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Hobbes grows up at the farmette

Today is a middling winter day at the farmette. The sun is trying to come out and it's spot on 0C. We have lost almost all of our snow cover, and there's bare ground everywhere.

This afternoon, we're chatting with a new pet-sitter in anticipation of a trip we'll be taking in March to see our great friends Jane and Dana out on Vancouver Island. Which got me thinking of the cats, of course, which got me thinking specifically of Hobbes, the youngest and the largest, by far,

of the trio. He's also the only male we have left, since Nicky left us permanently in July.

Hobbes seems to be a fan of computers, or more precisely, getting in the way of the people trying to work on computers. Just last week, I was finishing up a couple of features I'd been asked to write for Country Guide, and Hobbes thought he was a higher priority.

Weeeelllll, when a 19-pound ginger steps lively across the keyboard and head butts your face, it's not like you can just keep writing or anything.

We met him about five and a bit years ago, just after we moved from Guelph to the farmette. We found him in our barn with two sisters and a calico mother who abandoned the litter. All three kittens were in pretty filthy, broken-down shape.

Unfortunately the females didn't make it, and are now resting peacefully off the end of the vegetable garden.

The snarky orange male, as we knew him at the time, was on his last legs, too. Encrusted eyes, fleas, mites, and wheeze you could hear in the next county. But there was spunk. With a hiss, and an arch and a swat, too.

Having sworn up down and sideways I, as a true rural girl, was NOT going to bring barn cats into the house, we promptly set about making Hobbes (named after the comic strip tiger) ready to come into the house. Which meant a lot of patience, vet bills and sleepless nights at the beginning.

But, we've never regretted it. Hobbes is a true original. Since he was orphaned, he can't get enough to eat, which is why he's packed on the pounds. While he looks enormous and a bit intimidating with a pronounced lion's muzzle, he's really a pudding who has a lock on how to relax.


He's definitely Rob's cat, following him around like a furry striped shadow. He has even, on occasion, fallen asleep with his head in Rob's hand! Of course, if it's my turn to feed the felines, then I'm Hobbes' best friend. There's quite a lot of food love going on there.

But there's also quite a bit of love-love, too, and whole bunch of suckiness. He still carries the teddy bear he got as a kitten around in his mouth and shoves his head into our hands for a pet.

Maybe we're crazy cat people. That's okay by me.

Hobbes - along with Bea and Lily - keeps us on our toes and thoroughly entertained. As anyone with animals knows, we would be pretty lonely without them. Until next week.

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