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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Don't worry, Mr. Plum

If you follow along here you know the story-we arrive at Apifera with zero cats to our name and within a few months had twenty-five, all semi feral, thanks to the seed of Big Tony, who fathered most of them and walked right into my trap with tuna that first month we lived here. I'll never forget finding him in the live trap, lounging in the sun, full of tuna, happy as a clam. Soon after, he moved to the porch, and because of my sneakiness, began living inside shortly after, in the bed, on Martyn's head. That rhymes.

So, twelve years later, Mr. Plum is the only remaining porch cat from the original litters. Hazel, his litter mate, still resides in the barn, with daily visits from Tomentosa who is fat and healthy and must have two homes including Apifera. He is always very dry when he shows up, so he must have a good place to sleep and eat when he is not here.

When Orange moved on to the next realm, his true ending unknown to us as is often the case with barn cats, it left Mr. Plum alone. Peaches also lives on the deck and comes into the house in the mornings to eat and nap, then goes out because her royal highness-you all know her as Itty Bitty Etta-is alpha and the two of them started having peeing wars-oh that was fun.

I had hoped Peach would slowly bond with Plum, but she is not a cat's cat. They have started sitting across from one another on the wicker chair, so there is hope.

But Plum has his very own bedroom, complete with prince pillows stacked high. He is usually in there in the morning when I feed, and often at night. He's a friendly fellow, and if fate had been slightly different and Tony wasn't in the house, I'd consider bringing him in. He is twelve and that is a very fine age for a barn cat that was born in a trash heap out back.

I have slowly been creating my master moving plan-as far as the logistics of how to take animals to Maine. Barn cats are often left with new owners, and this could be possible if the right buyer comes along that I trust. He is used to his porch and is at the end of his life. But I've decided if he is still with us when the place sells, he will come with us. I feel loyal to him. I suppose I might change my mind if a new owner showed me in their interactions with him how loyal they would be, but for now, he is coming with us.