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Counting All Cats

It was a Tuesday when our buyer arrived to pick up the buck we had sold. She was coming from Ohio so she had a long haul home and didn't stay long at all . She arrived about noon, we chatted a bit, gave her his supplies and sent them on their way. I was a little sad to see him go, but it was time to enjoy a new buck and introduce new bloodlines in our herd. That evening, we went out to call in all the outdoor cats, a ritual at 11 pm each night. We do it to try and spare them from coyotes and give them a safe place during the darkness. They all go out again at 6 a.m.. That night though, our favorite (and sometimes "indoor") cat, Beans, had not come when we called "Kitty, Kitty". He was no where to be found. My daughter automatically thought the worst, began to cry and didn't want me to give up the search. I went out again with the spotlight at midnight and again at 6 a.m.. No Beans. I drove the field looking for parts (just in case). I drove the road frontage, looking in the ditches. No luck, which was good, he may still be alive. I told my husband, I didn't remember seeing him since the buck left. That was funny. Beans liked this buck. He spent a lot of time in the buck pen and would even curl up with the goat on occasion. My husband asked me if I thought Beans had possibly gotten in the car with the buck. I hadn't seen him jump in. He hadn't seen him jump in. "Wouldn't that woman know she had a cat in the car?", I asked. So, I decided to text her and ask, knowing it was a long shot. I sent a message asking if she had seen an orange and white cat and sent her the picture in this post! She immediately responded that she HAD seen that same cat the night before! I was shocked. She was shocked. And she said she was SURE it was the same cat. She had driven all the way home with the windows DOWN (to reduce the buck smell) and stopped TWICE for bathroom and food breaks and Beans had stayed in the car undetected. He could have jumped out anywhere along the route and been lost to us forever! So now we knew, our beloved Beans was in Ohio! I told my daughter who proceeded to cry harder...we were not sure if she would still find him there when she returned home from work. As it turns out, she did! He didn't go far from his goat buddy at all. He was up a tree near the barn and would not come down. I can only imagine he was wondering what was going on, where his people were or if he would ever see "home" again! Her son climbed the tree, retrieved the cat (without incident to anyone!) and she texted me a photo to confirm it was him once she had him securely crated... I hopped in my car and headed to South Central Ohio! A mere 5 hours later, Beans was home! We are so happy and thankful to have him back and from now on, we will count all cats before anyone else (visitor or goat!) leaves our farm!

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