Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

Apifera Farm is a registered 501 [c][3]. All images are ©Katherine Dunn.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

A flock, and some cat scratches

If you happen to be in the mood to go to Astoria, Oregon this Saturday, the "Flock" exhibit opens at RiverSea gallery. It's a nice little group show of 9 artists, including yours truly. I was pleased with the pieces I did for it - how could I not have a nice time painting birds. Someone told me if I ever painted a red cardinal to let them know - and it made me miss the cardinals of Minnesota, and I think I will have to do a painting of one as a tribute. A red cardinal on fresh white snow - it's a lovely, crisp site. Although out here we have the magnificent magpies and stellar jays, which some people hate, but I find them wonderful.

I am just settling down, after a rather, hmmm...traumatic morning of cat wrangling. I was suppose to take the last three cats in for neutering. After 17 trappings in the past 2 years, I am hoping this is it. These last three, Pumpkin Head, Little Orange, and Blackberry eat and sleep on the front porch - away from the cats in the barn. They are much more domesticated, and I have been holding them and even bringing Little Orange in on occasion to sit with me. They follow me around and garden with me. I thought this 'wrangle' would be easy. So confidant, I only got out one cage, and sat it in the inside of the house by the front door. When I went to do the morning feeding, I swooped them up easily, all three at once, held them, calmly brought them in and got them in the cage - but Blackberry got out, and ran to kitchen area. They are very quick, and until you do this, you just don't know. So I retrieved Blackberry, just before he was about to freak out and jump in the kitchen cupboard of china. Martyn was there, as were Huck, Billy and Big Tony - and at this point things were still relatively calm. So I had Martyn open the cage door, with the other two cats still in it- and I gave him all sorts of directions, as he's never caught any of the cats before and I knew he had no idea how rascally they are - well, he didn't act fast enough, combined with the fact that suddenly Blackberry freaked out and put all four clawed feet INTO my arms [if this has ever happened to you, you know that those claws do not come out, the cat just leaves them in you and you can't even shake that cat off of you] This is precisely the point where the morning went haywire. Martyn's reaction was to help me, so the cage door flew open, Little Orange and Pumpkin Head went skidaddle out of the cage and proceeded at a full cat frenzy into the living room. Meanwhile, Blackberry dislodged himself and went with them - as did Huck and Billy and Big Tony to get in on the action. Ever hear of what a squirrel can do if it gets in your house? Well, three semi domesticated kittens is worse, I think. Within a 2 minute range they had literally climbed up the curtains, knocked bowls and vases off the shelves, and even broke a window. Martyn was able to grab 2 expensive pieces on the ledge, fortunately. Meanwhile, I had no choice but to ---scream! And what did I scream? "OK! Everybody out of here" Oh, yes, that was intelligent. That made sense to cats in frenzy, a chocolate lab who thought it was a new action game, and a one eyed pug who just stood in the middle of it all watching blurry things zoom by. And then there was my pore, kind, gentle husband, who would move the ocean to my doorstep for me if he could, and the look on his face, which suddenly fell into the palms of his hand, as he heard things breaking as cats were fleeing...

Well, they all got the front door, and the damage was done. I was able to get Pumpkinthe Head soon after. And Blackberry came out to the barn for my barn feedings and I was able to grab him. I have cages all over for trapping, so there was one handy. But Little Orange was not to be seen, and as of this writing, he is in hiding. I am so upset with myself, that I put him in such distress. He of all the cats should have been the easiest. I shold have put them in one by one in separate cages. I thought doing all three in one swoop would be less stressful, but I should have know better.

At least two are getting neutered today, and I'll be able to do Little Orange more easily, if he ever comes out of hiding. I feel just horrible for him. The new holes in my arm were washed and dressed, I think I'll live. But my cat wrangling pride is hurt. I hate putting animals in distress, and trapping is always traumatic, but I really botched it.

Fortunately, I did a lot of work last nite, and there are new originals for sale on the online store.

Come home to me, Little Orange...


Anonymous said...

oh my, that made me laugh AND cry. Sign of a good story. thanks K.

Summer Pierre said...

From cat wrangling duties myself, I know well the claw in the arm or wrist or hand. I also know the distress of puting a beloved animal through stress. I am thinking good thoughts to both of you. I am sure the healing will come.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic piece ! :)

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Thank you for reading! The farm and my art/writing keep me hopping, so might not respond immediately. Thank you for understanding. ~Katherine & Apifera ~