Wednesday, October 6

Wednesday Dose of Cute: That Autumn Look

J2 in the Cat Cabin
It's in the Light

We call this neat little antique structure, which is made from hand hewn logs and sits just few feet away from The Shack, the Cat Cabin (you can see more of it, including how it's slowly sinking into the ground, here and here). The grandson of the couple my hunky farmguy Joe bought this farm from 20 years ago (who also happens to be the donkey peddling cowboy) told me that his grandmother always referred to it as The Smokehouse.

Two elderly brothers in overalls, who showed up one day a few years ago to visit and reminisce because they were related to an even earlier owner of the property, told me that at one point there were 13 children down here and this was the boys bunkhouse. (I can't remember now exactly when this was, and just how these two entertaining old guys were related to them, but I have it all written down somewhere.) I asked if there had been some kind of chinking between the logs back then, since it would have been awfully drafty in the winter. They couldn't remember, since neither of them had been down here since they were kids in the 1930s.

When I moved into The Shack with Joe ten years ago, the smokehouse/bunkhouse was being used as a storage space for various farm junk, but three of the cats I brought with me—J2, his daughter Pickles, and his son Onions—quickly moved in and claimed it as their own. Cats have been in control of it ever since.

Pickles and Onions didn't last long (the sad truth is that life on a farm in the wilderness can be very dangerous for cats), but J2 still lives in—and loves—his Cat Cabin. In fact, he almost never comes out, which is probably why he's still around.

After Pickles and Onions disappeared, fluffy orange New Cat appeared and decided to stay (which is exactly how a young J2 first came to live with me), and he and J2 soon became the best of friends. After New Cat died unexpectedly back in 2007, semi-retired farm boss Patchy Cat, who arrived on the farm a few years before I did, came to the rescue and moved into the Cat Cabin to comfort poor grieving J2. I don't know if he'd ever even been in there before. Over the years the two of them became inseparable. When I took Patchy Cat to the vet last winter, I stuffed J2 in the cat carrier with him to keep him company and hopefully make the 34 mile round trip into town less frightening. When the vet saw how they acted together, he said, "Boy, they really are good friends, aren't they?" There is nothing more heartwarming than seeing true friendship between animals.

Sadly, we lost our dear Patchy Cat late last spring (not long before the whole snakebites ordeal), and J2 was once again left alone. I adopted two really wonderful young male cats from the shelter in June, hoping one of them would move in and keep J2 company, but they're both already gone now, too. This summer has been especially rough. A few weeks before Patchy Cat, we lost Whiskers. I can't tell you how many hours over the past months I've spent crying.

The good news is that J2 is fat, happy, and appears to be quite healthy, but I know he's also lonely. Winter is coming, though. It's the season of cuddling up, and just like in the past, I have a feeling somebody new will be bunking with him soon. I have no idea who it will be, but things like that usually have a way of working out.

Want to see more of J2?
5/27/06: Cat Shelf

And the Cat Cabin? (some repeats here, as J2 is always in it)
8/27/06: The Cat Cabin
6/25/07: Echinacea by the Cat Cabin (one of my favorite photos)

© 2010, the gracefully weathered foodie farm blog where some cats don't stay with us for long, but they always have a good and happy life during the time they're here—and that's all any of us can ever really hope for.


  1. so good to see J2. I still miss New Cat. I think of him often. My cat Gideon who got fluffy in winter like New Cat passed several years ago too.

    I didn't realize that Patchy has passed too. I hope someone moves in with J2 soon.

    we both spend a lot of time crying over all the animals who we love & miss.

  2. crying is a small price to pay for the joy we get the rest of the time. I've had my share of tears this year too. Hugs, Liz in Texas

  3. I often wonder how it is that animals know when to wander in and out of our lives (and each others'). I haven't had cats in many years now, and things really wouldn't be good for a kitty here. Still, when the time is right, I have a feeling that some furry feline will find its way to me, and I will have a heck of a time pretending not to want it to stay.

  4. I just re-read your post & I hadn't realized that Whiskers passed too. sigh. he did have great whiskers.

  5. I just love old buildings and structures.....and so glad the "smokehouse" is being used again by the cats who Im sure appreciate it greatly! Do you have any pictures of your shack? i would love to see different angles of your property, it sounds lovely, the land too!!

  6. Sorry for your losses. I have a new adoptee. A small kitten that was in the parking lot of the Tractor Supply Co. Told hubby that would teach him to send me to TSC by myself.

    On another note, your muffins are featured on my blog today.

  7. Our indoor only cat made an escape a few days ago. I miss him terribly.

  8. Front Door Kitty and Rock Pile Kitty recently arrived. We'd hoped they'd be friends, but FDK is a bit of a snob. RPK is only about 6 or 8 weeks old so I found her a friend, much to husband's dismay. Hissy Sissy is already teaching her to play and cuddle. And make havoc in the little hay barn. I'm hoping our guardian Yama the Llama keeps the predators at bay. I can only imagine what heaven or wherever we end up is going to look like - Noah's Ark gone wild.

  9. poor sweet J2 and poor YOU! how awful to lose so many pets this summer! I hope J2 makes a new friend soon!


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