle and took off up the tree!
In fact, she was climbing with the whistle in her mouth.

Tabby the Speedster didn't have a chance. :/

Sunday, December 16, 2012

And where is BP?

Race Schedule:  Sunday December 16
    One race today at 10:00 AM

Call to the starting gate:

   Homer "Chelsea" Simpson

   Black Panther


Oh My Gosh!!  Our referee blew the whistle and took off up the tree.  And the second team started climbing after them!  They weren't even racing today!!

This race has turned into a joke!!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The earlier, the better...

Great Horned Owl, nocturnal hunter of rodents and small animals.

Did he stop by to watch the Tree Climbing Competition?

Or does he have an ulterior motive?

Though not confirmed, it has been said that owls love to feast on cats.  This owl was spotted just prior to sunset last night.  (Luckily, our camera gathers all the light possible to make night time look like day.)

Competitions are, from this moment on, scheduled for DAYLIGHT hours only!

Friday, December 14, 2012

......the Tree Huggers!!

Finally, we have named our second team.  Thanks to our readers for suggesting to call them the "Royals", but we've decided on a different name.

Tiny Orange Tom agreed to coach a team, even though he will also be a competitor and his team shall be known as........

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cry, baby!!

Well, now we have a total stoppage of all training on the Sports Field at Barn Cat Mansion.

Black Panther is crying!!
He really doesn't want anyone to know this, but,

we can see it, plain as day!!

Flag has high tailed it out of here, and no one knows when we'll be able to get this show on the road.:/

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sibling rivalry....

Great!!  A fight broke out on the Sports Field.

Training runs were scheduled this morning and Little Orangey Blue Eyes stopped by to watch.  How could she know that something so innocent would turn into an all out brawl?
Flag and Black Panther started at the bottom and were about to race when Flag knocked Black Panther off of the right hand tree trunk.  He landed on his head, but recovered and started m'yelling at his sister.  Flag put a paw on BP's tree when LOBE quickly moved in to show both of them the correct position and starting point for each race.  This has definitely caused postponement of today's practise runs. :/

Tuesday, December 11, 2012's your turn!!

Selecting teams has become increasingly difficult.

Firstly, because we haven't figured out a system, and...

Secondly, because not everyone wants to co-operate.

You can probably guess who's hiding behind the tree.

Co-operation or not!!  This is how its going to work!  When your name is

Monday, December 10, 2012

Attracting a crowd!

Peaking out from behind the caragana hedge, one lonely mule deer waits for the big day.

She rarely hangs around if there's activity on the Field, but today is different.  She heard that BCM is  preparing for an "epic event".

"Muley Girl" is shy, yet inquisitive and tries to  override her timid personality, while munching away on dry winter grass.

Will she stay for the competition?

Probably not.....but at least she can say she tried......

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Go Orangey Tail!!

Its an Exhibition Race!!

Orangey Tail challenged the Big Kitty to a race prior to choosing teams for the Official Competition.
Its easy to see who is the fastest tree climber...there's just one problem.

Here we can see Big Kitty clearly saying,

"Orangey Tail!!! Slow down!! Nobody is allowed to beat the King!"

And Orangey Tail said:  (with a big cat grin)

"Eat my dust!!!"

Saturday, December 8, 2012

BCM Northeast Sports Field

Right here, in this area, we could possibly have 4 separate tree climbing competitions.

Mountain Ash - Speed

Manitoba Maple - Obstacle

Diamond Willow - Endurance

Colorado Spruce - Feel the Pain

....we may have the teams sorted by tomorrow.......maybe not!

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Tree Checker...

Flag snuck up to the tree while the rest of them dealt with the little dog.

What she really wanted to know was,

Is this tree strong enough to hold two cats travelling in an upward motion, at the speed of sound?

She pushed and pulled and wiggled the trunk, but it wouldn't budge.

Safety inspection complete!

This double trunked Mountain Ash will have to do.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

No dogs allowed...

This little guy stopped by and asked if he could coach one of the Tree Climbing  Teams

We said   "NO!!!"

Then we said "No thank you".

What would a miniature boxer know about climbing trees?


This is a "cats only" kind of sport.

If we ever have a barking competition, we'll give you a call.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A baker's dozen....

That's right!!

Thirteen cats!  Every single one ventured out of the Mansion to set up for the first Tree Climbing Competition.

