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

Apifera Farm is a registered 501 [c][3]. #EIN# 82-2236486

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©Katherine Dunn.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Send Anna the elder a birthday wish

In honor of Anna's birthday, consider a pledge to the Misfit fund
I have a list of Misfit birthdays on my desk. Some of the animals come with a clear history of birth, others don't. But Anna lived in a loving home, by all appearances and medical records, but had to be sent to the animal shelter here in Maine due to an illness. I know she was cared for. So I was upset with myself when I saw I had missed her April 20th birthday in which she turned ten. She still is a young elder and I hope we have her with us for many years to come.

Anna and the other two adopted cats-Yume and Tigger- are all doing well out in the barn room they currently occupy. Actually, they have it great-heat in the winter [it has a heater in it from the former owner], art on the wall, window seats to look out at forest and birds, cat perches and me coming and going. And let's not forget they got to cohabitant with a baby pig this winter-how many cats can say that.

Anna is the greeter of the group, the leg encircler, the high priestess who made Yume understand the hierarchy. She and Yume now sniff noses, no hissing and Anna is tolerant of me spending time with the others now. Anna likes the chairs and is helping me make the Raggedy Cat Chair-which I failed to photograph with her on it-next time. In time, once we get the upper loft properly windowed, the cats can roam up there too. Although I think they are pretty content in the cat room. I had plans for the cat room that are now evolving-due to the reality of farm life and space. Since it is a heated room, I am going to treat it like a stall/sick room/emergency room for the animals. Since we went ahead and are making the upper loft accessible to people, I will use that area for showing my art and workshops, and healing cat visits.

I was appalled to find one of Anna's toenails had grown into her pad. I must have missed this. I was able to snip it while she was standing on the window perch, perfect sight level for me, and light too-I snipped quickly and then had to pull it out. I was able to treat it and all seems well. I clipped her other toes too. I've never in my life had to trim cat toenails, but these cats were all house bound, life was easy, and even though they have a scratching beam, I rarely see them use it. I can understand why Anna didn't, that toenail in her pad must of really hurt. I am now on the lookout and was able to trim Yume, with patience over a few days, too. Tigger-he will be impossible without some kind of equipment to keep him from clawing me. I have a good catalog with items like this and will get something.

One of the reasons I take my relationships seriously and to heart with these adoptees, is because I know what it feels like to have had an animal I cared for and loved, not be able to be with me anymore for whatever reasons. If I became ill or unable to care for my animals, knowing there might be someone that truly gave companionship and consistent communion with my animals would help me.I don't know the people that gave these animals up, but I know they were all cared for, and that circumstances just got in the way, and they had to make hard decisions, and do what they thought was right for the animal.

I've learned in the past 14 years helping animals-it is not always a case of some 'horrible person' at the other end of an animal in a shelter or rescue situation. Too often on social media I see people bashing human beings in animal cases when they don't even have the facts. I don't tolerate it. We are all creatures that sometimes end up in difficult situations, or make poor decisions that cause a spiraling downward.

If you'd like to honor Anna with a small donation to the 2017 Misfit Fundraiser, we send Meows. The fund is helping offset the basic feed cost of the Misfits, as well as help pay for a small quarantine stall so I  can help more animals in need. Read all about it at the funding page.