Benny just locked me in the garage. My mother told me where the key is but I don’t remember the exact location. I left the door slightly ajar so the cat doesn’t walk into the house. Benny climbed up on the door to get a better look at the cat and it closed, click. I pound on the door several times and my mother comes to my rescue.
I’m down at the ranch in eastern Washington. That’s two cats, one dog and one horse plus my parents to look after. I need to look in on my 101 year old grandmother, too. My parents live just outside the city limits, and the closest neighbor is hundreds of feet away. I live in a fairly urban neighborhood and our neighbors’ houses are just a few feet away. I pine for the peace and quiet of my urban neighborhood. The crickets and frogs outside my parent’s house sound like they’re at the foot of the bed. The din is accompanied by the neighbor’s horse clanging their bucket at 2am.
Sitka, the barn cat, really wants to be a house cat. She often comes in the house at night. The first night I woke up and suddenly realized I wasn’t alone in bed. Sitka sat staring at me, I petted her, and she purred and soon cuddled up with me. The next morning I found a burr on my nightgown. I checked the bed and plucked out lots of burrs. Oh the joy of country living!
The barn has a swallow’s nest which means I brush bird shit off Tiffany the horse regularly. I looked up at the nest and 3 swallows gazed back at me. We stared at each other; it looked really crowded up there, 3 birds wing to wing. On top of that, its 100 degrees out, but the birds appear cool and calm. Inky the other barn cat sits on the highest hay bale and squalls at the swallows. The birds just sit there and stare at him. You can just hear them say, Nah-Nah, you can’t reach us.
My mother’s friend, Fran, stopped by and talked about her trip into the Pasayten wilderness. Fran raved about the beauty of the Pasayten. Then, she said she got a bug bite so huge it left a hole the back of her ear. I don’t know about you, but I don’t care how beautiful a place is; if the bugs are big enough to bite a hole in my ear, I’m not going.
Tiffany, my mother’s horse, bowed a tendon so I need to wrap her leg. I haven’t wrapped a leg in over 15 years but some things you never forget. When I got in the house, I thought, “What’s that smell”? Then I realized it was me and I smelled like a horse. I used to love that smell, not so much anymore.
Got any country living stories? I’d love to hear them.