But we only have one team. 

For a true competition, we must choose TWO teams at least so:
     Pinkerton is Manager of "The Warriors"
Who will be chosen to manage the second team? 
Really, which cats are on which teams? 

Blacks vs tabbies?  Orangey's vs blacks? 
This is getting complicated!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Ready, set.......?

As manager, its important to check out the venue for an impending competition.  The double bodied Ash tree at the Sports Field is perfect. 

What makes it perfect is the fact that two athletes can compete at the same time, one on each trunk.

Pinkerton tested the stability, grippability and degree of difficulty for his team's first competition.

He estimates at least ten feet of clear climbing before any cat will encounter a branch.

The first meet will be AWESOME!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Rigging the race?

Oh no!  Someone is trying to influence

the referee!!

From here, we can't tell if this is Orangey Tail or H"C"S.  Buying off the ref in a Tree Climbing competition is a serious offense.
The only thing we can do is watch the two older females since we can't identify this one....and what's more?  Pinkerton seems oblivious to the situation!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

December 1, 2012

Have a look at our monthly shot looking west from the hill above Barn Cat Mansion.

We were lucky to get this photo.

Fog has plagued the lowlands for days now, but its been pretty clear up here.  You can see a strip of fog creeping up the valley just past the first hayfield.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Still lookin'

Competition:  Tree Climbing

Location:  Barn Cat Mansion Sports Field

Manager:  Pinkerton, Hillside Warrior

Owner:  ?????

You gotta be kiddin' me!!

Of course we know who the owner is!!

It's the fat cat Big Kitty, owner of all cats at Barn Cat Mansion.

But we still need a coach......

Friday, November 30, 2012

Practise makes perfect!

Black Panther takes this sport seriously.

He practises day and night. 

Up the tree

Down the tree

Up the tree

And down again!

Presently, he is the self proclaimed Tree Climbing Champion, and no one can take that away.

Now to pick a coach.......

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Meet the Manager.

Pinkerton, Hillside Warrior

Every team needs a coach and a manager.  The Hillside Warrior is a bit temperamental, so he's not coaching material.

But, he can be a manager!

Stepping up to run the day to day antics of Team BCM will be a challenge, but Pinkerton doesn't have a busy schedule.

He can continue sitting around looking serious and fit the job just fine.  He'll schedule the Tree Climbing Competitions and post results as they become available.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Already dressed!

Little Orangey Blue eyes has stripes......stripes going every direction!

If we call Tree Climbing a sport, we should set out a few rules.

That's where the stripey cat comes in.

She is in charge of regulations and violations pertaining to active participants in the game.  She will start the clock, blow the whistle and call time when it's over.
In some sports, the referees wear stripes.

Little Orangey Blue Eyes is the referee!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Let the games begin!

Flag's brother is the boldest tree climber ever!  We're thinking of naming him "Black Panther".
We used to have Pink Panther, but he's gone.
BP scoots up the trunk, flips around and scoots back down again.  Sometimes he travels out on branches, but that is a whole other story.

Tree Climbing is proclaimed, from this day forward, an official Mansion sport.  Games are set for any time a cat wants to climb a tree.  They believe if this becomes fun for most, it'll be fun for Timbit.

Its like Participaction.....staying fit and enjoying yourself.

Monday, November 26, 2012

They called her "chicken"!!!

Before Timbit arrived to try and overcome her fear of heights, a group of Mansion cats gathered by the maple tree.

They waited in anticipation.

Just five minutes prior to this meeting, Timbit was in the Mansion, not even worried about climbing the tree, until someone called her a name......

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Overcoming fear....

Timbit understands that cats can't be afraid of heights.

She is working to conquer fear by climbing the old maple tree in the yard.  You may think, judging by the size of the limb she's clinging to, that she is high in the tree.


That's a young branch low on the tree and she's only about 12" off the ground.

That's okay, Timbit

You have to start somewhere!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

California dreamin'.....

Thursday, we woke up to the most beautiful hoar frost covering everything, so the cats got the day off and the camera was aimed at our landscape. Here's the view from the hill above Barn Cat Mansion looking southwest (towards California). 
We dream of California when it's -14 C, or even -25 C, here in southern Alberta.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Lets get comfortable!

During the winter, we feed horses along wooden fences outside of Barn Cat Mansion.
Every morning, Big Kitty comes out to supervise.  He selects a post close to the hay bales, and watches intently as each little stack of hay is pitched out.  He checks to see that every horse has its own pile and that they proceed to eat in an orderly fashion.

Big Kitty takes his job seriously, and from this perch, half on the post and half off,
he's ready to intervene if a fight breaks out among the herd.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

She has a PHOBIA!!

Timbit watched her buddy Little Orangey Blue Eyes from the ground below the tall post.

She hasn't dared to climb on a post yet, and its not because she doesn't know how.

It's because

(and don't tell anyone)

she's afraid of heights!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The order of life at Barn Cat Mansion....

Those of you familiar with our story, know that Tall Post Sitting is an earned position.
Young cats are never allowed to sit on the tall post if a senior cat is near.

We all know who's sitting on that post beside Little Orangey Blue Eyes.

Of course, it the King!

Bumble Bee Lion King Orangey Butt
AKA Big Kitty          AKA Bumble Butt

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

They'd have a 'hay day'!

As the sun was sinking into the clouds on the western horizon, it illuminated a grain bin.  It's one lonely building in a field north of our home town and on the road to Fox Farm.

If only the cats could visit this place.  There must be a hundred mice living there.  Ghost Kitties would have the time of their lives!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tread softly around the kittens....

Little Orangey Blue Eyes ran over to Tipster to tell him about her new friendship.  When she got there, she realized something.

She had run right between the front and back legs of Weaver Too.  That is very dangerous, since hooves and cats don't mix.

So why is she looking so sweetly towards the horse?  Little Orangey Blue Eyes is quietly thanking Weaver Too for not stepping on her soft little body.

Hey!!  Weaver Too doesn't step on kittens!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cleaning up her act.....

Big Kitty knows that all the youngsters idolize him.  After all, he's muscular, good looking and keeps his fur clean and shiny.  Never do you see a hair out of place on Bumble Butt.

Regular dirt and/or spit baths keep Big Kitty in tip top condition.  The point is:

If you want to be his buddy, you'd better know how to present yourself.

Little Orangey Blue Eyes got the hint and started bathing immediately.......

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Mutt and Jeff?

Hey everyone!

Little Orangey Blue Eyes here.

Watch me.  I'm going to make friends with the Big Kitty.

Yup!  Me and Bumble Butt are going to be buddies!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Mystery minds.....

Bumble is the dominant tom cat at Barn Cat Mansion.

Every day, he walks out of the Mansion, followed by at least half a dozen young cats.  It seems like they do nothing but slink or trundle around and sit on things.

Really, what are they doing?

If we could truly understand the mind of a cat, it would be obvious.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Buried treasure?

Timbit is up to the eyeballs in snow!

What the heck is she looking for?  It isn't cat food, because we've had no Temptations at the Mansion since Halloween.

Maybe its a pocket gopher she hears. They dig around under the snow all winter.  Or it could be a mouse, but not likely.

Hey!  Maybe she found a "Snow Angel"! hahaha

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Good bye, little kitty!

Remember back in August, we had this litter of kittens living in the grain bin?  Most of them have been re-homed.  In fact
yesterday, the smallest kitten (way on the left) was  selected and has moved to the big city.  Yes!  He moved to Calgary, Alberta to be a cool city cat.  Thanks to Rita.  She has impeccable taste in house pets.

Now that was a memorable occasion!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lost but not forgotten....

We looked for this cat all day long!

Socks is always there.......until he isn't!  When he's around, you don't really notice, unless he's sitting in or on the Nissan.  But when he's gone, you notice right away.  That's why we were looking for him.  He wasn't in any of the regular places so we got worried.  By late afternoon, he was still gone!  At 4 o'clock, it was time to feed oats to the calves.  As the door to the bin swung open, out jumped Socks.  He'd been locked in there since yesterday!   He probably had a few mice to eat, but he's lucky we feed the calves every day.  Cats can't live on mice alone.....:)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Lest we forget....

Remembrance Day at Barn Cat Mansion is commemorated with a moment of silence while gazing upon this 2010 photo.  Horses and dogs have served in the armed forces and received recognition for bravery beyond the call of duty.  There's never been a war 
including cats, but they do appreciate the sacrifice.   Somber expressions and  a quiet demeanor proves they too are grateful
to live with the freedoms fought for by soldiers who defended all inhabitants of our fine country.