Saturday, June 30, 2012

Just leave it alone!!

Quietly, we approached the Nissan, hoping not to draw attention to our impending trip to town.  We were obviously hoping to drive the truck that seems to belong to Socks.

We stepped inside, sat down and rolled down the windows just a bit to let the heat out.

Suddenly, without warning, Socks appeared and tried to get in.  The look on his face said:

"Please don't take my truck!!"

Friday, June 29, 2012

No kittens allowed!!

This is a special water pail, not a kitten pail!!

Rain or shine, every morning we check the water level in the pail.  If its low, we fill it up.
If is full, we know the cats have been drinking somewhere else.

This morning was different.  Instead of water, we found a kitten in the pail and what looks like wet tracks around it.

Whoever tipped this pail over, left just enough water for one small kitten to drink.

And that's good enough for us!:)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cancel the swimming lessons....

Look at this baby swim!! 

We had one very high creek to cross on the way to summer pasture.  Heavy rain and a melting snow pack in the mountains west of here created flood conditions.
The little calves were simply amazing.  They tackled this stream and swam like they'd been doing it forever!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A keen eye....

Here's the view from the best seat in the house:  a saddle atop one of my favorite horses and his name is Splash.

Late Monday afternoon, we trailed cows six miles across lush pastures to their summer grazing field.  We were running real late and didn't get back to our trucks till 11:30 PM.

Its a good thing horses can see in the dark!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Whew! She made it!!

Sometimes we think these cats just don't get it!
Clinging to a post 10 feet above the ground doesn't look like fun.  What cat in its right mind would do this type of thing?  We'll tell you which cat.  Its Orangey Tail,

Daredevil Extraordinaire!

She hung around up there for a few minutes then jumped over to the gate and found her way back to the ground.

OT!  You're getting too old for this type of foolishness!

Monday, June 25, 2012

And this isn't Ripley's...

A sense of smell is one of the most useful things that a horse has, besides eyesight and instinct.

This is Ace getting to know her foal.  Allowing the little one to breathe on her nose gives both of them the information needed to create a bond. 

If you want to make friends with a horse, put your nose close to its nose and inhale the breath the horse breathes out.

The air you then release is enough like horse breath that the horse accepts you as a friend.

Believe it or not!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

When a cat is just a cat....

Homer "Chelsea" Simpson and her child bear very little resemblance to each other. 

The only similarity we can see is that  H"C"S  is a cat and the kitten is a cat.

Really, what more can you say?

Oh wait!  They have the same lines and bars tattooed on their foreheads. 

Sometimes you can't see things for lookin' at 'em. :)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Dude, you are too cool!

So!!  Did anyone notice that this saddle blanket must be Socks' signature design? 

He has black, brown and beige on his body. 
The blanket is black, brown and beige.

Socks has stripes and spots.
The blanket also has stripes and spots.

Socks is firm and soft at the same time and so is the blanket.

We knew it!!   Socks is a designer cat!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Socks!! Pay attention!!

Yesterday, Socks came out to watch us ride in our outdoor riding arena.  He calmly walked to the far end and disappeared.  Five minutes later, back he came with a gopher in his mouth.  That's the last we saw of him until we went to unsaddle the horses and there he was in the shop, sitting on a saddle. 

He began showing us his trick riding moves and immediately fell off on the floor!

Socks!! More riding and less hunting!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

How many in a gaggle?

You might call this more than a gaggle of geese.  Call it a "super gaggle"!  There are at least 14 very young geese following their mother.  The father must be there somewhere, but
who the heck are the rest of them?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pinkerton!! We have kittens!

At Barn Cat Mansion, we never get tired of having kittens.  Its a friendly reminder that "life goes on".

These two are motoring around the Mansion now, and luckily, too big for the magpies.  That's a relief!!

H"C"S is a great mother, with the odd careless moment, but she can't stay with them 24/7.  When Pinkerton finally realizes he can play with kittens, then

the fun will begin!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Grand Champion declared in annual contest!!

