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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Friday, April 28, 2006

A real cat now

The final Apifera Farm cat has been neutered. Little Orange took the big step yesterday to neuterdom.We told him what we told all the cats before they were caught and brought in to the vet -"You're not a real cat until you take responsibility for your reproductive organs". They always listen intently to the speech. Little Orange, being the most teeny member of the Apifera Farm possé,is also one of my favorites. Perhaps it was the fact he was born in a wood pile in the middle of winter, or that he is the teeniest little orange thing, or that he still kneads the ground wherever or whatever he is doing. He joins me in the front garden to weed, he loves to be held, and he is the only one of all the cats that does not go to the big barn for feedings. He entered that barn once, and looked so proud at the accomplishment, but I guess he only needed to do it once. He prefers the front deck, where he can sit on wicker and have his very own garden which to this day he firmly believes was created just for him. When I brought him home from the vet, he is the only one of the cats that didn't leap out of the cage and take an hour or two to be alone in the safety of the blackberry bushes. He chose to sit in my lap, kneeding, and looking at me every now and then as if to say, "I'm REAL now, right?"

In his honor, I made greeting cards available on the store under "Farm Whim" section.

The road to total Apifera neuter/spaydom has taken 2 years. I am relieved it is over, for now anyway, until someone dumps a cat and it wanders up to heaven on the hill. And the word is leaking out to all ferels in a 20 mile radius -"Apifera - go there- warm barn - good food- safe- woman nice-husband harmless" . Trapping cats is stressful, for me and the cat. I hate it. I hate walking out to the barn that day knowing I am going to trick an animal that has learned to trust me over a few months, into crawling in a cage for tuna. Some I was able to touch as kittens, and hold, so trapping was easier, but never as easy as you think to get a cat in a cage that is used to living under the stars. Anyway, it is an important thing I want to ask you to do - please spay and neuter your animals. If you are feeding them it is your responsibility. I was blessed to be raised by a family that always had pets, and understood that responsibility and passed it on to me.

I am still working on a way to set up an escrow fund for donations so that cats in the area can be trapped and then spayed/neutered at my country vet. I have had one talk with the bank on how to set up an escrow, but don't know legal ramifications and details yet. So it is taking time I just don't have at this moment. But I will. And again, to all of you who have donated over the last two years to help me defray the cost of 20 spay/neuters [4 were nearby barn cats I helped]- it is greatly appreciated, by me and Martyn, and Lavandula Angustofolia [Gus], Miss Prairie Pussytoes, Mr. Bradshaw, Hazel Nut, Sweet Pea, Mr. Tomentosa, Big Tony, Mr. Pumpkin Head, Blackberry, Mama Kitty, Mr. Plum and Mr. Quince, the Late Mr. Weed, Little Fig and Teasel.
And last but not least, Little Orange, who is very real indeed.