Year of the Cat: A Happy New Year Greeting from Freegrace!

Today, the first day of 2014, I dragged a chair into the snow a few yards from the barn and sat in full view of passing neighbors.

About 20 minutes into my vigil a woman drove by, slowing as she caught site of me smothered in a floor length coat made of zippy blue, yellow, red and green striped wool blankets perched on a plastic lawn chair ; flaps on my hunter's cap drawn down snuggly over my ears; ginormous rubber Muc boots keeping my tootsies warm; puffy mittens keeping my camera held in mid air.  She may have waved in a neighborly fashion but her eyes radiated, "What the?"

Waiting on kitty to show.

I think we have a feral barn cat.  I've been leaving out food and water, refilling both a few times a day.  It gets eaten.  Until today, I'd seen tracks in snow and caught fleeting glimpses of a fur ghost darting into a dessert plate sized hole nestled into the foundation of our barn.

I'd ruled out raccoon, skunk and ground hogs because as best as I could tell, the animal in question has white fur.  Yesterday I spied a bushy tail vanishing into the void.  It occurred to me that perhaps I'd been feeding a fox or a lynx all this time.   It's unlikely but worth considering since the barn is a few meters away from a crowded hen house.  Not that I'd stop nourishing either critter during our brutal winter.  I just need to know if I have to give pepper spray to the fowl.

Our outdoor party center is hibernating under a foot of snow.

Winter is a wonderland here at Freegrace but it's fracking COLD!

Hence my snowy vigil this afternoon.  I'm gearing up for the photo shoot for my next book in the next week so this is my last and best chance to spend a quiet hour assessing the situation in my barn.  Do I finally have the cat I've been pining for since we first moved into Freegrace?

The answer is yes.  It might be feral as hell but our kitty revealed herself on the first day of the year.  So I declare 2014 as the "year of the cat."  Meet the new addition to our family:


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