Yup!  This is definitely the winner of Barn Cat Mansion's Whisker Growing Contest, 2012.  Notice the eyebrow whiskers are even longer than the mustache!!

As soon as this kitten is eating solid food, it will be presented with a special bag of Temptations soaked in cream. 

mmmmmmmm......that sounds so good!

OT adamantly demanded a re-count of the votes, but she still lost!  Better luck next year!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Practise makes perfect.....

Father's Day, 2012 is now  history and Big Kitty celebrated with his Barn Cat Mansion family.  He donned his St. Paddy's Day beads, since they're like a favorite sweater, and good for all occasions. 
This spring has not been the best for fathering kittens.  Only one litter of three was born, with two survivors after the magpies, again, stole a kitten and of course it was the cute little orange one.  Oh well.  we'll see if OT comes up with kittens later in the summer.
In the meantime, keep practising Big Kitty. 

As we all know, it never hurts to try.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Talk about sun spots!!

Did you ever wonder what would happen if you pointed your camera toward the sun and took a picture?

We did!!

This was shot two nights ago on top of the hill north of Barn Cat Mansion, looking to the west.  All it took was the sun low in the sky, clouds and a digital camera.  Kinda pretty, huh?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

At least he's not under it!

Socks can always be found looking after his truck.

If anyone wants to drive the Nissan, they have to physically remove that cat.  If he's not on the roof, he's in the back.  If he's not inside, he's on the hood.  Anyway, you get the drift.

We don't know why he's so obsessed with this old truck.  He doesn't even have a driver's licence!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Mum's the word!!

Here it is!  Hard evidence that the Big Kitty will stop at nothing to get the best position when Temptations are involved.  He stepped on OT and flung his body right on top of Tipster's head.  Casper looked up as he was about to step on TOT and this is what he said:  "Hey!!  Don't get your shirt in a knot!  There's not much room on this stump, but if we just keep it friendly, nobody has to fall off."   Well, you can imagine what Big Kitty had to say about that, and it wasn't this:  "Casper, please learn to be quiet!"

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A bird's eye view.....

It took awhile to find the little noisemaker this morning But there he was, perched high above the earth, on the power pole that holds our transformer.
Its a Downy Woodpecker, complete with the pretty red stripe on his head.

Some mornings he chooses to pick grubs out of the wood siding on our house and usually its the same morning we would love to have slept in.

One interesting thing about this bird? 

Woodpeckers don't need something to land 'on'.  They just need something to land 'against'.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Only time will tell....

As the sun prepares to set on Chinook Country, Barn Cat Mansion and all who live there, Orangey Tail has something else on her mind.  She and Bumble have been trying to have kittens since early spring, but, so far, its all been in vain.  Two valiant attempts, one in February and one in April, produced no results.  We'll be able to tell in a few weeks if the latest project was successful, but we're not holding out much hope.  On the other hand, last year's kittens were born in the summer, so maybe that's the best time for little ones.  Its that or, at the age of five, OT has had all the kittens she's having.  Here's hoping  she has just one more batch of babies

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

One party at a time......

Guess who's hiding behind the plank on the corral fence.  He's  one of my favorite cats because he never causes any trouble for anyone.  Its coming up on his one year birthday and I believe he's expecting a party.   We have a rule not to celebrate birthdays at the Mansion, but we could make an exception.

Wait!  We have to get past Father's Day first.

If you haven't figured out who it is yet, I'll give you one clue:

This cat isn't pink!

Monday, June 11, 2012

What is this world coming to?

Ahhhh......YES!!!  Now we can see why Big Kitty has been hiding and turning away from the camera.  He has the most pathetic set of whiskers for a full grown male that we have ever seen!

For some reason, the toms around Barn Cat Mansion are easily out-done by the females.  First Smoke beating up the scrappy Pinkerton, and now this.

Really, Bumble Butt! 

Even your kitten who is only a month old has better whiskers than you.......

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Latest addition.....

