Fluffy, the Remarkable Barn Cat
In the gallery you will see one oil painting of a cat. I must say that I have
painted many horses, several dogs, and very few cats. I definitely like cats
and I loved my cat named Inky that died several years ago. Painting them
is definitely something I should try more often, because I really did enjoy
painting this lovely cat named Fluffy.
This particular cat is one that lives in the barn on the farm. Not only is he a
beautiful seven year old cat with long silky hair, he is probably one of the
most intelligent cats that I have ever known. He really deserved to have his
portrait painted and after reading this blog I think you will agree. This
cleverness has allowed him to survive the barn life when so many of the
other cats have not. Many cats and kittens have come and gone over the
years in this particular barn but he has remained throughout. My feeling is
that he has figured out the arrangement at the barn and that is why he has
been able to endure it all.
When I say that he has figured out the system I mean that he is clever
enough to know all about the activity and the dangerous situations that take
place in and around this particular area. There are constant threats such as
tractors being pulled in and out of the barn, trucks traveling through the
barn lot, dangerous mowing and weed eating throughout the summer
months and horses that run and kick. Wagons loaded with bales of hay are
backed into and pulled out of the barn where he lives. Even though these
hay wagons provide a comfortable place to sleep and safety from intruders,
he’s intelligent enough to know that when the alfalfa is sold and the wagon
wheels start rolling he must leap off and sprint in the opposite direction.
Other cats have taken this one way hay ride and ended up in a completely
different location never to return to this barn called home.
From the entrance of his home he silently watches vehicles enter and exit
the barn lot. Fluffy knows the difference by the time of day whether it is
someone there to feed him breakfast or time for him to scurry up to the
highest bale at the top of the barn to seek protection. Always watching
from the hay at the top for whatever might enter the barn doors.
I’m sure he’s used this same defense when stops have been made at the
barn by some of the coyotes that frequent this area. We can always hear
the babies yelping for their mothers in the distance on warm summer
nights. These same mothers are out looking for dinner. When a cat
disappears from the barn, we are fairly sure that this has been the coyote’s
choice for an evening meal. However this particular cat has somehow not
been on the menu. This really shows his cleverness because so many
have not survived this dangerous part of barn life.
Not only does he watch for vehicles and coyotes but he is very much aware
of my Australian shepherd dog, Tucker. Tucker likes to police this area. He
sprints into the barn, dust flying, planning to terrorize, control, and herd
anything that might be moving. Nothing causes him more excitement than
to see all of the other cats hiss, panic, and run for cover flying in all
directions. This fuels Tucker’s engine. Remarkably this particular cat knows
how to control him. He doesn’t get excited, doesn’t hiss, and best of all, and
doesn’t run. He’s figured out that you can’t be chased if you don’t run! He
calmly struts down the center of the barn with his fluffy tail held high, lies
down, and rolls over to face Tucker. Well the confused dog doesn’t know
what to think. He is totally bewildered by this cat. All he can do is stand
and stare at him in amazement, wagging his entire backend, because he
has no tail to wag. This witty cat does not move until Tucker gives up and
sadly walks away.
So now you know why this incredible cat was in need of a portrait. Fluffy is
truly a remarkable feline. It’s not often that you find an outside pet that can
survive so many dangerous situations. My hope is that he will continue to
enjoy his home in the barn for many more years to come. He certainly has
unbelievable survival skills, and he has certainly been a joy to watch and
so much fun to paint!