A while back I wrote that free cats were hard to keep. That hasn’t changed. Since that post, we’ve had another three to four cats go AWOL. All of them quite friendly, dedicated, and effective at keeping the mice under control.
Our most recent mouser (Cocoa’s friend seen above) lasted only a few weeks. At this point, I can’t even remember it’s name because we’ve been through so many. Needless to say, it was named for some Shakespearian character (Guildenstern maybe).
The unfortunate thing about cats around here is that they are just about meal-sized for coyotes, and they don’t respect fence-lines. While the goats and chickens stay inside the fence for the most part, the cats like to hunt off-reservation. The unlucky part for the cats is that so do the coyotes. I recently read an article claiming that most of their diet was made up of cats. That article was focused on urban coyotes, but it seems the same problem exists here. We’ve been through nine cats since we brought the first one home and are now totally cat-free. I never thought that kind of statement would bother me, but I don’t relish a repeat of the snake in the garage incident.
We do still have some form of semi-effective pest control though… When we first moved in, I was killing a handful of scorpions every night. As soon as the chickens started wandering the yard, that stopped. I haven’t seen a single scorpion outside in months. However, it appears at least one of them got smart and decided to hide-out in a laundry pile Sydney had left in the bathroom. No chickens in there. Welcome to Texas!