Taking time out from the competition among Barn Cat Mansion inhabitants to show you what happened in the land we call Chinook Country.

Its a new foal,

pictured at less than 10 hours old.  He was born in the dead of night and on the run by morning.  Animals are truly amazing!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Oh no, not again!

In a perfect world, Orangey Tail would have posed nicely for the camera and would NOT have stuck her tongue out at us.

But our world isn't perfect!

Something, though is close to perfect and that's those enchanting whiskers on OT's upper lip.  Check out the symmetry and slightly downward curve.  Evenly spaced up and down, and as wide as her body is fat, these whiskers are world class.
Its going to be a close competition and with any luck, OT will be crowned

Whisker Champion of Barn Cat Mansion
for the second year in a row.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Anybody want a treat?

"Hey Big Kitty!  Show us your whiskers!"

What's up with that?  No matter how hard we tried, Bumble refused to face the camera.  Now we have two tasks at hand:  get a new picture of OT's whiskers and a "competition" worthy shot of Big Kitty.

Guess we'll have to haul out the Temptations!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mama!! Come back!!

His title was "Earl of Egmont".  He left England and landed in southern Alberta where he bought a large tract of land.  The goal was to create a game preserve, but government regulations in Canada ban Canadians from containing wildlife.  So, in the mid-sixties, he built a fence that satisfied gov't regulations.  It was high enough to deter hunters, but low enough to allow freedom to deer, elk, bears and moose.
Between the government and the Earl, no one realized, or stopped to think, that little ones can't jump a 5 foot fence.  Its a good thing wild animals are smart enough to go back to their babies.

At least that's what we like to think!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

When time is of the essence.....

Our first attempt to get a new photo of OT's whiskers was thwarted when she refused to co-perate!

C'mon, OT!  Show your face!

We'll try again tomorrow, but this cat needs to remember:  humans have more to do than follow a cat around all day trying to get a picture.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

And the winner was......

Orangey Tail!!
Well, maybe Orangey Tail's whiskers weren't perfect, but they were the straightest, longest and most beautiful.  This photo was taken in May of 2011, so her whiskers could be way longer and more evenly spaced by now.

Hey, Orangey Tail!  Are you ready for a 2012 On Location Whisker Photo Shoot?

You'll have to be, because the camera is ready and so is the person handling it.  :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Let the games begin!

Now, you can see that Smart Little Baby had an excellent set of whiskers in 2011.  Soft and squiggly, thick and healthy, but totally unkempt.

We are waiting for a foal that should be born in the next few days, so if it has whiskers worthy of a contest, the little kitten may get a run for its money in the competition.

You never know, Orangey Tail could enter again with her awesome, meticulously groomed whiskers.  We'll take all the entries we can get,

so please stay tuned....

Sunday, June 3, 2012

.....but only by a hair!

Last year, Barn Cat Mansion sponsored a whisker growing contest.  Two entrants were worthy of capturing the title.  Smart Little Baby, the only foal we had last year, had a great set of whiskers, but they were not well groomed.  On the other hand, Orangey Tail's whiskers were long, luxurious and perfectly groomed.  After much deliberation, the winner was proclaimed.....and

Orangey Tail won!

Our only entry so far this year is pictured here.  This kitten has whiskers everywhere!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Here let me get that.......

Tipster had no idea that Casper could get so dirty living outside the Mansion.  After all, he has a nice dog house with all the amenities of home.  That little speck of dirt clinging to a stripe on the right side of Casper's neck really got on Tipster's nerves.  He reached out and carefully pushed the dirt away.  Good boy, Tipster Now Casper looks as good as new .      

Friday, June 1, 2012

Look out above!!

Casper refused Bumble's invitation to move back into the Mansion.  He knew that with Big Kitty's temper tantrums, the stay could be short lived.

Seen here, waiting for his chance to nab the sparrow that's sitting on the rail above, Casper is capable of making it on his own.

That's the great thing about Barn Cats.

If for some reason, nobody feeds them, they will survive. (But we always feed them)