The Cat Whisperer

“What is that noise?”

That’s what Andy asked me as we both awoke to a strange sound in the middle of the night.

(Before I get to the story though, I want to let you know that beef bundles and cuts are now available. See announcement after the story for more details. Okay, now about that funny noise…)

I (Jodi) am the lighter sleeper between the two of us, so I had been listening for several minutes already, trying to figure out the source of an odd scratching noise coming from the living room.

“I think there’s a cat on the window screen in the living room,” I said clumsily.

Nothing to worry about at this hour, I thought to myself. So I closed my eyes and drifted back to sleep.

The next day, as we were all sitting in the living room talking together, it happened again. Only this time, we were able to identify the culprit.

“Stripes!” Faith called. “What are you doing?!”

Faith’s beloved gray tiger cat was, in fact, clinging with all four claws to the screen behind Noah’s head. She had obviously heard us talking inside and decided that she wanted to be part of the conversation.

We had just gotten back from being out of town for several days, and Stripes had been clinging to us in an unusual way since we had returned.

“I think she missed us,” Noah concluded, and we all agreed. Stripes is one of two barn cats we keep to control the mouse population (an ever-present nuisance in our rural area), and she is by far the favorite because of her affectionate ways. She follows the kids around the yard and lets Faith carry her around like a baby doll.

So we shooed her down off the screen, instructed the kids not to encourage this behavior, and carried on with our day.

Until the next night…

Hreek, hreek, hreek, hreek, hreek. Thump. Meeeeoooooowwwwww.

This time Andy was on his game. “I think Stripes is upstairs outside Faith’s room!” he announced loudly. (Andy’s volume always seems to be inappropriately loud when awakened in the middle of the night. So I typically whisper back to try to subtly calm what I’ve concluded is his instinctual fight-or-flight response.)

“Do you think?” I whispered.

We listened a minute longer…

Shrick, shrick, shrick … shrick. Thump. Meeeeoooooowwwwww.

Sure enough. I hopped out of bed to try to intervene before Faith woke up. But before I could get there, Faith had already let her inside and was cuddling and “scolding” her at the top of the stairs.

Great. Yes, let’s reinforce this tactic, shall we?

“Faith, don’t let her in when she does that. We don’t want her to keep doing this!” I pleaded, grumpy.

I placed Stripes firmly back outside. But before I could even climb back in bed, we heard it again.

Hreek, hreek, hreek, hreek, hreek. Thump. Meeeeoooooowwwwww.

“She’s already back up there,” Andy helpfully observed.

I went upstairs, closed Faith’s window, and told her to just try to ignore it. We all had to work hard at that task because Stripes repeated this same routine several more times that night, outside both Faith’s window and our own.

The next day, Stripes was just as clingy as ever, and we all scratched our heads as to what to do about this bad new habit.

The next night … same routine.

 

This was getting annoying.

So Andy took the matter into his own hands. The next evening before bed, he sat next to Stripes in her typical lounging area (the porch bench) and had a heart-to-heart.

This is not an unusual strategy for Andy. He possesses a unique gentleness and patience with our animals, particularly our sheep, that endears him into their confidence. If you’ve ever wondered if that saying “the sheep know the shepherd’s voice” is true … it certainly is in our flock.

 

When Andy calls, they come.

As we got ready for bedtime, he explained that he had a talk with Stripes and told her it was not okay to jump on screens and that she needed to stop immediately.

To which I said, “Ah, great. Well that should do the trick.” (I didn’t try to hide my eye rolling, but I did wonder…)

And Andy proved that night that he is more than just a shepherd of sheep. You can add cats to that list now. You might even call him a cat whisperer.

Because Stripes has never jumped up on a screen again.

NEW: Beef is now available! We’ve got several varieties of bundles and individual cuts up on our site. Think burgers for your picnic, steaks for the grill, and cuts for just about any occasion. Both delivery and pick-up options available. Shop Our Local Beef

The presale for our monthly meat bundles is now closed because we have sold out! This is a big win for us as we launch all of our new offerings this fall. We will be reopening the meat CSA again in February.

Join the waiting list here if you’d like to be notified first when spots become available.

Until next time…

To better food and simpler living,

Jodi Schipper
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn